Sevenoaks Rugby Under 11s won the Kent Cup and Kent Development Cup at the Kent Mini Rugby Finals on Sunday at Aylesford Bulls RFC.
The Cup, with four teams playing a round robin winner takes all league format, featured two Oaks teams; winners the Pumas and the third-placed Sharks.
The Sharks kicked off proceedings with tight 0-0 draws versus Old Elthamians and then Cranbrook. The diminutive pitch size meant it was never going to be a day for expansive rugby and both matches were end-to-end tussles where resolute defense quickly shut down the limited space available.
So it was all the more impressive that in their first match against OEs, the Pumas competed strongly at the breakdown, and used handling skills to move the ball quickly and at pace away from contact from one side of the narrow pitch to the other to score twice for a 2-0 victory. A plucky Cranbrook team were the Pumas' next opponents. Sevenoaks applied the pressure from the start to go one try up before Cranbrook bounced back with a score in the corner. Oaks' response was swift and they turned the ball over from a kick and chase to score the try that won the match 2-1 and sealed the Kent Cup for the third time in four years.
The final Cup game was an all Sevenoaks encounter and nothing could separate the Pumas from the Sharks who earned another 0-0 draw to pin down third place after OEs beat Cranbrook 2-1.
In the Development Cup the Oaks gave fans of running rugby plenty to cheer about. Excellent passing by the Lions aligned with incisive running and tenacious tackling paved the way to Cup victory. Success came via a 4-0 win over Blackheath and then, in effectively the Final, a 3-0 victory over Cranbrook through an outstanding team display secured the Development Cup for the fourth successive year.
Across 28 group and knock-out matches at the Kent Mini Rugby Prelims and Finals, incredibly these squads collectively kept their try lines in tact except for one solitary try while dotting the ball down on more than 50 occasions thanks to a relentless commitment to passing, running rugby. Enormous thanks and huge credit go to every player across the entire squad for their application all season, and the coaches and parents who work tirelessly to support these sturdy young Mighty Oaks.
Squads: LIONS: Dewi; Harvey; James T; Jimi O; Patrick; Quinn; Rhys; Sam D; Ted; Will C; Will G, and Zach H. PUMAS: Ben McC; Dan; Dominic; Elliot; Harry; Henry T; Ivan; Louis; Oliver C; Ruben; Sam K; Samuel V, and Toby. SHARKS: Archie; Ben H; Charlie; Felix; Jake; James K; Jimmy M; Johnnie; Juan; Oliver B; Oliver L; Peter G, and Zac S.