Dedication to the OA U9 Reds cause was shown from the start on Sunday, with coach Catterfeld attending the Tring B Festival – risking being late for his son’s birthday party (Henry was off celebrating his ninth birthday so unavailable to play).
The Reds started with a tough game against a very well drilled Hertford side. Hertford took the lead but as usual Archie smashed through the Hertford defence on two occasions in the first half to make the game 2-2 at half time. The second half started with Ollie running the length of the field only to unselfishly pop the ball to Jason on the line the make it 3-2. Hertford were unable to live with the Reds performance in the second half and OA’s ran out 8-2 winners.
The Reds second game saw them destroy a below par Hemel side 9-0. Hemel were unable to live with the pace of Jason who scored every time he touched the ball. The best try of the game was when Will B smashed over the line with half the Hemel Team holding him up. The referee commended coach Catterfeld on the team’s style of play and the sportsmanship they showed to the opposition.
In their third game the Reds were hoping for a tighter match against hosts Tring. The game started well, with both teams scoring early tries. However, with the game balanced at 1-1 Tom produced back to back turnovers which resulted in two quick OA tries. The home side were unable to match the Reds aggressive tackling and free flowing game, as Alfie turned over Tring ball again on the next play resulting in a third try from Tring possession. The Reds then ran away with the game 8-1 with Tring unable to get over the halfway line in the second half.
Next came the big match against local rivals Harpenden “B”. In the hardest game of the day, the Reds, led by the outstanding Zack, tackled everything that moved in Black and White. Tackle after tackle in the first half by Zack and his cohorts gave the Reds a narrow 2-1 lead at halftime. Zack’s performance was remarkable considering he had been vomiting at the start of the match but refused to be replaced on the pitch. In the second half William H decided route one rugby was the best course of action. Every time he got the ball he made twenty yards with numerous defenders hanging off him and this allowed the Reds to win this tense and exciting match 4-2.
In their last game the Reds faced an undefeated Chinnor side, in the festival decider. On this occasion it was the turn of Will G to torment the opposition with a running game that destroyed any hopes of Chinnor winning the tournament. The match finished as the tournament had started, but this time Archie ran the length of the field only to pop the ball to Ollie on the try line, to finish the match 5-1.
The Reds were then presented with their medals and the Cup by Saracens player John S. As usual it was a brilliant display team from a Red team that have complete trust in their coach and teammates. From the way that they sat together in the club house sharing one iPad between games, to kind passes on the try line to allow others to score, typified the team approach the Reds have shown all season.