Third place and we won a trophy
A great day, good performances and we got our hands on some silverware
Rochdale is one of the best organised festivals in the country, so when one of our prospective opponents didn't show, the organising team simple re-worked the groups, 'spun' the pitches and the KO was within 5 minutes of schedule. Now played as 2 groups, there was an easy group and a hard one - we got the hard one.
First up was Stockport, one of the top teams in the North, a superb passing outfit who re-cycled the ball brilliantly. At half time we were 0-15 down but the lads dug in and kept them out until the final minute. Full Time 0-20.
Next was Sale, another top team, who we lost to badly earlier in the season. They have a 'man-mountain' and their tactic is simple, give it to him, he scores. There tactic worked for them to go 0-15 up, then Jack Lightbown put in what everyone said was the best tackle they have seen at this age group, even the Sale coaches were stunned 'first time he's been tackled this year'. He retired with a dead leg - we thought it was hurt pride - and the match was far more even. Full Time 0-20.
Final group game was against Waterloo, another top team but clearly missing some players (there again, so were we). A really tight first half saw Ashton Mukiibi take us into half time 5-0. Then the lads decided this was winnable, Jack L finished a superb team move with a try. Waterloo elected to receive the kick, Jack Good spotted Jake Luwig on the left and a superb re-start saw Jake over in the corner. Next kick off went right, we recovered it and a magnificent passing movement saw the ball back with Jake who doubled his tally. Final score 20-0.
The play-off match was against Oldham, who we beat easily earlier this season but they clearly had new players. Ashton settled nerves after 3 mins with a score and just before half time Jack L made it 10-0. The second half was notable for the number of injuries, after a clash of heads, the referee decided 2 Oldham players were not fit to continue and as they had no replacements left we dropped to 10. Evan Dare exploited the extra room for a try. In the final minute Oldham kicked to relieve the pressure, Henry Ainscough at full back caught on the full, made 30 meters before finding Jack G, who - despite being flattened - provide the precision pass to Callum Purnell, who flicked it inside to Jack L to score. Stunning play for a bunch of 11 & 12 year olds. Final score 20-0.
Two further bits of good news, the Oldham lads were both fine and we won and were presented with a trophy.