Last Saturday, the Beachborough U9A team competed in the Winchester House festival alongside 11 other schools. Each school was placed into a group of six; Moulsford, The Dragon, Oratory Prep, The Grove, MCS (Oxford) and ourselves being put together in Group A. A torrential downpour, just before
and during our first match against Moulsford, made playing conditions very tricky. That said, Moulsford showed us the benefits of using the width of the pitch and scored the majority of their tries in the corners. Jack Pumfery scored an excellent individual try but we were generally outclassed (6 tries to 2). Unfortunately, despite improved conditions, we suffered the same fate in our next two matches against The Dragon (0-5) and Oratory Prep (1-4). These schools are significantly bigger than Beachborough and the extra quality in their ranks told in the end. Some of our rugby, especially in the Oratory match, was promising though and Thomas Goosey’s defence was outstanding making ferocious tackle after tackle. The boys were beginning to adjust to the new RFU U9 transitional rules that we were playing and this showed in our fourth game where we beat a competitive side from The Grove (3-1). A narrow loss in our final group match against MCS, Oxford (2-3) meant that we finished 5th in our group and we would face the 5th placed team in Group B. It was in this match against Moulsford ‘B’ where we played our best rugby of the afternoon with
Dominic Cox stealing the show, scoring a number of tries through some direct running and electrifying pace. A comfortable 5-2 win enabled us to finish on a high in 9th place overall.
My thanks go to the parents for braving the weather conditions and coming out to support the boys throughout the afternoon and Jack Phillips and Pat Gilbey for all of their coaching and support of the team.
The U9A squad was:
Report by Mark Usher