Under 12s Medway Festival Report
1st October 2006
At some ungodly hour on a Sunday morning, parents of current Medway players, and possibly future club stars, arrived at Priestfields to prepare for the first contested fixture of the Kent midi rugby season. The weather appeared changeable, a mixed bag of sunshine, showers, downpours and even the odd rainbow – would our boys find the crock of gold they were searching for?
Teams arrived, registered, warmed up. Managers and coaches liaised with joviality and a sense of high expectation of things to come. Legalities dealt with, the games commenced…..
Ten teams overall, 2 each from Medway and Barking, transformed into two groups of five. Medway, fielding both experienced players, and those fresh to the game, split into two evenly matched teams and bravely went into battle against opposition from Barking, Upminster and Vigo.
Medway A filled their boots to rapturous applause against both Upminster and Vigo, winning 21-0 and 28-0 respectively. Try scorers were Harry Palmer (3), Luke Edwards (2), Ashley Banfield and Oliver Baker. Oliver’s name went on the score sheet a further 7 times when he achieved a 100% conversion record.
The boys in Medway B got off to a shakier start, losing out to a robust Barking team by a score line of 7-14. Upminster proved less of a challenge and their first win of the day was settled with a 5-0 win. Trie scorer on both occasions was Jack Baulch, with Freddie Taylor nailing 1 out of 2 conversions.
By this point in the day, both Medway teams were firing on all cylinders and no mercy was taken as they went head to head! Matched in ability and with a hunger for victory, the boys went into battle. Despite their earlier rocky start, Medway B emerged 14 minutes later the triumphant side through Jack Baulch touching down, and Tom Coyd kicking between the posts.
Final group matches resulted in the A’s drawing 7-7 with Barking, and Medway B getting a walkover as Vigo withdrew from the competition through injury. A closely contested group saw Barking emerge as winners with Medway B in second place, and Medway A narrowly behind in third.
Secondly place group position saw Medway B pitted against Barking A in the semi final of the cup, and Medway B up against Sevenoaks in the semi final of the plate. Despite some crunching tackles from newcomer Tom Coleman, later named player of the week, the A’s fell 0-7 to the might of a formidable Barking team. Having lost a player through injury, the Medway B team battled on bravely but also succumbed to a semi final loss, taking second place by a score line of 0-12.
Both Barking sides displayed strength, stamina and steely resolve to sweep the board, with teams earning the titles of winners and runners up in the cup. A worthwhile journey south earned Old Colefians the title of plate winners, over Sevenoaks in the final.
And so, another day, another festival. Huge displays of courage, of strength, of loyalty and determination. Young men working together, to achieve as one. Parents supporting, encouraging, communicating. The festival re-enforced what is commonly known, Medway U12’s, a special group of people destined to rise, to the challenge, and to success.
2nd October 2006