IN WHAT is to become an annual tradition Ledbury RFC helped keep their fitness over the Christmas period by playing a team of the town's farmers.

A big crowd gathered at Ross Road and they were treated to a close encounter of rugby ending in a stalemate 12-12 draw.

The farmers proved their worth from the the outset and prolonged pressure resulted in a converted try for James Porter, a regular figure in the firsts, but for once representing the opposition.

Ledbury were putting together some great attacking opportunities, but the farmers responded well, supporting George Bennion's kicks with enthusiasm.

Whenever Ledbury had possession they looked dangerous, Toby Rogers and Jamie Rayfield combining well.

A kick pass from Rayfield resulted in a very easy try for Charlie Barber-Starkey in the corner, with Rayfield converting to level at 7-7 at half-time.

The second half saw the farmers stick to their physical close support tactics, which Ledbury defended robustly.

The farmers continued to press hard, nearly scoring on several occasions, but unable to finish.

Rayfield caught the farmers' defence out again with another kick pass which saw Rogers score an unconverted try.

The last ten minutes saw relentless farmer attacks ultimately allowing Perry Pudge to score out wide to again level the scores with the conversion drifting wide.

With the popularity of this fixture now well established the intention is to up the odds in future and to compete for a trophy, the Cotton Cup, kindly promised by Ledbury RFC Vice Chairman Julian Cotton, who just so happens to be a local farmer and previous Ledbury firsts captain.

The match will now feature on an annual basis between Christmas and New Year.