Clash of the sirens at Barnstaple Rugby Club

Joseph Bulmer

Police and fire service to lock horns during bank holiday battle

SPARKS are expected to fly at a charity rugby match between members of the local police and fire service on Monday.

The exhibition match kicks off at 3pm at Barnstaple Rugby Club in aid of Help for Heroes and North Devon Hospice.

It’s the third instalment of what is turning out to be an annual “grudge match” between the two authorities.

The first event in 2009, held at Bideford RFC, finished 10-5 to the fire service, while last year’s re-match was won 20-1 by the police.

Co-organiser PCSO Gareth Woolway, from the Barnstaple Neighbourhood Beat Team, said: “Last year, there was a really big match up and the hits were hard.

“It’s all done in good spirit but we’ll certainly be giving it our all and fully expect to win.”

Last year’s event drew 800 spectators and raised �1,700 for charity.

Entry is free and while the action takes place on the pitch, there’ll be plenty off it, with a bouncy castle, hog roast, ice cream van and a bar.

Braunton youngster Lydia Cross – who has raised thousands of pounds for Help for Heroes since losing both of her legs to meningitis – will present the silverware to the winning team.

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