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Home > News > Beccehamians U14 become Kent Champions
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Your News Beccehamians U14 become Kent Champions
17
MAR

Old Beccehamians 3 - Canterbury 0

To become County Champions you have to beat the best, and Canterbury have

been consistently the best for a number of years and were the cup holders.

We saw them play in the prelims and realised they had the strength up front,

a skilful midfield and lots of pace out wide to hurt us if we gave them half

a chance. So we gave them no chance at all and worked hard to disrupt their

game. A 3-0 score-line suggests a close game but anyone watching would know

that Beccs were dominant for most of the game, playing most of the second

half in the Canterbury end. The weather, however, was atrocious and

prevented both sides from playing the flowing, running rugby for which they

are noted. Heavy rain overnight was the main culprit leaving the pitch wet

and muddy with the sort of cloying mud that makes your boots twice as heavy

as normal. The ball was often unrecognisable as such, resembling an

undercooked haggis more than a Gilbert special. Having said that, both sides

tried to move the ball but handling mistakes were more common than usual.

Often prone to slow starts, Beccs came out of the blocks to hit Canterbury

with some fierce tackles in the midfield, especially by Jack Robertson,

Charlie Phair and Paul Broadhurst. Both wingers chased hard and pressured

the fast opposition backs who only had one run each throughout the game.

Liam Melville at full back had an outstanding game considering the weather

and was as safe as houses. George Scott harried his opposite number all day

and varied his game to keep the opposition guessing. In games like this you

need your half backs to step up and boss the game which is exactly what

George and Paul did. They chose their options well, kicked sensibly and

generally gave Canterbury little chance to get into the game. Paul made some

sniping half breaks before throwing out fast, flat passes to Jack. Jack and

Charlie combined well in the centre, creating two or three clear chances for

Angus Peters and Harry Trype on the wings, but the last pass was often

forced or put behind, taking the momentum out of the move and allowing

Canterbury to get back and defend - which they did well all day.

Despite the best efforts of the backs, however, this was always going to be

a game won up front and the forwards rose magnificently to the occasion. The

set pieces were sound with Conor Brophy taking some good balls in the

lineout in defiance of the wet ball and in the face of some fierce

opposition from his taller oppo. The scrums went well all day with the front

row of Josh Hewitt, Jack Murtagh and Jack Gilgunn putting the Canterbury

trio on the back foot, all the time supported by a powerful drive from

behind. It was in open play that the forwards really came into their own,

playing as a unit and driving into the heart of the Canterbury defence.

Conor was well supported by Josh Fogarty in the boiler house and the back

row of Joseph Patterson, Tom Davey and Sam Jeral working their socks off all

over the park, never letting the opposition settle and securing loose ball

on the deck. For some reason we fell foul of the referee who awarded at

least ten penalties to Canterbury but only two to us. On the day, of course,

the referee is the sole arbiter of law and so he is right. The good thing is

we did not let this affect our game, even though every infringement was

punished by their 10 who sent us back down the park.

With so little to show for so much dominance, the boys did well not to

succumb to frustration. Canterbury were in no mood to relinquish their title

and, with the score still level at 0-0 with five minutes to go, had the pace

to nick the game given the chance. By now Beccs were camped in the

Canterbury 22 and attacking at every opportunity. A sustained rush by the

forwards and some great harrying by the backs led to Canterbury being

penalised in front of the posts but outside the 22. Step up the captain -

Jack Robertson. This was never an easy kick but with the scores level in a

cup final, and on a wet and windy day, it was a horrendous task for even the

most accomplished international. If Jack was nervous he didn't show it and

calmly slotted the ball through the posts. 3 - 0; not a lead to take into

the last few minutes against a side desperate to retain their crown. The

restart was vital but Josh Hewitt took the ball cleanly and drove back

upfield. This set up another Beccs attack which ended up with a five metre

scrum to the left of the posts. A neat move and some quick hands from Sam

Jeral put Paul into the corner but a despairing dive by the Canterbury

centre dislodged the ball from his grasp as he crossed the line. Denied the

score that would have sealed the game, Beccs withstood a final scare as the

ball was hacked ahead - celebrating wildly as the ball rolled harmlessly

into touch and the referee called time.

So now we are Kent Champions - a title we will have to live up to. This was

a squad effort and I am particularly grateful to the subs who, apart from

Richard Cartwright who came on for Liam, had the frustration of watching

helplessly from the sidelines. Unfortunately the game was always too close

to allow us the comfort of bringing on fresh legs. Thanks also to the Kemps,

Beedles and Neaves for coming along to support and to the U13s who stayed

on, despite their own disappointment of losing to a drop goal kick off. The

weather did its best to ruin the day but nothing will wipe the smile off my

face - and I hope yours too. Well done to all the U14s squad.

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