Sunday saw the qualifying rounds of the Kent Cup played at Medway's Priestfields ground. This has been a happy hunting ground this season for the Under 11s and the team continued their successful strike rate in Rochester.
The first game up was always likely to be the group decider as it was against Westcombe Park (with Dover as the only other team). It was essential that the team were switched on and fully warmed up (- something that some parents never achieved all day. Rochester in March? The clues were there - still Medway must have made a fortune in coffee sales).
The team started brightly with Blackheath winning an early penalty, leading to one of those 'Saturday morning' moves which was not only used but well worked with Theo going over for the first score. Almost straight from the kick off the forwards worked the ball up the field with a series of drives and Jack forced his way over from a ruck near the Westcombe line. The forwards remained strong for the rest of the half with good covering defence meaning Westcombe barely threatened the Blackheath line.
The second half continued along the same lines with the Blackheath pack dominant and most of the play in the Westcombe half. Eventually the strength up front paid off as Mason drove over for a try and towards the end Tom McTurk went over in the corner as the backs moved the ball well, and quickly, along the line. Final score Blackheath 4 - 0 Westcombe Park.
The other group game was against a weak Dover side who had already been beaten 6-0 by Westcombe Park. After a slow start, the backs soon got their passing moves working resulting in first half tries for Tom (2), Luke and Jack. The game was stopped in the second at 7-0 with further tries for James, Tom & Finn. Tom's try was the game highlight collecting an excellent cross field kick from Theo.
This led to a Quarter Final against Sidcup, and once again the result was never in doubt. Early Blackheath territory led to a scrum near the the Sidcup line and Luke charged over with feeling! This was then followed by the solo try of the day (season?). Theo caught a kick deep inside his own half, sidestepped past two Sidcup players chasing the kick, advanced deep into their half and grubber-kicked towards the try line before collecting and going over. A good backs move late in the half led to a try for James and it meant turning round to play up the hill 3-0 up. Blackheath dominance continued in the second half with further tries from Mikel and James both from excellent passing moves in the backs. Final score Blackheath 5 - 0 Sidcup.
So, Blackheath Under 11s qualified for Cup at Finals Day, scoring 16 tries without reply - an excellent performance. It will be a repeat of last years final 4 with Edenbridge, Old Elthamians & Tunbridge Wells.
Thanks as usual to the coaches for all their hard work and also to the parents who braved the cold without complaint (ish).
The team were: