Sevenoaks U11 Lions attended the final festival of the 2016-17 season at Westcombe Park on a glorious day for some fantastic end of season rugby. The Lions were represented by:

Tom Adamson, Max Avery, Olly Ebsworth, Max Gilbey, Felic Gollan, Alex Holden, Zach Johnson, Max Lindsay, Ian Shoobridge, Andrich Skein, Liam Thomas and Elijah Youngson.

The first game was a brutal and physical affair against Warlingham and the Sevenoaks team got a first taste of what U12 rugby would be like due to numerous illegal hand-offs and shoulder charges dished out by Warlingham.  With Zach Johnson, Felic Gollan and Max Gilbey leading the charges, Sevenoaks did not back down and after Zach Johnson scored the first try for Sevenoaks, the team grew in confidence and scored two very good team tries through Skein and YoungsonSevenoaks won 3-0.

Sevenoaks started the second game against Westcombe Park too relaxed and struggled to find their momentum and was soon caught out by a bouncing ball which a Westcombe Park player caught and scored.  The team’s urgency came back and Gilbey scored an excellent individual try running almost half the pitch.  This was followed by an excellent team try with the last play of the game when the ball was passed down the back line with Holden to score in the corner.  Sevenoaks won 2-1.

The third game was against a Vigo team who had no answer to the excellent passing and supporting game of the Sevenoaks Lions.  With champagne rugby, Sevenoaks scored 5 unanswered tries through a Shoobridge brace (one running almost the length of the pitch following a kick-off), Holden, Thomas and Lindsay.  What made the quality of the play even more remarkable was that Johnson, Gollan, Gilbey and Lindsay were all rested for the game and it was therefore the less experienced players stepping up.  Sevenoaks won 5-0.

The fourth game was against a highly rated Cranbrook team but with Zach Johnson in devastating form and Gollan and Lindsay not far behind, Sevenoaks ran in four tries through Johnson (2), Gollan and Lindsay with Cranbrook scoring one try after a clear hand-off, for which the referee apologised for missing.  Following a couple of extended injury times, Sevenoaks ended the game too relaxed with Cranbrook scoring another try and nearly another one if it wasn’t for the excellent defence of especially GollanSevenoaks won 4-2.

The fifth and final game was against Tunbridge Wells and with Johnson again in devastating form, Sevenoaks soon scored the first try through Holden, which was shortly followed by another good try by LindsaySevenoaks leading half-time 2-0. Second-half was unfortunately a different matter as TW fly-half’s well-placed kicking kept Sevenoaks under pressure and led to two simple tries by Tunbridge Wells.  A tightly fought game ended in a 2-2 draw but the Sevenoaks Lions can be proud of going undefeated throughout the day, with lots of experience and lessons picked up by especially the less experienced players.

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