Lions at The Brisley Bell
The Brisley Bell has been showing the 2017 rugby British and Irish Lions test matches, against the New Zealand All Blacks side on Sky TV. There was a fantastic turnout of both local and NZ rugby fans, coming together for 3 consecutive Saturdays to watch the games. The Saturday morning itinerary began with everyone grabbing a tea or coffee from the bar, before transitioning to the Garden room with the hope of finding a good seat for the 8:35 a.m. kick off. Each morning, at half-time (almost) everyone was suitably awake for a hearty full English/French breakfast (courtesy of our head chef Herve Stouvel from the Alsace), allowing time to digest the game, as well as the food, before the next enthralling 40 minutes of play.
The three test matches against the All Blacks could not have been made more exciting with wins for both teams leading to a gripping final game, getting everyone on the edge, and sometimes right off their seats! The roar from those in the pub when the Lions managed to get through the defence and over the line may well have been heard from Eden Park, and made for great spectating. Thankfully, in the final game Itoje was starting for the lions and his presence was synonymous with the Lions previous wins against the All Blacks. The Itoje factor and tenacity of the Lions side in defence seemed to pay off; a long-range penalty three minutes from time from Owen Farrell snatched a draw for the Lions in an epic third Test and with it a share of the series. The players and certainly those watching would have liked an extra ten minutes to conclude a victor but a draw it was… For the seventy plus people who turned out for the final game it was certainly concluded ‘a cracking way to start the weekend’. A big thank-you to everyone involved who made each morning so memorable.