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U14s End the season with two sets of silverware ...............

U14s End the season with two sets of silverware ...............

Paul Nicholl12 May - 17:50
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.......... and great support from sponsors at sponsorship dinner.

The U14s ended the season on a high note this year with a number of key events.

Firstly, they successfully hosted another Friday Night Lights tournament at the STG at the end of April. This event involved twelve different teams from around the region. Over 38 matches were played ending in a tense cup and plate final. Lewes U14s were knocked out in the semi-finals of the cup matches, but achieved victory in the plate final after a hard fought contest. A huge thanks should go to Christophe Rivet and the team of referees who made the event such a great success and also to the Harlequins Academy who sent a representative to support Rugby in East Sussex.

The team barely had a chance to rest before they had to complete their tour sponsorship drive with a 16 mile walk over the South Downs, raising a staggering £2000 for this event alone. This was followed by a fantastic night with the tour sponsors at the Stanley Turner Clubhouse. Thanks should go to Rob Moore and James Sale who were able to present the team with their tour kit and thank the sponsors on behalf of the club.

After the efforts of the team, the teams committee, sponsors and parents to raise funds over the year, the squad were able to take part in the Eastleigh Cup Tournament just outside of Southampton as part of their end of season tour. Prior to the tour matches the team, coaches and parents were able to take part in some great team building events at The YMCA Fairthorne Manor.

The Eastleigh Tournament involved four other teams; Bromley, Eastleigh, Fareham and Totton. These were all teams that Lewes had not encountered before, but the whole squad were determined to rise to the challenge.

In the first match against Fareham the team scored within the first 24 seconds, and continued to score at regular intervals during both halves. By the end of the match they had scored an impressive 45 points, with no tries conceded.

In the second match Lewes faced Bromley who had a much larger forward pack and looked well drilled. For twenty minutes both sides tried to make a break through with numerous phases. Both sides were evenly matched and despite some nail-biting moments within each sides 22, the final score line was 0:0, which was a fair representation of the efforts put in by both teams.

In the third match Lewes faced Totton. Both sides were evenly matched in the first half, which ended with no score. It took Lewes another seven minutes of the second half before they could cross the line. After this first try, the Totton defence began to fragment as tired legs took their toll, allowing the Lewes attack to become more expansive. Using their back line they were able to find gaps at the wing to cross for another try. The final score was Lewes 14, Totton 0.

Going into the fourth and final match of the tournament, Lewes could sense that overall victory might be possible. They faced the home side, Eastleigh, knowing that they had to gain a bonus point to safely stay ahead of Bromley. Eastleigh mounted an excellent defence, but as the handling errors mounted, due to the rain, Lewes were able to cross the line to open up the scoring at the end of the first half. In the second half Lewes were determined to reach their bonus point target and very quickly managed to open up space with quick ball from the forwards and backs. This allowed Lewes to cross the line another four times in the second half, ending the match on 26:0.

After a few tense minutes Lewes were able to confirm that they had gained enough points to sit at the top of the points table, sealing victory, beating Bromley who ended the day in a well-deserved second place.

The team, coaches and parents were incredibly proud of the overall victory and the factor that the team conceded no points. However, what was just as important, was the way in which the team played. Coaches, referees and parents from other teams piled praise on the players for their sportsmanship, politeness, determination and teamwork during the day. They were all great ambassadors for Lewes RFC.

The whole team were then able to celebrate in style back at Fairthorne Manor. Celebrating not only the hard fought victory at Eastleigh, but also taking time to recognise each individuals progress during the season as a whole and the great contributions that each player has made to the team. All the coaches and parents are incredibly proud of the progress the team has made over this year, and are now looking forward to some off season training to continue to develop their cohesion as a team and to prepare them for next season.

A final thanks should go to the U14 Committee who have worked so hard to ensure many of these events have happened and also a final thanks to the sponsors, without whose support, events like these could not be possible. Thanks to: Harvey Selfdrive, Bonny’s Wood, DB Green, BPM Lewes, Buildred, Dynamic Climate, W.E. Clark & Son, Tracct Nutrition, Knill James, Clarks Glass and glazing Ltd and finally Lewes Rugby Football Club.

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