Ashby under 11’s took a strong squad to the Hinckley Rugby Festival determined to defend the trophy they had won over the last two years.
This year’s Tournament was held on a league basis comprising five matches.
Ashby’s first match was against Wells who had travelled all the way from Somerset. Ashby started strongly following a catch by Matt Bell and a good passing movement between Will Westwood and Tom Wills led to a fine run by Morgan Saunders. Ashby’s forwards then provided a solid scrum and scrum half Tristan Clark darted through the Wells defence to open the scoring. Ashby now had plenty of momentum and Will Hurd powered home to add two further tries before the interval.
Adam Essex produced two excellent lineout throws to Fraser Hearfield
who again tested the Wells defence before Finlay Tyson added another try as the match ended in a 20 – 0 victory.
The second game was against the hosts who initially pressed forward but were thwarted by a good tackle by Stephen Hunt
. Westwood then came close with a good break. Ashby’s pressure led to a penalty and Ben Brown
managed to find a gap in Hinckley’s defence to score a fine try. This was followed by good break by Cameron Stewart
as Ashby sought to increase their lead. Ashby’s backs continued to look dangerous and a fine passing move involving Brown, Westwood and Wills eventually led to a good try by winger Joe Owen in the corner. The game ended 10 -0.
The next match was against Syston. Ashby dominated throughout but this proved to be a scrappy game. However, there was an excellent finish by Rory Jackson following fine play by Wills which gave Ashby a half time lead. There were some good breaks by Ben Wiley and Tyson in the second period but the game ended in a 5-0 victory.
The penultimate match was between the two finest teams in the County as Ashby came up against arch rivals Lutterworth. This would effectively decide who won the trophy and as always this was to be a very close and tense match. There was some good tackling by Brown and Hurd and very little space for either side to exploit as the first half ended without any score. After the interval Lutterworth started to dominate possession and started to press for the opening try. A succession of penalties saw them get closer and closer but a great tackle by Hearfield and an unfortunate knock on ensured the game ended 0-0. This was a superb defensive effort by the whole Ashby team who displayed all of their spirit and determination to keep Lutterworth out.
The final game was against Derby. Ashby started well with a good run by Owen following a good passing move by the backs. Full back Dan Wiley then showed his ability as he took another fine catch and set off on a powerful run. However, Ashby were unable to break through in the first half. The second half saw good runs by Brown and Cameron Stewart
before the ball was picked up by Tyson who powered home for the first try. Ashby’s backs then produced some fine attacking rugby which saw an excellent long pass from Westwood set up Hearfield for the second score. Another great passing move in the backs led to another try by Wiley. More good work involving Harry Abbott-Capps , Owen, Wiley and Stewart enabled Tyson to score his third try of the day as Ashby won the game 20-0.
The day ended with Ashby finishing as runners up in the Tournament despite the fact they did not lose a match or concede a try. Ashby were presented with the Plate and applauded as Lutterworth received the Trophy due to a higher number of points scored.