Ted Senior Foundation Match

Monmouth Combination 28

TSF Barbarians XV 19

HUNDREDS of rugby fans made the most of the glorious weather on Saturday to watch a Monmouth Combination XV – including former Wales star Hallam Amos – take on TSF Barbarians in the Ted Senior Foundation memorial match, reports PETE WALTERS.

Prior to kick-off, all joined in a minute’s applause for an outstanding young man, Ted Senior, who played for Monmouth RFC, represented Pontypool Schools, East Wales, Crawshays and the Dragons Academy.

This followed successes whilst studying at Monmouth Comprehensive where he was Head Boy from 2012/13. After school, Ted studied physiology at Bristol University which continued his dream of becoming a doctor by gaining a post graduate place at Swansea University.

Sadly Ted was lost to suicide in 2018 and the Ted Senior Foundation was formed in his memory by his family. Since then more than £250,000 has been raised through a wide variety of fund-raising activities.

In the continuation of such events, many of his school friends were meeting again to take on a TSF Barbarians team comprised of players Ted played alongside at Bristol University, Oxford RFC, and beyond.

Although the match day programme jokingly thanked players for ‘squeezing into’ their rugby kit to entertain fans once again, the general standard of play, fitness and pace was quite exceptional led by Max, Ted’s brother, ably supported by Old Monmothian Amos, who had lost none of his speed and elusiveness other than seemingly being a kilogram or several more in weight!

Play commenced at a pace, with an almost immediate score to Monmouth following a break down the right, a switch inside, leading to Pete Seran being first on the board converted from far out on the left by Max Senior who had an influential game at fly-half.

Although no quarter was asked for or given, the game was played in an excellent sporting manner which made referee Brian Powell’s task easy, missing virtually nothing and having 30 compliant players out to enjoy themselves.

Play was fierce but fair with both defences capable of snuffing out opposition initiatives, so much so that the first quarter ended with just the one score between the sides.

The second quarter had plenty of excitement and threatening breaks by both teams including the occasional long lobbed pass presenting itself as a hospital pass for the unfortunate receivers.

But the score remained at 7-0 despite everyone’s combined efforts.

The Baa-Baas by now, following another break for refreshment, realised they were involved in more than ‘a rugby jolly’ and set off determined to redress the balance from the very start in the third quarter and their centre Alex Gray made an excellent break down the middle.

When the ball was recycled in a ruck, it was he who was to pop up in the left corner to collect five points for his efforts, although sadly, his ambitious drop kick at goal went awry.

Playing up the Chippenham slope now, Monmouth neared the visitors’ line with a succession of rucks, from which hooker and Newport player, Henry Palmer neatly picked up at the back and was over almost before a hand was laid upon him.

TSF Centre Gray soon grasped the nettle with a piercing run of his own, cleverly avoiding three tackles to narrow the gap to 14-12, but soon it was Monmouth’s No 13, too, Jordan Howells, now playing for Pontypridd, who broke and from the ensuing breakdown the home captain, Senior, sliced his way through untouched to take the score to 21-12.

The visitors were now giving it their all but the Monmouth defence remained resolute keeping them largely in their own half for some time.

Wing Dan White then intercepted a pass and made good ground to have a hand in the final score for Monmouth which Senior again converted.

Weariness began to creep in with some missed tackles in what was wearing weather, for playing sport at least, and the BaaBaas took their opportunity and brought the game to an end with a fine try by their left wing who cut inside the covering defence to bring a final result of 28-19.

Everyone had been a winner with such a fine display of flowing rugby and the Foundation will have been happy with the response from Ted’s many friends in making it possible as well, as swelling their coffers, thus helping to continue their charitable activities aimed at championing good mental health.

Donations can still be made via www.thetedseniorfoundation.org in honour of an individual who has left an overwhelmingly positive legacy.