Belhaven Hill School

Co-ed Boarding & Day School for ages 5-13

Boys' Rugby: U11a v Longridge Towers

Boys' Rugby: U11a v Longridge Towers

Opponents:    Longridge Towers
Date:                 Sunday, 29th September
Venue:             Belhaven Hill
Time:               10.30am

Today the mighty U11s rounded off their season in style, hosting Longridge Towers in good conditions. For a number of the boys, this was their final ever U11 rugby match and I am delighted to note that they went out in style.

As it was the final match of the season, and as this has been such a tight-knit group band of 16 boys, I thought it only right that everyone play in this game. As such, I divided the boys into four ‘pods’ which were then rotated through, with each playing very close to twenty of the forty minutes available.

Having had numerous fixtures cancelled, this was Longridge’s first full match of the season and though they certainly lacked match sharpness, they made up for it in size, strength and determination.

   

We got off to a fine start with a bullish run from Henry to score in the first minute but then they responded in kind and for the next ten minutes, it was an end-to-end match played at a frenetic pace with some brilliant skills on show from both teams. Finally, in a move off the training pitch, Pedro accelerated between two boys, forcing them both to commit to the tackle and then offloaded to Javier who had run a brilliant supporting line and thus earned his first try for the A team. A fantastic pass to a flying George on the wing saw another try and then a couple of well weighted grubbers by James led to two more tries, one to George and one to James.

But it’s not all about the tries! I was delighted with the way so many of the boys played today.

  • Charlie got stuck in, was good at the back of rucks and ran some nice lines along with Jamie;
  • Saul was as strong at the breakdown as ever, winning turnovers;
  • Beets tackled like a dervish;
  • Johnny continued to scythe people down like so much wheat in the wind but also had a few good runs;
  • Henry was bullish;
  • Tom held his line and pressed hard;
  • Harry slowed a few boys down and maintained a good position;
  • Cosmo had some darting runs;
  • Hugo made some epic tackles;
  • Josh was more aggressive;
  • Pedro ran quickly and offloaded well, and
  • Harry Br. – well, apart from one small slip-up, he played the best rugby he has played this season by a country mile!

Longridge fought to the bitter end, scoring their final try in extra time which was to their credit.

This was exactly how I’d hoped the season would end – with a tough, close, exciting match that demonstrated just how much progress this intrepid group has made. I don’t think that anyone who has watched them play over the course of the season could be anything but impressed with them and that comes down to their hard work, enthusiasm and energy.

And as for the boys who’ve played their last – well, I have no doubt that they have handed the flame on to a worthy bunch of lads to carry next season.

Final Score: Belhaven Hill    8    -    7    Longridge Towers

MOTM: The mighty U11s, of course!

WT