Season 1960-61

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1st XV v Torquay Harlequins April 29th 1961: R.Friend, G.Finnie, A.Stidwell, I.Mason, P.Heaton, D.Board, P.Green, C.Magill, TK Hitchins; A.Banks, M.Perkins, D.Algate, J.Keating, C.Uren, J.Davies, M.Spencer, G.Bryan; C.Sutton, W.Ryan 1st XV v Torquay Harlequins April 29th 1961: R.Friend, G.Finnie, A.Stidwell, I.Mason, P.Heaton, D.Board, P.Green, C.Magill, TK Hitchins; A.Banks, M.Perkins, D.Algate, J.Keating, C.Uren, J.Davies, M.Spencer, G.Bryan; C.Sutton, W.Ryan .

John Keating (No.8) was captain Dave Algate vice but the latter moved from Plymouth early in the season. The field at Estover was finally and irrevocably lost to the Club, Plymouth City Council having obtained a compulsory purchase order, moved with shattering rapidity.

Crowded Changing Rooms

The continuing "quarrying" at Bickleigh Down was not in vain, as it was possible to bring further pitches into use almost immediately. At the same time making one available for Devonport High School Old Boys for their home games (they having followed the club from the George and indeed assisted in the foundation forming). However, the result, four Argaum sides plus DHSOB RFC was to place overwhelming pressure on the barely completed Clubhouse. Despite all these distractions the 1st XV held their own with 17 wins 18 defeats and 4 draws points 285-260.

The 1st XV Record

Opening with defeats at Hayle and Kingsbridge they recovered fairly well and indeed on September 24th inflicted defeat on Salcombe by the surprising margin of 43-0 at Bickleigh Down. However, in the New Year the South Hams side reversed the record at Salcombe to the tune of 0-19. Kingsbridge went on to complete the double but the 1st XV for their part gained a similar success over Exeter Saracens, St Columba, Launceston, OPMs and Torquay Harlequins, DHSOB proved somewhat a thorn in the flesh - it is not clear which was the home team - with scores of 3-3 and 6-10.

Tour To London

Blackwood were again welcome visitors at Easter - (apart from the result 0-6) whilst C Division did even better, 0-13. During this season, the Club visited C Division at Imber Court. The match, which Argaum lost 6-11, was played in the morning and the Club was lavishly entertained by their hosts. There followed a memorable trip to Twickenham in our own coach, escorted through the International Match traffic by two police motorcycle outriders, ensuring a swift passage. On the Sunday we played at Ealing on a pitch resembling a marsh, managing to achieve a 3-0 win. The A XV W11, L18, D1, 252-275, the Extra A had a busy season, W11, L13, D1, 220-352, while the Colts just broke even W13, L12, 213-263. Plymouth College were responsible for their heaviest two defeats.

Argaum Panto

The social side was not neglected, a Christmas pantomime at the Club "Off White and the Seven Suds", courtesy of the Chairman’s wife Peggy Hitchins, whilst the annual report expressed the hope that the Chairman would refrain from visiting beaches in the summer lest the sight of unlimited quantities of sand should impel him to order an equivalent of cement! The 1st XV photograph (at the top of the page) includes Bob Wright, Nigel Haddon, Peter Green, Bill Ryan, Roy Friend and Dave Board, under of course, the benevolent eye of John Keating.

Additional Info

  • 1st XV Captain: John Keating
  • Update To Centenary History: Mike Manning, the colts skipper, represented Devon Colts against Leicestershire Schools at Torquay after being reserve against Somerset earlier in the season. Argaum 'B' finished runners up to Plymouth Albion 'A' in the final of the Plymouth Combination Sevens at Beacon Park after progressing from the qualifying rounds on a previous night at the same venue.
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