Despite the early hour, with the sun just starting to rise and the mist laying heavily across the fields, 30 boys and as many parents were up and on the road to Farnham for the Landrover U12 tournament.
While the parents wrestled with the team gazebo, 30 Polars and Grizzlies soon got warmed up under the direction of Kempy and his crew, 9am soon came round …. time to play rugby!
First up for the Polars was Blackheath, but despite the warm up the 'Buckingham Way' of starting slowly continued, and despite a good effort from the boys they lost 2-0.
Next up were High Wycombe which proved to be weaker opposition with the Polars winning convincingly 4-1. Good forward driving and slick passing freeing up space for Liam to score Polars first try of the morning. This was quickly followed by a period of continuous pressure from Buckingham leading to a further try from Adam in the opposite corner. A quickly taken penalty saw Alex B scoring a third, with the best saved to last with strong running and rucking in the forwards followed by good passing through the backs saw Adam seal the victory with his second, and Polars 4th, try.
The last group game was against local rivals Bicester. This proved to be a tough game with an injury time out for a Bicester player leading to a long hold up. With time running out, a series of strong runs led to a final break through from George to score on the last play and secure a 1-0 victory for Buckingham.
2nd place in the Group - well done boys.
Grizzlies were in Pool 2, with (Reading) Abbey up first, which proved to be tough opponents as a first game. The Grizzlies like the Polars finding the first game a struggle to get into. (Note to coaches - maybe a 7am warm up is needed next time!). Abbey proved to be strong opponents and ran out 1-0 winners.
Next up were Henley which saw the Grizzlies start to get back the intensity in their game with a close forward contest playing out, but ultimately not enough possession was secured from either side to force a break through, the game ending 0-0.
The final game was against Amersham. This proved to be the Grizzlies best performance, the boys showing a further step up in intensity and creating a lot of pressure on the opposition, with only a break away try from Amersham securing a 1-0 victory. Not forgetting this was Amersham 'A' this was a good performance from the Grizzlies.
With two losses and a draw Grizzlies finished fourth in their Group.
With both teams in to the play-offs it was the Polars up first in the Cup against Amersham.
As expected this proved to be a tough game, with an early try from Amersham as a result of some poor tackling from Polars. To their credit the Polars quickly got back into the game with a ‘tap and go’ from Tom P. Unfortunately a second try from Amersham secured a 2-1 victory.
As a result the Polars moved in to the Plate semi-final with a game against Oxford.
After a hard fought game, most of it on the Polars try line, Oxford ran out winners 1-0 with a try from the very last play. A tough way to end the day for Polars, but well done to all the boys and coaches for a good series of performances.
Grizzlies went into the Bowl play-off, against Bicester.
Being dominant throughout, showing good commitment and team work across forwards and backs, the Grizzlies securing a hard fought 1-0 victory through a charge for the line from Mathias again on the last play of the game.
The Grizzlies marching on to the semi-final where they faced Beaconsfield, which proved another tough encounter with the Grizzlies applying early pressure to secure the ball for Harry C to dive for the line and score. 1-0 Grizzlies. The game then opened up with both teams going close. But with excellent defence by the Grizzlies holding Beaconsfield up over the line in the final minutes, saw the boys running out 1-0 winners to secure a place in the Bowl Final. Nice!
The final brought on Henley again, but having lost Charlie, Harrison and Isaac a changed back line was under early pressure leading to three well worked tries from Henley against a tiring but hard working Grizzlies team. Henley ran out 3-0 winners but runners up medals were well deserved after a good mornings performance by the Grizzlies!
All in all, the boys did extremely well, with all games very close, which considering Buckingham were the only club to field 2 teams, with all others teams playing their 'A' sides, the boys can be very pleased with themselves. Lots of good rugby played, but also lots for the coaches to build on over the coming weeks
A big thanks to Peter Wright for keeping track of both teams on the day and his brilliant report