Hastings and Bexhill Festival
Under 12s Match report
Heathfield U12s match report from Hasting & Bexhill Festival.
Glorious sunny conditions and a hard fast ground saw a squad of 14 taken to Hastings & Bexhill festival full of excitement and expectation, 4 games to be played with 7 teams taking part.
With the parents collectively in full supporting voice the boys readied themselves for the first match against a well drilled Crowborough. The start of the match was quite attritional and narrow from the H&WRFC boys, rucking at the breakdown but struggling to hold onto the ball with Crowborough counter rucking very effectively and stretching the play out wide with regular overlaps. Heroic defence on the Heathfield line kept Crowborough at bay initially until they managed to spread it wide with a couple of tries coming at the end of the first half and then a flurry in the second half saw a final score 5-0 to Crowborough. The coaches addressed the boys re their defensive positioning in readiness for the next match against Shoreham.
Shoreham had some large and skilful runners who ran hard at the defence. The effort and commitment could not be faltered and a couple of chop tackles by Zac Coxen and Tom Samuel will live long in the memory particularly bringing down the bigger lads at full speed. Halftime saw Shoreham slightly edging it 2-1, with a quick tap and go resulting in a fantastic run from his own half by Harry SlinnHawkins and try in the corner. Every member of the squad entered the fray and the second half performance, including a great try from Tom Pedley in his first festival, and following a lovely weighted kick near the try line saw a superb pick up and score by Thomas Burfield – his first try at a festival, kept spirits and heads held high. Final score 4-3 to Shoreham.
The third game against Eastbourne it all came together with the boys very well set up. H&WRFC got on top early with a good level of handling skill and passing before going into contact and popping / presenting the ball after the tackle – well done Eddie Walley. Counter rucking a la the Aussies Hopper and Pocock – excellent play Felix Lorrimore and Ethan Greenlees - saw turnover ball releasing the backs with great attacking intent resulting in 6 unanswered tries – Tom Pedley, Zac Coxen x2, Calum O’Reilly x2 and Harry SlinnHawkins on the scoresheet. An awesome all round team performance!
The squad committed everything to the last game against Hellingly; a game which very sadly saw Harry SlinnHawkins break his collarbone after falling heavily on the hard ground having produced magnificent a try saving tackle. Get well soon Harry we hope you make a speedy recover!
Hellingly RFC had larger boys that carried the ball well, but the boys kept at it with good tackling, sound defence – well done Freddie Loach and Henry Strevens - and counter attacking with the ball passed out before coming into contact, (a point the coaches were keen to stress), good rucking and support at the breakdown saw H&WRFC build through the phases and produce attacking positions. The first half display spurred the boys on to produce a fine second half display; solid defence, low tackling, straight forward running with good support play saw H&WRFC break through the defence with Tom Pedley and Daniel Morris x2 scoring well worked team tries to produce a 3-1 final score line and 4th place finish. A positive note to end on and good start – well done also to the new boys not already mentioned – George Carr and William Barrett.
A big thank you to the coaching team Nathan and Phil for their efforts throughout the day and to Hastings & Bexhill for organising a well run festival.
By Mark Walley