Sir Christian Bonington, 74, may seem like an unlikely candidate for the best performer in Roses but Lancaster’s Chancellor put on a display that left his teammates and opposition reeling. The former mountaineer finished first, in what turned out to be one of the closest contests of the weekend.
Cheered on by the Lancaster Rugby team, Sir Chris struck the centre peg while York’s AU President, Alex Lacy, was still struggling to run the second loop. Lancaster’s own AU President, Gareth Coleman, finished also finished soon afterwards.
The York team was hampered by an apparent lack of understanding, as well as some excellent tactical play by the Lancs Vice-Chancellor, Paul Wellings. Welling’s superior knowledge of the game shown through. He kept York’s star player, Chancellor and former director of the BBC Greg Dyke, out of the game for the first half of the match with a series of clever roquets. As Wellings knocked Dyke further and further away from his hoop, Coleman and Sir Chris were able to power on through.
York soon cottoned on though. Once both his teammates had finished Wellings was left without backup and to the mercy of Dyke and the York VC, Professor Brain Cantor. Even as the Lancaster crowd cheered, ‘no one likes a bully’, Dyke contrived to knock Wellings further and further out the field.
Despite the odds being stacked against him, Wellings managed to pull a victory out the bag. Lancaster may not have walked away with any points, but at least they again had smiles on their faces.