U8s at the Marlow A & B Tag Festival

Match report by Steve Dorey.

On Saturday 19th March, we took two teams down for the day to lovely Marlow which, although not bathed in glorious spring sunshine, is still a great backdrop for rugby and thankfully it was dry all day.

Marlow deserve a lot of credit for hosting us and the friendly demeanor of their parents and organisers.

This was an A & B festival so we were competing effectively in two competitions.

A Competition

We were told that only pool games would count and there was to be no Grand Final.  After the usual parking fun and games all boys were present and correct and off we went.

OAs u8s A Marlow 1
 Our first match was against Camelot (Hemel Hempstead) potentially a banana skin, especially as we can be slow starters and with the added factor that we had Aaron ‘Cannonball’ Hobbs – an ex Camelot player – in our team.  After a nervy first half which included the tireless Seb ‘Coe’ Lees being literally bosched, we went up a gear and ran out worthy winners 8-4.  Henry ‘Come Dancing’ Still scored two fantastic tries, that took the game away from Camelot at an important time.

Second up were Aylesbury – an unknown quantity – but it turned out a really spirited team who never gave up despite falling behind to OAs 4 – 0 after a couple of minutes.  The score ended 7-4 but a lot of credit to Aylesbury who despite being outgunned, never gave up and made a real game of it.  James ‘Napoleon’ O’Callaghan managed a strong performance by the team with some great support running from PJ ‘Kyber’ Ludlow.

OAs u8s A Marlow 2
The third match was against Henley and OAs by this time were in full swing and led by the smooth play of Liam ‘Bentley’ O’Flynn, we dominated with Will ‘I.am’ Dorey finishing off 4 great team moves for a personal 4 try milestone. The final score was a win 8-4.

I was aware that with the set up of the tournament it was likely to come down to try differential, so with the last game approaching against the team I rated as the strongest competition, I resorted to bribery: Win by 5 and I’ll buy the ice cream. I thought I was safe – how wrong I was. A stellar performance by the boys led by a defensive masterclass from Adam ‘Is it a bird, is it a plane…’ Loo saw the boys dominate a strong Oxford Harlequins team and run out 9-4 winners and me out of pocket – but throughly deserved all round.

The ice creams are on coach Steve.

The ice creams are on coach Steve after a successful day.

After a nervy wait, the boys got their reward as they were announced winners of the ‘A’ Festival.  They received compliments on their teamwork and general play from the other teams’ coaches throughout.

Quote of the day for me was from one of the Camelot coaches: ‘It was worth coming all this way just to see your boys play’.

Well done all and thanks to the parents who supported with food, drinks and hugs.

B competition report to follow…