We are at the business end of the season. Last Saturday and Sunday teams from across the Senior and Junior sections were involved in critical matches. Here's the round up.
The Oaks 4th XV claimed top spot in Shepherd Neame Cinque 4 West and back to back league titles, stoking an Oaks trophy cabinet already gleaming with the Acorns' Kent Cup 2018 by beating Sawnley on Saturday.
Over on the sun-bathed south coast, Sevenoaks Rugby 1st XV roared back to life from 22-3 down at half time away to Brighton, before ultimately losing out 32-23. Despite this loss, other results on Saturday guaranteed that we retain our London 1 South status in 2018/19 with a match in hand.
Over on the Kent Riviera, the 2s and 3s went down versus Medway and Maidstone respectively, ending both sides’ tilt at top spot. The 2nd XV is all but confirmed as runners-up in Invicta League 1 and the 3rd XV has effectively secured third in Shepherd Neame Premier Division 2 East. All this in a season where the Oaks went from fielding three to four regular senior teams plus the all conquering Mighty Acorns Champions of Kent Twice represents a successful and combative collective performance.
Under 15s Girls and Academy Under 18s boys come up just short
In the Juniors on Sunday, the Under 15s girls as part of the 'A21s' cluster team with Tunbridge Wells travelled to Royal Wootton Bassett RFC for the National Semi Finals. In the three way header to compete for one of two slots in the National Final, the girls defeated Harpenden 10-7 but lost to Kingsbridge 10-23. The girls did incredibly well by reaching as far as they did in an epic journey backed all the way by the Club, playing top quality rugby throughout.
Sevenoaks Rugby Academy Under 18s were in Kent Cup Final action versus Old Elthamians. The lads went down 40-22 at Ashford RFC to a quality outfit, and like the girls kept playing to the final whistle. “I am unbelievably proud of our U18 boys,” said Academy Head Coach Nat Orpen-Palmer. “They kept going all game against a massive side. In our three game series versus OEs this season, we drew one (League) and lost two (Regional Final and Kent Cup Final). The results are a fair reflection and we will learn, build and go again next season.”
Under 13s enjoy entente cordiale
Sevenoaks Rugby Under 13s enjoyed a day in the sun at the Cranbrook International Tournament on Saturday. The two Sevenoaks teams entered their final matches versus the two French sides from Hasparren, in deep Basque country, undefeated by domestic rivals TJs and the hosts. In their match against Hasparren 2, Oaks Tigers put in a ferocious display to hold on for a 10-5 win. This set up a compelling encounter for the Oaks Lions versus Hasparren 1. The team from just outside Biarritz move the ball rapidly and hit some outstanding running lines to secure a 15-0 win, which didn’t reflect how tight the match was as neither side gave an inch. Sevenoaks ended a great day of running rugby as Cup Runners-up.
The Sevenoaks minis also had fun in the sun with top displays in Festivals at Saracens, Westcombe Park and elsewhere. This Sunday the juniors are in Kent Cup Finals action with the U16s, U15s and U12s in the Kent Cup Final for their age groups. On Saturday it’s a day of recollection at the Paddock; the match day lunch is in memory of recently fallen Mighty Oaks, Peter Hunt and Ian Wood before the 1st XV aims to end the season in style versus visiting Chichester RFC.
"I am hugely proud of the entire Club," reflects Roger McKerlie, Director of Rugby. "Every Sevenoaks team has competed at their level this season. London 1 South is an incredibly tough league and we held our own, and going into Saturday our 2s, 3s and 4s were all in with a shout of the League title in their respective competitions. Our Acorns won the Kent Cup and looking to the future, our Junior section is in outstanding health. For the girls to be in the National Semi Finals and the boys to be at the table for the Kent Cup in every age group from Under 12s upwards, speaks volumes about the way we play the game and our investment in young rugby talent."