MARKET Rasen U11s travelled with high hopes to sunny Scarborough for the now traditional end-of-season mini rugby festival and came away with the top prize.
Having been runners-up in 2011 the boys were keen to go one better this year and took a strong squad of 14 boys for the two day festival.
Saturday’s four matches were all played in driving rain and strong winds so expansive rugby was all but impossible.
The team therefore opted to keep things tight with driving runs through the middle by the forwards, sniping runs from Joey Mowbray at scrum half and intelligent kicking from Angus Haswell being features of all matches.
Rasen ended day one with four wins from the four games, each 2-0, against Doncaster and Sunderland,
The whole squad was used to good effect, with some of the boys in the forwards for one game, and the backs for the next. The team also had the honour of meeting the current England head coach, Stuart Lancaster, who is a regular visitor to the festival.
There had been some great play from all of the players, but there were only three names on the score sheet, George Pinder with one, Joey Mowbray with three and Marcus Payn with four tries.
Sunday brought the prospect of four more pool matches, plus a potential final place.
It also brought the reality of rain, hail and strong winds.
Rasen opened with a good win over Ashby, the score 2-0. There followed a really tough match against one of the two Ripon sides, who were second in the table.
Despite them having a lad who wouldn’t have looked out of place in the U14s, Rasen managed to hold on for a 0-0 draw.
Energy levels started to flag for some of the boys, and Rasen had another tough game against the other Ripon side.
For the first time the team conceded a try, but in reality were unlucky to draw 11.
The final game was against Didsbury and, after a rousing speech from coach Jon, the boys ran out comfortable winners 4-0.
Rasen, therefore, ended the league stage with six wins, two draws, 15 tries scored and only one conceded.
Spirits were definitely up for the final against Ripon. Again massive efforts from all the boys, who all played at least a half in the final, meant they were on top for most of the game.
The final score was 0-0 but because of Rasen’s much better record in the earlier league the team were deservedly awarded the cup.
Try scorers had increased slightly with George Pinder bagging another two, Thomas Christie, Dom Harrison, Joey Mowbray and Marcus Payne each getting on the scoresheet.
There were some very proud parents and coaches as the boys received their first significant piece of silverware.