FOLLOWING England's defeat by South Africa, watched despondently at the Bells Pub, 20 or so people went outside for the greater competition, the Almeley Conker Championship, held for the first time this year.

The Championship was organised by the Bells Pub and St Mary's Church.

The rain held off and people came, not only for the conkers, but also for apple bobbing and doughnuts on a string and other seasonal games.

The rules of conkers were on display and had been taught to the children of Almeley Primary School at the last assembly before half term.

No goggles or safety helmets were required and no injuries sustained.

The adult champion was Jeff Glyn-Jones and in the children's class the champion was Joey Benjy who both took away a 'silver' champions cup: Joey who brought his own conker said "I knew I was going to win."

The organisers, Tessa and Guy Wilkinson of St Mary's and Jason and Lisa Hudson of the Bells agreed: "This was the beginning of something greater – next year will be more exciting than the rugby!"