U 12 - Report
|Bradford on Avon Festival||0||vs||1||Chippenham RFC|
U12's turn the tables at Bradford-On-Avon Festival
Having been successful at the Chippenham festival a couple of weeks ago, Chippenham U12’s wanted to try and reverse the result at Bradford-On-Avon’s festival and win.
As the clocks went forward a few teams were wondering if their players would turn up on time for the Bradford-On-Avon Festival!!! The clocks moved forward to mark the start of British summertime and the weather also marked the beginning on a glorious day Chippenham U12’s made the short journey to our near neighbours Bradford-On Avon for their festival. There was only 2 things assured, the U12’s would meet again in a deciding game as has been the case on numerous occasions this season and the ground would get harder!!! The festival took on a league system with each team playing against each other and this proved to be every bit exciting as a knockout competition with the top 4 places not decided until the final game. Chippenham were up against, Corsham, Bath, Devizes, Trowbridge and Bradford-On-Avon.
Game 1 vs. Corsham Final Score 0 – 0
Chippenham suffered a bit of firstgamitus or was it the 1 hours lack of sleep. The team took a while to get into their stride, but this also was not helped by Corsham playing some good rugby and not letting Chippenham settle into any rhythm. Chippenham were guilty of spilling the ball and at the last moment taking their eye off the ball. Highlight of the first half was Katy Mathews without make up, tackling and not letting go of her man until help arrived. The first half ended with play fairly neutral and played in the middle of the pitch. Score 0 – 0. The second half saw the ball start to be fed along the backs more. Joe Kitts was digging the ball out and setting off the backs that were well orchestrated by Jack Smith. Then from such a move the ball was fed along the lines to Katy who went on to score only for play to be bought back for a forward pass earlier in the move. Corsham also played their part in a good first game but with no score from either side it finished 0 -0.
Game 2 vs. Bath Final Score 5- 0 Try Louis Ayliffe.
Chippenham started to wake up now and always rise to the challenge against Bath and wanted to keep up their impressive record of not being beaten in a while by Bath. Quinn Clark like a man possessed was up at Bath as soon as they tried to free their quick runners and was in their faces. Tackling like a demon. The forwards were not letting Bath off load the ball in the tackle and so allowing players to disrupt the Bath game plan. Olly Dutton also tackling and cleaning out the rucks much to the frustration of Bath. Bath broke out of defence and went down the wing. Alex Thompson knew he was the last man and tackled the guy down and did not let go. Alex was up to ruck over but no need as he had also taken the guy into touch in the tackle. The game was a good exciting game and was well contested and the half drew to a close with no score on the board. Then Chippenham gained belief and knew they could win this game. Greg Griffiths from a ruck picked the ball up and as he was tackled managed to dive to pass the ball out along the backs. Jack Smith kicking cleverly into touch and also finding the gaps for the chasing players to put Bath under pressure. The ball was spun out to Josh Lever who drove through to nearly score but was held up. From the resultant restart Bath were expecting the crash ball but clever thinking by Louis Ayliffe saw him pick the ball and dash into score. As we found out later the Ayliffe’s proved to be a thorn in Bath’s side as Elliott also scored the winner against Bath U10’s!!! Chippenham buoyed by the score started to play with belief and defended really well. Every player gave their all and the determination was clear to see as they not only wanted to win but did not want to concede a try. They held out to win a tense game 5 – 0.
Game 3 vs. Devizes Final Score 20-0 Tries by Marcus James, Greg Griffiths, Jack Smith and Joe Kitts.
Third game saw Chippenham up against a determined Devizes side that are always strong in the forwards so our pack had to be up to the mark to give the backs a chance to do their thang!! And they did not disappoint. Chippenham were playing with a little more confidence offloading well in the tackles. Sam Wood making an excellent debut in Chippenham colours, who constantly put in the work to make the tackles and disrupt any, plays Devizes tried to get going. Olly Dutton clearing out the rucks. As Chippenham attacked the ball from a ruck saw Jack Smith sell the perfect dummy pass and he was through, Jack drew in the tackler and offloaded to Marcus James who caught the ball and ran in to score with Katy in support outside if needed. Quinn Clark was starting to make his runs and bursting through the defence and slipping tackles with his jumping around from one foot to the other. Again from good rucking by the forwards the ball was fed out to Greg Griffiths who ran into score. Half time 10 -0 The second half continued in the same way with Chippenham looking to dominate in all areas of play. The forwards not allowing Devizes any time. James Utton was taking the ball forward when possible, picking and driving getting the ball to the backs when possible. Tom Royston, Josh Lever and Olly Dutton putting in some immense tackles. The backs also playing well with Louis “safe Hands” Ayliffe asserting his authority at the back sweeping any ball kicked and turning defence into attack. The disruptive play certainly had Devizes on the back foot. Quinn Clark tackled and drove the player backwards. As the Devizes guy spilled the ball Jack Smith was on hand to gratefully accept the gift and picked up the bouncing ball and darted through to score. There was still time for one last score as Tom Royston secured the ball and the ruck, and presented it well to Joe Kitts who looked up and saw the gap to run in and score. Then it was Grace Dunford’s turn to run the ball at pace at the defence and slipped one tackle and took the ball on 10m. With no more score Chippenham had done well. Final score 20 -0
Game 4 vs. Trowbridge Final Score 10 – 0 Tries by Jack Smith and Marcus James.
