NEW RAVENS CHALLENGE MUG 2016
The 5th annual NEW Ravens challenge mug with RL been the winner
NEW RAVENS CHALLENGE MUG 2016 April 4th
The 5th annual NEW Ravens challenge mug too part at Kings Norton RFC on what started as a glorious sunny afternoon.
Five clubs sent teams to take part in this popular tournament which is aimed at introducing new players to the game of Rugby League and also a chance for the coaches to see how pre-season is progressing with just under 4 weeks to the 1st league game of the season. Teams came from Leicester Storm, Derby City, last seasons newcomers Bath & Wiltshire Romans who surprised everybody in the the SW league, Telford Raiders and NEW Ravens. Telford and Ravens amalgamated on the day to ensure even numbers of players across the teams and this enabled it to be run as a 4 team tournament with each team playing each other in 20 mins games 13 a side.
First up was NEW Ravens/Telford Raiders versus Derby City with Ravens/Raiders striking up a good partnership between the players and enjoyed the majority of possession in the 1st 5 mins having a try disallowed for a dubious double movement ,oh for there to be a video ref… strong in roads from the forwards made a platform for the backs to work on which enabled the 1st Ravens/raiders try which was converted by Dave Wimbury. Within minutes bang on half time Derby replied with a try of their own as the Ravens defence opened up which up to this point had been solid. The Ravens/Raiders were soon to strike again early in the 2nd half as veteran Richard Whitehouse showed he hadn’t lost any of the old magic as he sidestepped the defence to grab a try which was converted by Dave Wimbury. Derby were to reply with a try of their own which wasn’t converted to give the Ravens/Raiders first blood and 2 points.
The next game up was Leicester Storm up against Derby City in what looked like in the 1st half it was going to be all one way traffic from Leicester as they opened up a 10 nil lead . Derby came back into the game and defended resolutely with both teams grabbing a try a piece to give Leicester the spoils 14 pts to 4.
Next up on the paddock was Ravens/Telford up against an unknown Bath and Wiltshire Romans with the Ravens opening up the scoring on the 6th minute with one of the Raiders scoring a try wide out with the ensuing kick just going wide. Both defences were on top as both sides were playing entertaining rugby but Bath were to score as one of Ravens/Raiders dropped off the tackle allowing a gap to open up to allow Bath to score. The rest of the game was end to end stuff with both sides going close and Ravens had another try rubbed off for a double movement which this time thee was no complaint. The Ravens did try to nick both points as with seconds to go a drop goal attempt by Dave Swaysland went agonisingly wide of the posts , so game ending up as a 4 all draw.
Next up was Bath v Leicester which went the way of Leicester who racked up a 12 nil scoreline and now looking likely favourites to take the mug with just the Ravens/Raiders standing in their way.
So up next was Ravens/Raiders v Leicester.. which went the way of Leicester who scored 2 tries to take the spoils but must mention tackle of the tournament which had to go to Brad Sinclair as he came from nowhere to take the Leicester winger into touch when it was a nearly nailed on try in the last few seconds of the game.
Last up was Bath v Derby to determine who was getting the wooden spoon, as in all the games this was another thriller with Derby taking the spoils with a 10 – 8 victory.
Leicester Storm were presented with the Challenge mug at the end by treasurer Gail Fry. This was a successful tournament in that there were no blow out scores and all teams had commented on what a brilliant afternoon it was .
Ravens can now head into the regular season now with confidence as they showed they competed with some decent teams and took 2nd place in the tournament with 1 win, 1 draw and 1 loss and that pre-season training is going well .