This tag festival at Chelmsford was the boys last ever tag event before moving into contact next year. Stortford’s finest were drawn in Pool A with host Chelmsford A, Billericay and Eton Manor.
Pool Match 1 Stortford 3 V Chelmsford A’s 4
First up were Chelmsford A’s and they were clearly fired up following our victory there earlier in the season. We responded with our usual first game sluggishness, and perhaps a hint of complacency following tournament victory at Colchester?. In a very tight game we came second losing 4-3 but we had made many unforced errors which gave a very good Chelmsford side plenty of possession and they took their opportunities well. Advantage Chelmsford .
Pool Match 2 Stortford 8 V Billericay 0
Suitably chastised and with a friendly kick up the proverbial our boys took the field again versus Billericay and proved what a superb outfit they really are when they put there minds to it. This Billericay team had only been playing rugby for one year and despite going down to a series of quick tries that put the game beyond doubt very early on they stuck to it, and never stopped trying until the end, showing great team spirit. Our boys however were able to take advantage of the space that opened up following a couple of tags to run in several more tries.
Pool Match 3 Stortford 8 V Eton Manor 1
Stortford’s tails were well and truly up now when we realised we could still win the overall tournament. Eton Manor were a good team but our defence was proving to be outstanding with the centre 3 creating a solid wall of blue that either stopped attackers in their prime or forced them sideways where flankers and wingers could pick them off. We consistently achieved turnover ball and consistently scored on our possession. What more could a coach ask for…..oh yeah a bit more passing please.
Chelmsford A progressed as group winners to the semi’s (facing the other runners up) and we progressed as runners up , facing the other group winners in the semi final….Westcliffe. Advantage still Chelmsford
Semi Final Stortford 5 V Westcliffe 1
I have truly never seen our boys play so well as a team. Our defence was superb and Westcliffe were continually forced backwards, at one point nearly running out of players behind the ball to pass to. Westcliffe are a good side, they didn’t win their group by luck, but we put them under so much pressure we stifled their every attack and when we got the ball great running and great support play meant every time one of our lads got tagged there was always someone to offload to. Our lads were also first to every ball that went to ground which showed their hunger and determination to end their tag years on a high. Come on Chelmsford.
The Grand Final…Bishop Stortford versus Chelmsford A’s
In true Hollywood style Chelmsford had won their semi so the stage was set for the rematch of the festival….the clash of the titans, the big head to head, grande tete-a-tet, mano v mano …(enough). To do this match true justice calls for a touch of Ernie the Milkman, so if you know the tune please read along with that in mind
The teams stood there face to face, beneath the blazing sun.
Chelmsford then scored two fine tries and we’d replied with none,
but Morgan was too quick for them, things didn’t go the way they planned
and a crash bang Will and a sideball left saw us level in no time.
Then Eddie ran in between them, and passed to Dominic Rowe
Who dodged and swerved like a swervy man to show he wasn’t slow
And Teddy came up in support with Ryan right behind
And we scored another fantastic try to lead 3-2 at half-time.
The second half got underway and the tags flew thick and fast
Chelmsford played superbly but our boys they stoodfast
Chelmsford then broke our defence and scored a well worked try
And they looked across to the Stortford coaches who all began to cry.
(His name was Callum)
Both sides were now level, and Matthew had a bash
But he got tagged so turned and passed to William on the crash
But Will was tagged by a Chelmer boy just a few yards short
So he threw a pass that oozed of class to find Morgan in support
(who scored a beauty)
Stortford were now 4-3 up with only seconds left to play
We couldn’t believe these diddy men would be the heroes of the day
But Chelmsford, they were not done, they hadn’t read our script
And an equalising try from a speedy guy left our stomachs ripped.
The referee called one more play, and the Mums all bit their nails
Then two ton Ted from Warwick Road decided to prevail
He surged right into Chelmsford’s ranks who ripped a tag or two
Then turned and passed to Murray D, who’d painted his face blue
(like William Wallace)
Murray side-stepped to his left and darted for a gap
The Chelmer boys grabbed both his tags but kindly gave them back
But Murray was far from finished, he passed to Ryan on the run
Who ran straight and true at the last defender, cheered on by his Mom
(Whose name was Lesley)
The Chelmer boy stood tall and strong as Ryan came on fast
He took a great tag 10 yards out but Ryan had already passed
To Archie Racey
, steaming up, like a Racey Racey thing
We scored a try, we won the match, we could hear the fat lady sing
(it was all over)
End result BSRFC 5 - Chelmsford A 4
Steve ‘Haka’ Marriott