Vectis Under 10s smashed the Winchester Spring Festival at the weekend playing the best rugby of the season and putting several much bigger clubs to the sword in the process.
In the heart of the resting place of King Arthur's Round Table and the country's finest king, King Alfred (known to his friends as Freddie), the under 10s played like battling Knights of the Realm with plenty magic on the wings (and from full back too) - starting with a fantastic battle against the olde enemy, Winchester Gold to start proceedings. Vectis took the lead after a fantastic effort 'up front' with Alex W, Billy E, Harris ML (on his welcome return) and Elliot O all chopping and scything their way into and over Winchester's attackers. Good turnover ball from our much-improved rucking game and our outright will to win the ball back saw one of Vectis' principle magicians George C fly into the left hand corner from a scything attack starting in his own half. Winchester Gold came back three times, to Vectis' two, to win the match but it was the only match Vectis Under 10s even came close to losing all afternoon. Winchester, showing its great strength of depth and skills moving the ball wide, went on the win all their matches but continued to be great hosts for the day with many new friendships struck between parents, players and coaches. Just the way it should be.
Regaled with the closeness of opening battle and the many fine wins over the ball and in the collisions around it, Vectis U10s went to win all their subsequent games with aplomb going from strength to strength and with so much energy that playing for Vectis alone wasn't enough - with the 10s supplying 2-3 of their best for a Barbarians team (replacing Basingstoke) where Leo D and Nye led the way earlier with two mighty Barbarian performances - before Sir Regan (Regan D) rose from resting place with a pair of Excaliburs in his boots to record an astonishing trio of tries in the next Barbarians game (against Andover), on top his excellent Vectis work, and eventually winning this week's golden boot (and medal) as this week's Most Improved Festival Player. Well done Sir Reg!
Top marks (and rewards) also went to Leo for his tub-thumping work in "the middle" (silver medal) for George C and Billy E (bronze medals each) for their alchemy in the middle of the field bamboozling the opposition with great slight of hand from Billy E and searing change of pace and direction from George to score in the try and move of the tournament - although closely followed by the mercurial Isaac H in scoring his three most-dazzling tries from depth and same too for Freddie H also notching up another treble in a single Barbarians games on top of his great work in our new 'scrum half' role behind the 'forwards' - ably assisted by Rafe B too!
Not a single player didn't play their hearts on Sunday with special thanks and mentions to Coben AC, Harris ML, Jamie R, Nye S, Rafe B (also with a stunning solo effort try) and Sir Reg for their brilliant hard work all afternoon.
Teams dispatched after Winchester Gold game included:
- the Winchester/Mixed Barbarians
Billy and George then took starring roles in one final Barbarians match, dispatching New Milton, before we headed to the gardens and sunny banks of the River Itchen at The Willow Tree pub for some well-deserved ales (and that was just the mums)!
A final word of thanks must also go to all the coaches, the players and our incredible Winchester Mums (pictured) out in force on Mothers Day with 6AM start (including the clocks going forward!). That's dedication for you and a great example for all the boys (and girls) at the festival. Thanks mums!