Silhillians Festival – 9th October 2011
Warwick Road Ground, Copt Heath
Ecstatic euphoric end eclipses early errors
The annual visit to Silhillians, found eight teams battling for first festival trophy of the season. Two groups of four, playing a round robin format with the winners and runners up going through to knockout matches to decide the Champions. The remaining teams would also play off, for the chance to win the Plate competition.
Group A Group B
Sils ‘A’ Droitwich
Tamworth Sils ‘B’
Sutton Coldfield Worcester
Droitwich 5 – 5 Silhillians ‘B’
Droitwich started the marathon day with an encounter to look forward too. Playing any side from Silhillians always starts the adrenaline flowing and a bright opening saw the lean Droitwich side cause early pressure. A sloppy turnover soon saw the early work punished with a poorly defended attack seeing Droitwich going behind. A quick Kick off once again pushed Droitwich on the attack and with a controlled drive let Harry Linney release Ben Hawkes for the equalising score.
A second half of crunching defence and swift counter attacking by both teams ended in stale mate. one point each but a promising start.
Droitwich 0 – 15 Worcester
With the festival format draw now pitting Droitwich with their closest rivals, tails were up following the performance against Sil’s. Hopes of success faded fast with the under 12’s failing to lay a hand on the marauding Worcester second row, direct from the Kick off. Unfortunately for Worcester, the surprised second row failed to ground the ball correctly and Droitwich were let off the hook. The psychological block of the bigger club syndrome were now firmly back in the minds of the Spartans. Two further attacks from the Warriors juniors were again greeted with woeful tackling and a healthy lead was established before the interval.
Harsh words from Coach Hughes were taken on board with far greater effort being applied. Spa were unlucky not to be allowed a reply midway the second stanza, only to see Worcester complete the scoring with a well worked move.
Droitwich 5 – 10 Lichfield
Lichfield were next up and they came into the game with a win and a defeat. A victory would see Droitwich progress to the trophy semi-final as Sil’s ‘B’ had struggled against Lichfield in the previous round of games.
Droitwich again were slow out of the blocks and with weak tackling having desperate parents grimacing and gasping with frustration. Early pressure from the well organised Lichfield team saw them run in two easy tries and take a not unredeemable lead in to the second half.
Plenty of encouragement from coaches and supporters spurred action from the lads, better tackling and inventive attacking proved much more of a problem for Lichfield. Mid way through the second half a quick thinking and a shimmy saw the stand in Scrum Half, Jorden Walters, pick up the ball from the base of the scrum and weave his way 3/4 of the length of the pitch to score what must already be a contender for ‘Try of the Season’. Unfortunately with the referee slowing the game down, time was not on the Under 12’s side and the final whistle ended the hopes of going on to contest the trophy.
Droitwich 0 – 0 Kenilworth
With the boys happy to have a chance to fight for silverware, a new injection of optimism sprang the youngsters in to life. Solid tackling and purposeful attacking moves looked like taking Droitwich through, but handling errors at crucial times coupled with a referee quite content to award and reset scrums at any opportunity, ran the clock out before either side could produce a score. With Droitwich having a superior record in the group stages, the lads had earned a place in the plate final.
Droitwich 2 – 0 Tamworth
‘Why oh why?’ was the question on everyone’s lips, Droitwich came out of the blocks flying. Tackling like demon’s and throwing the ball around like a Fijians 7’s team Droitwich were camped in the Tamworth Half. What could have been if only the day had started in this manner. Cleaver play from both backs and forwards saw Droitwich contesting a lineout close to the Tamworth line. A big Jump from the second row lead to a loose pass back to the floundering fly-half and Mat Green punced to ground the ball to give the team an early lead. More quick handling, soon after, and Tai Brown was over for a second. Tamworth tried to counter, but sharp hands and the after burners on, David Purchase crossed the line only to be brought back, after the try had been awarded, for a knock forward. Half time came and the smell of polish was in the air. More words from the coaching staff, wild cheering from the large Droitwich support and the second half was under way. Droitwich were now playing the quality of Rugby they have promised to do. Forwards and backs now working as a cohesive unit pressurised the Tamworth defence again. Only stout defence from the now exhausted Staffordshire outfit , stopped Droitwich from adding to the score line and at the final whistle scenes of euphoria broke out on and off the pitch.
Trophy Final Sil’s 5 – 0 Worcester