RUGBY players braved atrocious conditions to play a tribute game in memory of hit-and-run victim Adam O’Toole.
And, fittingly, it was Huddersfield RUFC – Adam’s former club – who emerged victorious in the clash against Huddersfield University at Lockwood Park.
It was the first time the sides have contested the Adam O’Toole Memorial Trophy.
The event, set to become an annual fixture, was set up following the 18-year-old’s death on March 6 last year.
He was fatally injured when he was hit by a car on New Hey Road, Salendine Nook, near Huddersfield New College, where he was a student.
The game had originally been scheduled for last month, but had to be cancelled because of a waterlogged pitch.
Conditions were little better on Thursday night but the two sets of players were determined to complete the game.
Huddersfield RUFC coach Tim Nield said: “On a pitch still drying out after the University Boat Race could have been held on it, these two young sides provided a committed, gutsy and enduring match, much in the manner of the colleague they came together to remember.
“This first anniversary memorial match was played in awful conditions but every one of the players who participated can take a bow for this was a full-on clash between two sides determined to make an impression and win the memorial trophy.”
Huddersfield RUFC U21s 7 Huddersfield University 5
University were quickly into their stride and the U21s had to make some brave tackles to prevent an early score.
The game was camped in the U21s’ half for the opening 20 minutes and University made the breakthrough on 22 minutes when the ball was driven over the line by Vickery from a line-out.
The U21s responded with several telling breaks. But they failed to take advantage because of handling errors caused by the wet conditions.
After half-time they continued to press, however, and, from a scrum on the left, Utley received the ball. He held up the pass for Tom Kaye to time his run to perfection and score under the posts.
Jones converted to give the U21s a narrow advantage.
Despite an epic battle for the last phase of the game – and substitute appearances from veterans Tim Nield and Paul Sharrock for the U21s – neither side could add to their scores.