HENLEY HAWKS U12As were crowned champions of Oxfordshire on Sunday at Witney with an outstanding performance against the best sides in the county as they scored 25 tries in five matches whilst conceding none.
Henley won each of their three group games 30-0 to top the group in initially fine conditions.
The semi-final against Chinnor was delayed by an hour following a prolonged period of very heavy rain which rendered many of the pitches unplayable.
After winning their semi-final 30-0 it was almost straight into the final against Oxford.
In atrocious, sticky conditions a period of sustained pressure from the whole side, quick feet and quick thinking by Hector Elrington saw him slide over in the corner to put Henley’s noses in front.
In the second half Henley managed to keep the ball away from the Oxford side and continued to pressure the opposition try line but the Oxford defence denied Henley several tries at the last gasp on each occasion. There was no further score in the second half as Henley ran out 5-0 winners.
The Henley U12B’s also turned in a fabulous performance at the Witney Oxfordshire County Championships on Sunday.
From their six games they scored 25 tries with only two conceded.
The Henley team eased to five wins to top their pool. This left a final against home team Witney whom they had beaten 15-5 in the pool. Henley finally ran out of steam as they went down 5-0.
Top scorers with half a dozen tries each were Ed Roy and Sebastian Marks.
HENLEY HAWKS U11s rounded their season off by winning their age group tournament, scoring 21 tries in the process without conceding any.
Led by Ollie Martin the Hawks played expansive running rugby throughout the day and scored some good tries.
Having beaten the hosts Witney, Banbury, Oxford Harlequins, Faringdon and Grove in the pool stages Henley came up against a strong Grove side in the final who were determined to avenge their 15-0 defeat earlier in the day.
The bigger Grove side came hard at Henley in the final but good defence from the Hawks, particularly from skipper Martin, Sam O’Brien and Dan Crick held them at bay.
Henley started to dominate proceedings with winger Will Young adjudged to have put a foot into touch as he dived over the try-line.
Good defence from Grove thwarted Dexter Beard and Charlie Hobbs after impressive work from outside half Harry Purslow and centres Hugo Carr and Oliver Doyle.
Eventually Henley’s pressure told. Strong runs from Michael Hillier and Spencer Bounds enabled scrum half Rita Rogers to break down the blindside and make a fine pass to Ben Doyle who ran through three Grove tackles to score the winning try.
HENLEY HAWKS U10s ran out champions for the fourth time in a row as they scored 21 tries without conceding.
Henley had convincingly won their pool without conceding a try and were rewarded with a semi-final against local rivals Chinnor. A direct running Chinnor were dispatched 3-0 which set up a final against Oxford Harlequins.
Henley’s U10B and C teams finished third and second in their respective pools.
At the end of the tournament player of the year was awarded to Mathew Crook and most improved player of the year to Harry West.
HENLEY HAWKS U9s enjoyed a successful end to the season on Saturday as all three sides made it through to their respective finals.
The A team lost a hard fought match to Chinnor in their final while the C team eventually lost to a competitive Witney side.
The Henley B team endured the agony of extra time in their final as a strong Wallingford side scored in the last minute to draw level at 3-3. Henley’s strong defence turned the ball over one more time before scurrying over for a tournament-winning try with the last play of the game.