Rugby: Torquay suspend admission charges and plan outside bar for rest of season
- Credit: Torquay RFC
Torquay Athletic are suspending admission prices for the rest of this season, and setting up an outside bar at the Recreation Ground, weather permitting, after the success of similar measures at their annual Boxing Day game.
Following a minute's silence to honour the passing of Bryan Lang, players past and present played in the traditional Torquay v Grammarians. A bumper crowd attended the match, won 36-24 by the 'hosts'.
Chairman Jackie Coles said: "We never charge on Boxing Day anyway, but we made a last-minute decision to have an outside bar for Covid safety reasons.
"It was very successful, with plenty there who weren't club members - people who dropped in on the day.
"So we're going to do it for all our forthcoming games.
"After a lot of hard work over the last few years, we are stable financially, and we need to look at potential new markets.
"We'll still look after our members, offering other benefits such as altering our pricing in the clubhouse bar."
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The Boxing Day game was its usual friendly affair - several players swapped sides at various times and one, Sonny Rowe, even played for both teams and acted as referee.
All Tribute South West Rugby League teams have enjoyed a Christmas/New Year break, but 'hostilities' resume this Saturday.
Tics' new free-admission policy will be in place for the visit of Newquay Hornets in Cornwall/Devon Division, although they will still be without key man Lewis Harben, who is out for the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury.
Brixham, seventh in the Premier, are bidding for a fifth win in six games, although they will have to upset Weston-super-Mare (4th) away to do it.
Paignton must travel to Penryn in Western Counties West, but the biggest crowd in that division is likely to be at Bitton Park, where Teignmouth will be trying to complete a derby 'double' over Newton Abbot.
Teignmouth won 36-15 at Rackerhayes in October.
Only four points cover the top five teams in Devon One, where the match of the day sees Kingsteignton's New Cross (3rd) travel to South Molton (2nd).
Totnes make their shortest trip of the season, to Dartmouth, while Buckfastleigh Rangers entertain Exeter Athletic.