More Memories-1947/48 Season

After Old Lutonians RFC’s first successful season, Bill Shepherd was appointed as captain again; and Eric Hobbs was appointed as his vice-captain. The club was now able to play matches at Stockwood Park, where Luton Corporation had laid out new pitches.

The second season followed the hottest summer for 300 years, and saw an improved fixture list, with new fixtures against Old Towcestrians, De Havilland ‘A’, Newland Park Training College, Slough, the Foreign Office, Old Fullerians, RAF Henlow, County Old Boys (Cambridge), and Wasps ‘A’, whilst in recognition of results the previous season, , Queen’s Works and Vauxhall Motors gave Old Lutonians a 1st XV fixture for the first time. The infant club was still experiencing some teething troubles however, and the Old Lutonian magazine in July 1947 appealed to its readers, ‘Great difficulty has been experienced during the last season in obtaining sufficient shirts of one colour and we again appeal to anyone who may possess a rugby shirt to give it to this section.’

Old Lutonians demonstrated the progress they were making by achieving their first victories against Welwyn Extra ‘A’ and Letchworth, whilst a further two victories were achieved against Luton ‘A’, making it four wins in two seasons against them. This was the first season in which Old Lutonians RFC played the school – honours were even in a 3-3 draw. Due to a shortage of Old Boys, partly due to call-ups for national service, once again a number of pupils at the grammar school played in the team, either preferring to continue playing rugby whilst the school turned to football for the Spring term, or playing when the school did not have a football match.

The first match of the season was played on 27th September 1947 against Olney ‘A’, which the Luton News reported under the heading, ‘Old Lutonians Won Ding-Dong’ Struggle. Old Lutonians 21 Olney ‘A’ 14’. On 18th October 1947, Bill Shepherd became the first Old Lutonian recorded to have scored a hat-trick of tries in a match. The Luton News reported, ‘W. Shepherd Scored Three Tries. ‘Old Lutonians beat Welwyn Extra ‘A’ by 19 to 10’.

January 1948 witnessed the first match for the fledgling ‘A’ XV, which went on to win seven of the nine games it played, including its first match, against De Havilland ‘A; this boded well for the future, in terms of player numbers and quality.

Old Lutonians played twenty-seven matches, almost twice the number of the first season, winning eighteen and drawing two. They scored 280 points and conceded 172. The club’s top point scorer was Bill Shepherd who with 74. There were only five successful penalty kicks all season, suggesting that when penalties were awarded, Old Lutonians generally ran the ball. The top try scorers were Bren Connors and Eric Hobbs with eight-a-piece;

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