An intrepid party of 23 adventurous young men from the Old Dunstonians first headed west in search of rugby fellowship and fun, back in 1927. Falmouth were hosts and little did we know then what a fine tradition they were initiating, writes Gupta Singh

We are rightfully proud of the fact that of the dozens of clubs who, years ago, headed west at the end of the season, the Old Dunstonian Rugby Football Club have faithfully kept on touring.

This year Falmouth retained the ‘Pink Elephant’ trophy on Easter Saturday winning 45-33.

The official account of this inaugural tour records 'played three, won one, lost two', and summarises that "while the primary object is to play football, the social side is also most important... sailing parties, boarding parties, and all sorts of parties were undertaken - all of which proved most successful".

It's an observation that holds true to this day, and still serves as an apt philosophy for the Easter tour. 

One constant has been the long lasting friendships formed, with may locals eventually turning out with the ODs near the end of their own playing careers, while in turn many ODs have also eventually settled here in Cornwall to proudly call it their home.

In 1927 matches were played against Redruth, Hayle and Falmouth and in the ensuing years the OD’s have played against a further eight clubs in West Cornwall.

Their first match against Penryn was in 1930, and in the years since it has been the principle fixture on the tour held on Good Friday.

Truro was added in 1950 and has become the Sunday fixture. Other clubs who have provided opposition and hospitality over the years include Newlyn, Penzance, St Day, St Ives Camborne and Camborne School of Mines.

The current format of Penryn, Falmouth, Truro (in that order) has been in place in since 1976, and is almost set in stone, becoming a steady and reassuring constant in the fixture list of these four clubs, despite the many changes and challenges to the season's calendar that league rugby has brought with it.

Mention must also be made here of St Agnes RFC, founded 1972, and whom, through OD connections on the north coast, they first played in 1974. These Sunday fixtures against their A team continued for many years and senior ODs on tour will have played in one or more of these matches.

Unfortunately, lack of players, logistical problems associated with four games in a five-day weekend, along with Sunday lunches proved insurmountable for the OD’s to continue. However, they played St Agnes before the Falmouth match as part of the 75th celebrations in 2009.

On their 88th tour this year, we welcomed our 'Old' friends with sincerity and remain privileged to receive them year after year.