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Dwile flonking championships in Westhall

PUBLISHED: 11:13 09 June 2008 | UPDATED: 07:27 01 August 2010

WHILE tennis greats battled it out at the French Open yesterday afternoon and the focus of football fans turned to the European championships, players of a lesser-known sport gathered for their annual battle outside a small village pub.

WHILE tennis greats battled it out at the French Open yesterday afternoon and the focus of football fans turned to the European championships, players of a lesser-known sport gathered for their annual battle outside a small village pub.

Teams from Beccles and Halesworth met on Sunday for the East Anglian dwile flonking championships - a celebration of the unusual Norfolk and Suffolk pub sport.

The flonk took place at the Racehorse pub in Westhall, near Halesworth, described by players as the sport's international headquarters.

This year's championships, which saw Beccles-based Waveney Valley Dwile Flonking Association take on the Blyth Valley Flonkers from Halesworth, will reach a new audience as the event was filmed by a crew from Channel 5 who are making a programme about unusual sports, presented by Pheonix's Nights star Paddy McGuinness and They Think It's All Over regular Rory McGrath.

The story is that the rules of dwile flonking, which involves throwing a beer-soaked rag - the dwile - off a stick to hit members of the opposing team, were discovered on a piece of parchment called Ye Olde Book of Suffolk Harvest Rituals in a Bungay attic in 1966 and that the game was revived by local pub-goers, who compete for the gazunder trophy - a pewter chamber pot, so called because it 'goes under' the bed.

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