Chippenham were now looking good and starting to click together. Next up were Trowbridge who were a big unit. Due to some injuries they were short by a couple of players but in the name of Rugby, Sam Wood and Alex Thompson stepped up to play for Trowbridge and they gave their all despite playing against their team mates. Well done Alex and Sam. The game started off evenly then a moment of excellent awareness saw Jack Smith kick half the length of the pitch, into space and chased the ball himself to run on and pick up the loose ball and carry on to run in the try. The backs were playing good rugby with flowing passes going to hand and the backs were at running on at speed. When Trowbridge managed to clear their lines Louis “safe hands” was at full stretch but did not take his eye off the ball, caught it and again was up and turning defence into attack. Half time 5 -0. The relentless pressure on Trowbridge continued in the second half. It came from all areas and different players as Chippenham attacked and defended well when required. Alex Barlow now playing for Trowbridge as Sam swapped teams. From a scrum Trowbridge were winning. As the ball was going through the rows the long leg of Tom Royston emerged and hooked the ball back to Chippenham to win the scrum….how did he do that!!! The ball fed along the backs to Marcus James who sped in to score with Katy on hand supporting. The defensive resolve was then tested as Trowbridge attacked and tried to score. The ball and player being held up as they tried to touch the ball down. From a defensive lineout the ball was worked well by the forwards back to Jack who kicked clear into space. Greg Griffiths gave chase and looked certain to score only for him to put a foot in touch just before touching down. Final score 10 – 0
Game 5 vs. Bradford – On – Avon Final Score 5 - 5
Well what a shocker... The way the games had panned out this game was to decide who out of BOA and Chippenham were to finish higher …….again!!!! With Corsham still to play Bath they could also finish winners of the tournament so it was all to play for. Chippenham took the game to BOA and the whole game was played in terrific spirits which was a credit to both sides despite what was at stake. Chippenham wanted to win the BOA festival as BOA had won the Chippenham festival a few weeks ago. The rugby was fast and flowing from both sides. Then Chippenham scored. Tom Royston picked the ball up from a ruck cleared out by the forwards, put his head down and just drove through attempted tackles to score. Chippenham built on this and were driving forward gaining ground. BOA was defending their line with determination. The tension could be felt around the lines, but the teams just relaxed and played great rugby. Katy Mathews took the ball on a run and just ran straight forward directly at the defence. Half time and 5 – 0 to Chippenham. Chippenham just had to hold out for the second half and they had won the festival but BOA had other ideas and came out with grit and determination to get something from the game. Jack Smith was kicking really well finding touch and space. One kick from a difficult angle saw some chalk dust 30m down field. The forwards were playing well rucking and driving forward. When BOA broke free they were on a charge. With a couple of Chippenham players struggling to hold the player back it gave enough time for Josh Lever to track back and wrap tackle the player down spilling the ball. The backs were playing with confidence and were there in abundance. With only a couple of minutes to go Chippenham were nearly there. And they tried to maintain an excellent record of no tries conceded, but BOA were also determined and squeezed through to score from a ruck. A really good game which ended 5 – 5 and the right result.
Chippenham now had to wait for the final game of the day. They had done all they could and now relied on the final game so a lot of nail biting. Corsham could draw level on points if they beat Bath, and then it would be down to tries scored and try difference and that headache for the organisers. But Bath narrowly beat Corsham meaning Chippenham won the festival and BOA were runners up. The reverse of the Chippenham festival.
A great day’s rugby played in nice weather…at least for the spectators, not for the players I’m sure!!! The festival spirit was really good with all teams giving their all and respecting the officials and other players and games played with smiles all round. Thanks to Bradford-On Avon for a great festival.
The Pink Pad & Pen Man.