They're all the 'best.'
Medway Dragons U7s travelled to the Stoop for the London Broncos Minis Matchday Competition on Saturday 31st for their first competitive games of the season and came back as trophy winners.
The competition ran from 4pm on Craneford Way, the fields at the back of the Stoop, until kick-off in the Super League game at 17:45. The two teams contested the final in the stadium before thousands, at half-time in the Super League match.
The Dragons won all the pre-match games, against the more experienced, older and perhaps wiser opposition from Elmbridge Eagles. The Dragons loaned players throughout the day to the opposition, to give everyone maximum time on the pitch. But there were to be no regrets at loaning their ‘best’ players to the opposition, as whoever went over to the other/dark side, wasn’t missed, with the remaining Dragons stepping up to whatever and displaying skills and effort, previously hidden from the world. All the Dragons U7s are the ‘best’!
Whilst it’s true that after half an hour or so (a lifetime to an U7) the games occasionally turned into rugby-basketball-football, they were all closely contested and the referee had to refer to the great video-ref in the sky time and time again to see if he could award a try or not: mostly to check if that tiny foot had stepped into touch before the ball was grounded?
With, Ethan Smith, captaining the side for the day, and Jacob Morris enjoying their own try scoring competition (whether playing for the Dragons or the opposition) Arun Bains, Brock Grierson, Josh Ajao, Kieran Bannister, Leboni Mzwimbi, Rory Youngs and Sai Kama, all made some great tags and some powerful runs. One of the many highlights of the pre-match games was a typical scorching run from Ethan down the wing, only for club mate Leboni to appear from nowhere and tag him to deny a certain try.
Into the Stoop and the half-time reprise. Elmridge were confident of victory because they had retained Ethan, Jacob and Kieran on loan from the Dragons to compliment their own ‘best.’ Brock had pulled the Dragons level after an early Elmbridge try. With Ethan scoring against his club mates and making it 2-1 to Elmbridge with just minutes to go and with the Dragons a boy down (nature called and couldn’t wait!) all looked set for an Elmbridge victory. The Dragons defended bravely and with their full compliment restored and with the last play of the game, Sai breached the Elmridge defence to make the final score 2-2.
By virtue of their awesomeness and the spirit in which they played the games, the Dragons Magnificent U7s were the worthy winners.
No early April Fools’ joke but the culmination of hours of fooling around and having fun during training, with the coaches’ subliminal mantras (including ‘stay on the pitch’ and ‘run forwards’) finding their way to the conscious being of these 4, 5, 6 and 7 year olds. But that’s not to deny the natural ability of all the players, which can be seen at the Garrison stadium on Saturday 14th April when the Magnificent 7s host Brentwood Elvers and Southend Spartans.