Last Sunday the whole of the U15s headed down to Ashford, in search of the Double. The 1st XV were taking on Ashford in the Kent Cup Final and the 2nd XV faced Old Alleynians Bs in the Development Cup Final.
After an initial joint warm up the two teams split for team runs and then they both kicked off at the same time.
The 1st XV got off to a good start with the first try, and then the second and were winning 10-0 within 10 minutes of the off.
Both conversions were missed but Sam then found his form, which was to prove decisive in the end.
Canterbury struck back just before the break to make it 10-5. 12 minutes into the 2nd half Canterbury scored again and this time the conversion was good, for them to take the lead 10-12. Both sides scored a penalty apiece and then Charlie scored with a pick up off the base of the scrum on Canterburys 5m line and Sam converted. 20-15. The lead was short lived however as Canterbury struck back to make it 20-20. Sam then nailed another penalty and for the last 10 minutes Clubs ferocious defence held firm to make them Kent Cup Champions.
The 2nd XV knew they were going to have to at their best to win this, especially as earlier in the season they’d faced OAs with a depleted squad and succumbed to a heavy defeat.
From the kick off it was clear that the predicted big battle up front was to ensue, but the Club forwards were up for it. OAs scored first with a great line break in the centre before offloading to put the left wing in. Under the posts awaiting the conversion the boys were very matter of fact on what they needed to do and, as they restarted they took the game to OAs. Twice we knocked on in the act of scoring and then were held up over the line, but from the resultant scrum Felix went over and the conversion made it 7-5. Next up it was the turn of the backs as following good lines and excellent hands outside centre Alex cut back inside to score close to the posts and give Joe an easy conversion.
OA’s then got a taste of the pace in Clubs back line as fly half Archie put Fergal into space and the a miss pass found Fransean who pinned his ears back and was unstoppable for his first try. 21-5.
A latch and drive with Felix driving many over several defenders, followed by an offload to Jamie on a brilliant supporting run gained Club 20 metres but the score was denied as the pass to Joseph drifted forward. Club didn’t have it all their own way however as OAs rallied and scored after a series of drives sucked in the defence before they went wide. 21-12 at the break.
Fransean got another within a few minutes to make it 26-12 but from then club were under immense pressure. Monty, brought on early in this half led the way with 3 perfect chop tackles in the space of 2 minutes. The Club players were really putting their bodies on the line and Joe, moving from Full Back to 13 when Alex came off worked hard to match the tackle count of Archie and Fergal. An immense tackle from Josh and then a jackal turned the ball over. Scrum half Fin made a sniping run and then put the ball through the hands to again unleash Fransean for his 3rd. 33-12.
Then followed some immense pressure from OAs, who were playing very well and the talismanic centre scored to make it 33-22. He nearly scored again barring a last ditch tackle from replacement fullback Nathan enabled the defence to realign. OAs were playing their best rugby now and the Club players new from harsh experience how dangerous they are. The defence was ferocious but OA’s scored again to make it 33-27.
We knew at the restart that it was the final play and the kick off was chased hard but OAs gatherted the ball. Every tackle and breakdown was fiercely contested all 30 players on the pitch and eventually a turnover was secured and the ball went to Joespeh who kicked it half way across the adjacent pitch. The final score was 33-27 and the news came from the touchline that the 1s had also won, making the players even more jubilant.
Credit to OAs for a fantastic game and we look forward to playing them again next season.
At the end the two victorious teams came back together as one squad for Ed to do a decent impression of Albert and lead them in a Love It. Most of the squad are away on Tour to Lisbon, along with the U17s. We wish both age groups all the best in the International tournament they’re competing in.