Middlesex Festival – March 11 2012. Under 9’s challenge for top honours
Middlesex Festival – March 11 2012
Under 9’s challenge for top honours
Harlequins Under 9’s arrived at Trailfinders to compete in the Development Competition. Their results at the beginning of the season had left them with little self belief. The feeling was that they could be back home for a late lunch, but the squad had other ideas.
Harlequins Amateurs versus Hampstead
The first game was versus Hampstead, and some penetration in their half was rewarded with a try for 'Hassi'. At the end of the first half we were 1 try up. The second half saw Hampstead in the Quins half, but after Quins regained their composure they continued their dominance and were rewarded with a drive and try from Tom, 2:0. The try scorer had to go off with an injury and in the confusion Hampstead got one back. 2:1 – final score to Harlequin Amateurs
Harlequin Amateurs versus Hammersmith and Fulham
The second game and the Harlequins team was really getting into its stride as they combined beautifully at times. Ben scored a try after good play from Thomas and 'Hassi'. Then the irrepressible 'Hassi' scored his second try of the tournament. This was followed by another solo try where he was confused as to where the try line was but thankfully found it….a relief to the watching Harlequins fans and himself. James also went close but came up just short of the line unfortunately. 3:0 to Harlequins. That virtually guaranteed a semi-final place!
Harlequin Amateurs versus Grammarians.
Quins kicked off and there was an early try from Thomas. 1:0. This was followed by a great interception by Ben who ran almost half the field to score the second. Another try from 'Hassi' gave Quins a two try lead again after Grammarians had pulled one back.
The second half saw James add another almost immediately, followed by a try from Seb, 5:1. The half ended with another strong run from Seb who passed to Archie who finished it off and got his first of the festival. 6:1 to Harlequin Amateurs.
Harlequin Amateurs maintain a 100% record and get through to the semi-finals!
Harlequin Amateurs versus Rosslyn Park 3
The opposition looked good and strong in the league stages and were clearly very motivated. The start saw a tough battle in the middle of the park before another strong try from James, who continued his many surging runs throughout the day. RP3 got one back before Seb scored another try from within his own half after Quins were awarded a penalty.
The second half was tougher and Quins hung on even after some serious pressure and another RP3 try.
Quins ended up worthy winners 3:2 and went through to the Final.
Harlequin Amateurs versus Rosslyn Park 1
Yes Rosslyn Park again! This time the first team who had just beaten their second team.
This felt like a game too far after 6 hours outside in the elements. Harlequins went in with high hopes but after a couple of quick tries from the opposition Quins lost their nerve and the game.
The loss was a bitter pill to take for many of those involved.
20 minutes later it was a proud moment when the boys went up to receive their medals and collect their plaque as runners up.
What was pleasing was that although Harlequins did not go in with high expectations the squad performed out of their skins. The support levels were high, the tackling was at times ferocious, rucking was strong and running with the ball and passing was back to this teams very best. Pleasingly the tries came from a wide spread of the 11 boys. The scrum of Ronan, Sam and Thomas was solid and stood up to every other team with the gallant help of Gabriel and Edward when they were rested.
The backs of Archie, Seb, Ben, 'Hassi'', James, Gabriel and Edward (yes, those two again!) all played their part in securing tries and Oliver was the mainstay of the scrum half position linking really well between the forwards and backs.
Finally a note to the families of the boys involved who supported, trained, warmed up, entertained and fed the squad. Thanks for your help and to Nick who delivered some great plans for the squad to follow.
Congratulations to you all on a great days work on and next to the Field of Dreams.