As Wharfedale RUFC made the long trip to Worthing on Saturday, one group of hardy supporters headed to the game the hard way. The Cavalry Club on Wheels undertook its third charity bike ride, cycling the 350 miles to Sussex, raising £10,000 for Manorlands Hospice at Oxenhope.

They left Wharfedale on Wednesday morning and, with overnight stops in Newark, Leamington and Guildford, they arrived at the ground to a guard of honour from the Wharfedale players around Saturday lunchtime.

And they received a standing ovation from 150 guests at the Worthing sponsors' pre-match lunch.

The rides were the brainchild of Robert Fort, a club member and well-known rugby referee who lives in Burnsall.

In 2012, he persuaded fellow Wharfedale supporters Nick Gains (who, with his wife Claire, runs Skipton Hire Company) and Tim Lockett of Wharfedale sponsors to cycle from Cambridge to Wharfedale in time for the match between the two clubs. On the way, they raised £5,000 for Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue.

Then in 2013 Robert, Nick and Tim were joined by a larger group to cycle from Richmond in South West London to Wharfedale and raised £8,000 for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

This year, the group also included Matthew and Sarah Bell of Oldfeld Lighting in Skipton, former club skipper Dave Townson,Wharfedale club stalwarts Rob Burnett and Alex Driver, Ian Moulding, Paul Rennison, Ken Robinson and Jennie Routley The ride was supported by Robert’s employer, Amey, which provided a van to carry luggage and to return the bikes to Yorkshire.

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