Worcester Spartans beat Stourbridge (winners U15’s, 2016/17) by 13 points to 10 on an emotional day for both sides to win the North Midlands RFU U16’s Cup.
Worcester started the game with the wind in their favour and took an early lead through a darting run from centre Dale MayMercer-Wilson who scored in the corner. He was substituted soon afterwards having taken a knock in the act of scoring. Standoff, James Mann, slotted the conversion and later a penalty giving Worcester a half time lead, 10-0.
Stourbridge came back strongly in the second half and scored 2 tries. The missed conversions proved to be telling at the final whistle. Worcester regained their composure and were able to pin the opposition in their half as time ticked away towards the end of the match. After some sustained pressure near the Stourbridge goal line James Mann kept his nerve to convert a last-minute penalty to snatch the win.
After the presentations both teams then came together and knelt in a circle to pay their respects with a minute silence for the 14-year old Stourbridge player who sadly passed away last week (w/c 23.04.18). As the players rose tears were shed and embraces made, which demonstrated that there still can still be a common bond and mutual respect between rivals.
For Worcester this was a fitting end for a group of players and coaches which contains many who have been at the club for a long time, in some cases as long as 10 years.
Final Score: 13-10 (Half time 10-0)
Tries: Dale MayMercer Wilson (1)
Conversion: James Mann (1)
Penalties: James Mann (2)
Spartans Match Squad: Louis Weston; Frazer Davidson; Darian Murray; Ollie Chidgey; Matt Keyte; Duncan Williams; Louis Misfud; Lewis Coleman; Tom Hartley; Laurie Murphy; Joe Amos; Dan Rickman; Ollie Hunter; James Mann; Tom Peak; Jazz Whitfield; Niall Southwick; Jack Cope; Andrew Jew; Rhys Godfrey-Hunt; Dale MayMercer-Wilson; Toby Sobey; Austin Ruddock.
Unable to play: John Lilley (injured); Liam Hallahan (cup-tied)
A Rickman 01.05.18
Updated 11:26 - 2 May 2018 by Henry Catherwood