Barnet Festival U10 Match Report
Our first test shows encouraging potential
Many thanks to Mike Doney for compiling the match report for Sunday. We can see from all the names ‘mentioned in dispatches’ this this was a great team performance.
Match I : Chesham
After the first two years of dazzling sunshine for the Barnet festival, this year we were treated to light drizzle at the start of the first match of the 2017-18 season. Welwyn adjusted to the conditions well, and after an impressive sequence of play across the whole team, Aiden was able to break through to score the first try. On the restart Welwyn were caught napping, and only an unlucky knock-on prevented the opposition for evening up the scores. The reprieve was short-lived however, as soon after Welwyn lost the ball in an intercepted pass that was run in for the first Chesham try. Both teams now had gotten into a rhythm and there was plenty of industry in the rucks, which was great to watch (if a little bruising). Just before half time Chesham managed to get another try and pulled ahead to lead 2-1.
At the second half restart, the reshuffled team was again caught out by a Chesham who were very quick out of the blocks, and found their way straight through the middle of Welwyn's defence to leave us 3-1 down. The team were not disheartened and a period of sustained pressure, particularly from Liam, led to Liam being rewarded with a pickup and run try. Some excellent running from Marco was very nearly rewarded with a try, but unfortunately the ball was lost forwarded. Welwyn continued to pile on the pressure, with some great work in the ruck from Raph. With seconds to go, Chesham took possession back and were pressing hard on Welwyn's try line. The defence held firm, though, and won a brilliant turnover. Daniel then made a sizzling run from Welwyn's try-line to the opposition's, and Welwyn salvaged a 3-3 draw. Throughout the match Chesham had shown great ripping skills in mauls, whilst Welwyn's scrambling defence was equally impressive
Match 2: Barnet B
The second match began brightly, with Harry scoring a quick try almost immediately. Barnet came back strongly, and after slipping through multiple tackles, were only denied a try when they strayed into touch. Welwyn were able to punish them for that quickly, as Dan won the ball with determined defending then danced through for his second try. Welwyn were still looking strong, and a fine break from Alfie almost led to a try, only for him to be just squeezed out of play. The tide turned in Barnet's favour after this, with great tackles and good passing rewarded with a try, to leave the score at 2-2 just before halftime. With the interval closing in, Barnet looked to be through for their third, but a determined chase by Joe led to a try-saving tackle.
Welwyn looked to be back in control at the start of the second half, with some very aggressive defence from Albie, and penetrating running from Micah leading to a try for Rory; a just reward for great teamwork. On the restart Welwyn were almost caught again, but somehow managed to prevent an equalising score. Shortly after the team had its first ever scrum! We continued to ruck well, with everyone getting stuck in, but then in the last few seconds Barnet managed to sneak that equaliser.
Match 3 – Chess Valley
The third match again began strong, with two early opportunities going begging. Soon after Welwyn did reap their reward as Glenn was able to power over the line. Unfortunately our defence went missing on the restart and Chess immediately equalised. Welwyn responded with some more great work from Marco, which led to a try that was brilliantly finished by Ross, to put Welwyn 2-1 ahead. Chess were able to reply straight back though as our tackling became a little ragged. With half time nearing, though, Glenn was able to power his way through the middle, and bring the score to 3-2.
The second half began with some impressive from Raph, but Chess were able to break though and score the equaliser, just able to shake off Bobby's last gasp tackle, leaving the scores level at 3-3. Liam was then able to use the tried-and-tested bulldozer technique to bring Welwyn back into credit, 4-3. In reply, Chess were again able to roll through tackles, and honours were again even at 4-4. Glenn was then able to smash his own way through the opposition, and we nosed ahead to 5-4. Chess were then able to respond with another try, despite some desperate defending (5-5). There was to be no return for Welwyn though, as Chess sneaked a last try.
Match 4 – Barnet C
An early try left Welwyn reeling at the start, but then some great footwork from Raph gave Ross the opportunity for another great piece of finished, 1-1. Barnet had a clear size advantage, but Welwyn were not deterred; with Albie using his trademark driving tackles to their fullest. A drop in our tackling quality however led to Barnet getting ahead 2-1, and then shortly after 3-1. Alfie then scored a great try, forcing his way through a tackle to the try line, 3-2 to Barnet. Barnet were able to respond themselves, 4-2. Welwyn then showed some great driving, and a great pass from Albie allowed Ross to get over the tryline one more time. It was now 4-3, but unfortunately time ran out for Welwyn.