Ross High Rugby Club welcomed players and members of Welsh club Bedwelty at the weekend for the first meeting between the sides, continuing a historic relationship with the village of Markham.

While this was the first time Ross High face Bedwelty, they have a 51 year connection with Markham Rugby Club, who merged with Bedwelty and Aberbargoed in March last year.

The merger came after Markham and Aberbargoed faced collapse due to lack of players following lockdown.

Ross High have been playing annual friendly games with Markham since 1972 and continued this on Saturday against Bedwelty.

The Bedwelty team arrived in Tranent on Friday with many of them staying with club members over the weekend.

Players and members of both clubs enjoyed a night of socialising on Friday before the game on Saturday.

READ MORE: Ross High to host Welsh rugby side Bedwelty to continue 50 years of friendship

The Tranent side ran out 45-12 winners on the day to claim the inaugural John Tinlin Shield, which had been named in honour of the club’s president who passed away last year.

Rob Brown, vice president of Ross High RFC, said: “It was a great weekend and we were delighted to welcome the players back up after two years.

“It was great to connect with old friends and also new friends with new players coming up after the merger.

“The players enjoyed a night of socialising on Friday once the players came up but still put in a professional performance on Saturday.

“We enjoyed a Welsh dinner on Sunday which was great to round off an enjoyable weekend.”

Amongst the travelling team was former World Darts Champion Gerwyn Price, who has previously played for Markham before launching a career in darts.

While the Welshman was not involved in the game, he was present on the sidelines to show his support.

Mr Brown said: “It was good to see Gerwyn come along and show his support.

“We’ve known Gerwyn right through his rugby development. His dad played for Markham and then so did he so he's as much one of the lads as any of the other players.

"I think once his rugby career started to fade out he then transitioned to darts and we still watch him when we can and I'm sure many of the players keep in contact."

The Welsh side travelled home this afternoon with Ross High’s attention now turning to competitive action when they face Duns away from home on Saturday.

Mr Brown said: “Our boys will be fully focussed and looking forward to the game against Duns now that this weekend has passed.

“It should be a good game and I’m sure we will be well prepared for it.”