Reformed Rasen and Louth Wolfhounds side lift Merit League Trophy in opening season

Rasen and Louth Wolfhounds. Photo: Jon Staves
Rasen and Louth Wolfhounds. Photo: Jon Staves

The saying goes there’s life in the old dog yet, and the reformed Market Rasen and Louth Wolfhounds have certainly proven that by lifting the Merit League Trophy.

Market Rasen & Louth RUFC had not run a fourth team for many seasons until committee member and referee, Tony Smith, volunteered to resurrect the Wolfhounds XV as the club’s first ever non-playing team captain.

Searching high and low, Tony cajoled ex-players who hadn’t played for some years and persuaded those on the verge of retirement to carry on playing and threw in a smattering of youth and new faces to mould his side.

The first outing resulted in a narrow 29-24 victory over local rivals Lincoln, but this was followed by an inauspicious 81–0 thumping at the hands of the Scunthorpe 6th XV.

Despite this setback the seeds had been sown and the team flourished throughout the season developing their own unique camaraderie based on good old fashioned rugby values.

In addition they promoted their own idiosyncrasies with a distinctive pink hued shirt adopted as the required official post-match attire accompanied by a penchant for cheese.

The side played most of their games as competitive fixtures in the Lincolnshire Merit Table with a few friendlies thrown in for good measure.

At the end of the season the Merit Table record was a sight to behold: Played 14, Won 10, Drawn 1, Lost 3, For 388, Against 275.

This in itself was a very creditable return, but as the competition was run on a merit format where there is no requirement for sides to play every other side.

The winner was determined by the best 11 results in games played against other teams in the Merit Table.

With the three losses discounted in the final tally Rasen emerged as champions finishing three points above their arch nemesis, Scunthorpe 6th XV, which made things even sweeter.

Tony Smith was awarded the Clubman of the Year shield at the club’s recent annual dinner for his sterling efforts in reforming and his team will collect the trophy and their medals at the Lincolnshire RFU dinner to be held in The Assembly Rooms, Lincoln, on June 7.

Market Rasen and Louth RUFC field a number of teams including mens and womens, as well as juniors.

As a club it is renowned for its friendliness and welcoming attitude to players of all abilities, supporters and visitors alike.

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61 years of Rasen and Louth RUFC

In January 1952 both Louth RUFC and Market Rasen RUFC were in desperate positions, so two months later they merged to become Market Rasen and Louth RUFC.

The club adopted Rasen as its home maintaining the Rasen colours, but adding the badge of Louth as its emblem.