Farnborough Remembrance Day Festival of Rugby
Sevenoaks U8s took themselves to the final of the Farnborough Festival on Remembrance Sunday, only to lose to hosts Farnborough by one try in extra time. The usual hesitant start made way for some fantastic play throughout the pool games, with some slick running and passing ultimately seeing the squad right.
Coming up against some tough opposition, Sevenoaks drew their first two games against Tadley and Weybridge, with the squad composing themselves in the second halves to catch decent adversaries. In the final pool game, we came out strongly and showed more dominance from the outset, but a bit of a wobble in the second half saw a fluid running Winchester close the gap. Finding their first half form again allowed Sevenoaks to draw a lead, taking the win and securing their place in the final as pool winners.
In the final, Sevenoaks met the hosts in a text book 'try for try' game and at full time the scores were tied. A further two minutes each way of extra time saw Farnborough take the game 7 tries to 6. Initial disappointment made way for the realisation as to how far the squad had come. Some valiant play from a squad made up largely of new starters achieved more than could have been expected of them. With heads held high and masking a little disappointment from coming so close, the boys collected their medals and a well deserved trophy.
Well done boys!
Nine intrepid sons of Kent headed West early on Sunday morning to the Farnborough Remembrance Day Festival of Rugby. Under overcast skies our team, Aidan Moore, Barnaby Burns, Ben Thomson, Gurvan Ollivier, Joel Reeves Walker, Lucas Gorill, Sam Chapman, Toby Kirkpatrick, and Tarka Stanford all played with enthusiasm, great passion and real courage. Their efforts were justly rewarded with U8’s runners up, and another trophy!
Game 1: Sevenoaks: 7 – Tadley: 7
We often need to blow away the cobwebs and find our confidence during the first half of the first game, and this match was no exception. The boys faltered slightly during the first 5 minutes facing a physically larger Tadley team. A number of important missed tags, and our old ‘moving-backwards-at-the-re-start’ gremlin saw Tadley go ahead 5-3 at half time. However, our boys regrouped in the second half. Some tremendous defensive play put Tadley under real pressure, forcing a number of errors including a crucial knock-on on Sevenoaks’ try line. That last turn over allowed Sevenoaks to score and tie the game 7 all.
Try scorers: Gurvan (1) Sam (2) Lucas (1) Barnaby (2)
Game 2: Sevenoaks: 5 – Weybridge: 5
Game 2 was another tough start for Sevenoaks, with our boys reluctant to move forwards and missing several tags. The first half saw Weybridge up 3-2 at the intermission. However, we were again able to regroup during the break and the second half saw some excellent defensive work by Sevenoaks. This culminated in a 7th tag turnover in the dying minutes, leading to a final Sevenoaks try and another tied game.
Try scorers: Aidan (2) Sam (3)
Game 3: Sevenoaks: 6 – Winchester: 4
Our final pool game seemed to be the complete reversal of the pattern we’d been setting all morning. Sevenoaks started and came out very strongly, with some terrific support running in attack, and the boys working together in defence. Sevenoaks finished the first half a comfortable 3-1 up. Perhaps it was too comfortable, because the second half saw Winchester start to close the gap. However, a renewed focus on everyone advancing together at the restart held Winchester at bay, allowed our boys to regain their first half concentration again and secured the win.
Try scorers: Barnaby (4) Aidan (1) Sam (1)
Game 4: Sevenoaks: 6 – Farnborough: 7
Having won their Pool, Sevenoaks went on to the winners play-offs, facing hosts Farnborough. This proved to be a truly top class game. Farnborough were a well-disciplined, quick team who rarely seemed to miss a tag. But our boys came out fighting and gave as good as they got. They were truly inspirational, showing great courage after a couple of collisions and one high tackle. We matched Farnborough try for try, finishing 5 all at the full time whistle. A further 2 minutes each way of extra time were played and it really could have been anyone’s game. Our boys were very unfortunate not to win out right.
Sevenoaks were second place overall, bringing home individual medals and a trophy. We had improved consistently through the day, and parents, coaches and players alike should be rightly proud of the performances put in today.