Beccs U15 V Launceston (2017 Devon Tour)
Cracking weather and a great tour...
Although the U15's ended up with only one match, this is more of a tour report than a match report...
We left Beccs on a sunny Friday morning, only to find we were making very slow progress on our route to Exeter, we arrived some SEVEN hours later at our Hilton hotel at the end of the Exeter Airport runway.
After quickly checking in to our rooms the U14 & U15 boys set off for a Quasar evening, which was apparently great fun and burnt off some of the pent up energy from the extended coach trip. Meanwhile some of the adults headed in to Exeter and had a meal near the famous Exeter Cathedral and then regrouped in the hotel bar afterwards.
On Saturday morning after a leisurely breakfast, we set off in the sunshine to go bowling before the afternoon match, unfortunately due to an accident, it was decided we would go straight to Sandy Park, with the boys acting as a guard of honour at the start, parading at half time and meeting the players in the tunnel afterwards. The game itself was a lot closer than anyone expected and ended up Exeter Chiefs 38-34 Bristol , with Bristol very unlucky not to get more from the game.
After the match, we watched the Grand National in one of the Sandy Park bars, where Charlie cleaned up winning £100 from the sweepstake.
On Saturday evening as planned we headed to Tavistock RFC for a Race Night, we had a very good evening and lots of fun cheering on and buying our wooden horses.
Sunday was match day and after an early breakfast we checked out and headed nearly 50 miles south to Launceston RFC in Cornwall.
Overnight Hayle RFC who were to be the U15's 2nd game, pulled out and that left us only playing the home team Launceston Lions, kicking off at 11:15.
From the start Beccs won consecutive scrums against the head, giving Eoin the chance to pick and go from No. 8 and after 15 minutes Eoin scored our first trying running it in under the posts to give Ben an easy conversion to make it 0 - 7.
After a period of pressure from Beccs including a great run down the wing from St John, Ben snatched a deserved try catching a deflected clearance kick near the try line 0 - 12
7 minutes later Launceston got their first unconverted try making it 5 - 12
Just before half time Alec got the third try for Beccs, converted by Ben to make it 5 - 19 at half time.
After 5 minutes in the second half, Jimmy ran a lovely line and Jude was there to score a great team try, even finding time for a little swallow dive at the end to make it 5 - 26 with Ben's conversion.
4 minutes later, Jimmy went in to score our 5th try, again converted by Ben, who was having a great time with the boot 5 - 33
On 45 minutes, St John went in for Beccs 6th try, this was converted by Rob with a glorious toe punt, to make it 5 - 40. It is probably best to gloss over Rob's celebration but hopefully we have it on video.
Three minutes later St John twisted and span his way in for his second and Beccs 7th try to make it 5 - 45
In the last 5 minutes with the boys starting to tire in the hot conditions, Launceston scored 2 fairly soft tries, converting one, to make the final score a convincing win for Beccs 17 - 45
Mentions should also go to our non-playing tourists: Akira & Matthew broken bones, Liam concussion and Arthur Betts with Wooly Hat Syndrome.
Beccs Man of the Match (Chosen by Launceston): James Lipka
After the usual presentations and cream egg and cracker forfeits, we headed home and although we were now even further away, we made it back slightly quicker, getting back to Beccs by 21:30.
Thanks to Justin, Charlie and all the coaches for all their hard work throughout the season and for organising what was a very enjoyable and stress free tour. With the victory rounding off a year in which our squad has shown great improvement and truly become a team to be reckoned with.