Hawks sides secure silverware at successful festival of rugby
HENLEY Rugby Club’s Dry Leas was bathed in sunshine last Sunday for their festival of rugby,
HENLEY Rugby Club’s Dry Leas was bathed in sunshine last Sunday for their festival of rugby, competed for by 13 other clubs from across the South East for players from U7s to U12s.
Some 3,000 people including more than 1,500 players competed in a mixed ability format.
Good rugby was played at all levels, with Henley teams fairing well against such illustrious counterparts as Saracens and London Welsh as well as old local rivals including Marlow and Newbury Blues.
Henley U7s acquitted themselves well in their first competitive outing while Henley U8s rose to the occasion and impressed as they played out their matches on the main pitch.
The Henley Buzzards U9s beat all the sides they played including London Welsh, Marlow, Saracens, Alton and Ealing with Oliver Hewes demonstrating good all-round rugby ability. The Henley Harriers U9s recorded some good results with Charlie Martin running in some long range tries, Will Masterson dodging everything in front of him and Felix Richardson putting in some physical tackling. Henley Blackbirds U9s recorded three wins, one draw and one loss with Woody Hamilton-Hurst putting in a good running and tackling performance. George Blumfield linked well with other players while Jack Bradbury showed a good turn of speed before scoring a good try.
Henley Swifts U9s won three out of five matches with good attacking work led by Luca Coleman, George Bottomley and Thomas Ferguson. Henley Eagles U9s won two of their games against stronger opposition.
Henley Eagles U10s recorded three wins, a draw and two defeats. They opened with a hard fought 1-1 draw against a physical Marlow side and after a narrow defeat to Alton the Eagles displayed good running rugby to record back-to-back wins over Farnham Royals and Newbury. Saracens proved too strong in the penultimate game, but the team’s highlight of the day was against the Henley Hawks U10s in a match that saw the Eagles triumph 3-1. Despite Henley Buzzards U10s being up against physically larger opponents in their pool, all 10 squad members showed team spirit, tenacity and courage to defeat strong sides from Tadley, London Welsh, Newbury, Ealing and Tring. Only a strong Marlow side had the edge over them winning two tries to one in a closely contested match.
Henley Hawks U10s were quick out of the starting blocks with two wins over strong opposition including a high performing Marlow. As tiredness set in they started to flag against tougher teams. In the third pool, Henley Kites U10s started the day well beating Saracens. Despite narrow losses to London Welsh, Tring and Alton, the team came away with wins against Amersham and Chiltern and Tadley Tigers.
Henley U11s fielded two teams and won all 10 matches played which included the scalps of London Welsh and Saracens. Whilst fluid handling and direct running in attack was matched by robust tackling in defence, the greatest skill for them came from playing as a team.
Henley U12s fielded two sides, the Hawks and the Eagles, and were given the sternest of examinations in their respective pool phases against the likes of London Irish, Saracens, Tadley and Marlow which resulted in them both qualifying from their respective pools for the finals.
Henley Hawks U12s performed valiantly in their final and were narrowly beaten by an impressive Alton side whilst the Henley Eagles U12s overcame Newbury Blues to lift the U12 trophy.