Ivy U11s’ travelled to Cullompton for this season’s Devon Festival hoping to improve on their performance last year, when they were knocked out in the semi final of the shield competition.
In their first match they were up against South Moulton, a completely unknown quantity, as the two sides had never met before. Ivy dominated the first half with good, aggressive play, leaving them 19-0 up at half time. In the second half, the opposition rallied and their more effective defence meant that the Greens could only notch up one more try.
Their second game was against Oakhampton and Ivy seemed to have lost some of their focus and drive. Despite dominating Oakhampton territory, solid defence from the opposition kept the Greens from scoring at all in the first half. Eventually, a kick from Luke was effectively chased down and grounded by Louis, relieving some of the tension amongst the supporters.
Having won their group, Ivy progressed through to the cup competition, facing Plymstock in the quarter final match. Plymstock have proved to be Ivy’s “nemesis” this season, being the only side to beat them so far. In a tough encounter which both sides were determined to win, Ivy dominated the first half and Plymstock dominated the second. Despite some close opportunities, neither side managed to find their way through the opposition’s defence, so, as a result, Plymstock went through on a try count back (Plymstock having accrued 6 tries to Ivy’s 5).
Overall the team put in an effort to be proud of and they didn’t concede a single try throughout the festival. This year they were clearly in the “right” competition and, particularly in their final game, they showed grit and determination, both in defence and in attack and gave their supporters plenty to cheer about.
Match Report and Photos by Anne Burns