Three friends from Woodford RFC - joined the tour party to boost our squad number to 20.
Festival rugby is fast and physical played in two 10-minute halves demanding a good level of fitness. The weather was hot and sunny. Despite the conditions the players hit the ground running playing total rugby anchored by a dominant pack in the set play, backed up with great defensive tackling and counter rucking. All of which drew plaudits from those watching as the team overwhelmed Welwyn RFC (5:1), Southend RFC (6:1) and Maidstone RFC (8:1). The final game against Fullerians RFC finalists in the Hertfordshire County Cup was full on and probably the game of the day as the two teams went for it with fantastic rugby from both teams with top draw tries. We won narrowly 5:4
This was a great squad performance going unbeaten on the first day winning all four games. The tries were spread across the team. The players deserved all the praise they received from other clubs and parents. However, it wasn't without cost a fractured wrist and several players sustained back and leg injuries all muscular. Our first aider Rachel went over and above by getting the players fit to play.
On the second day the outcome was clear for both Bancroft and a big strong Folkstone RFC team win and you are in the final with a game to spare. The conditions were again very hot. In a very physical hard-fought game we came through again 3:2. Knowing we were in the final we rested key players and were beaten 5:0 by Chipstead RFC as the boys played within themselves focusing on the final which would be against Chipstead as runners up in the round robin competition.
The final was a great game. In the first half Chipstead scored a great try followed up by two fortuitous ones. We battled back to end the half 3:1 down. Early in second half Chipstead ran in an early try from an unforced error. Then the character and attitude came to the fore and the forwards took control pinning the opposition in their own half with old school driving forward play and were rewarded with a try. Much too the relief of Chipstead the ref blew time with the score at 4:2 with the boys in the ascendency. The better team on the day won the final.
Despite coming top of the league and only losing to one team over the weekend - This small squad of players went there and put a marker down for Essex rugby. To receive the trophy from Lewis Moody World Cup winner was a great experience for the boys.
Updated 11:15 - 8 May 2018 by Nik Hardy