Dates benched to put cheese up front

Wayne "Buck" Shelford was the guest speaker at the cheese scone bake-off in Eltham last night, but the legendary former All Black had to admit he prefers sweet treats to savoury delights.

While he is a fan of all things cheese, Shelford was hoping to bring back the popularity of date scones.

"I'll eat anything, but I prefer date scones.

"I like pies and sausage rolls too," he said.

The fierce scone competition in Eltham Town Hall last night rivalled what Mr Shelford was used to on the rugby field.

Eltham Primary School students Cullen Gardner and Taite Gaskell covered their rugby jerseys in flour as they competed in the best school team section.

Cooking in front of a full house at the town hall was no easy feat, but the duo scored some sound advice from Shelford.

"He was really good. He got us motivated and told us the trick was to put in heaps of cheese," Taite said.

The pair had been practising the art of baking for a week now and had made five different varieties of scones before they settled on cheese, bacon and onion.

Shelford said he wouldn't be at tonight's All Blacks test match but he would be watching it on television.

"I think the All Blacks will do well, but you just don't know what the French will bring," he said.

"We've already got the series in the bag so it's a good chance to bring on some new players, which brings a bit of flavour to it all."

And as the judges at the scone competition knew - it's all about the flavour.

The winners:

Best junior: Daniel Mackay.

Best senior: Brenda Spanners.

Best school team: Rawhitiroa School.

Best celebrity team: Eltham Athletic Club.

Taranaki Daily News