Chipstead Academy (U17s) secure runners up spot at Old Reigatians 10s Festival.
For the first competitive run out of the season, this was a successful Sunday outing to Old Reigatians. The order of the day was to have fun, with an emphasis on support play and building on the first few training sessions up at the Meads.
Arriving with a reduced squad, we donated two players to Roslyn Park for the duration of the first game; making it a full 10 vs.10 contest. Parity of numbers accomplished, the opening half was all Academy, with our initial try coming in the first minute of play. An encouraging start. And a few minutes later we were over the gain line, and over the try line, again. Half time score 10-0. The one-way traffic was, obviously, unlikely to continue, and Roslyn Park did start to test our defence; which proved resolute. A further Academy converted try extended our lead before Roslyn Park eventually got on the score sheet; before the game was closed out with another converted Academy try. Final score 24-5. Very nice.
Game two saw us up against Old Reigatians’ 2. Again, the Academy squad played a complete 10-man game and over the space of the initial four minutes we ran in three unanswered tries. Old Reigatians were not without attacking threat, but as with the first game the defence held. In the end Old Reigatians were able to profit from a midfield pell-mell and add seven points of their own. The half closed with Academy rebuilding their lead with five more points. Half time score 22-7. The second half was all Academy, with the squad scoring seventeen points. Final score 39-7.
Played two, won two represented a comprehensive brace of results against good opposition. And it meant we were through to the Final, against Old Reigatians’ 1. Inevitably this was a much, much tighter affair. First points to the hosts, after a minute of play, gave an indication that this opposition would be a different proposition to those encountered hitherto. The Academy boys however were able to adapt to both the competition and injury induced circumstances; and closed out the half with a converted try of their own. Half time 7-7. The second half was equally well balanced, and it took a questionable decision at the breakdown to gift Old Reigatians their, ultimately, winning try. The Academy players took the ball into a ruck, but Old Reigatians secured the possession and went to ground but did not release the ball. So obviously the penalty went the way of the hosts. Hey ho, such is Rugby! The Academy squad upped their intensity as they chased the equaliser, but ultimately the squad was beaten by the clock. Final score 14-7.
In summary, this was a very, very encouraging display from the U17s Academy players. A big shout out to the Old Reigatians coaching team for organising the festival, to the referees who officiated and to the parents and players who braved the initial inclement conditions to make this an ultimately good day on the pitch.