Ilkley / Harrogate (IH) 0 v 33 Kirkby Lonsdale U16s

This was a wonderful bonus day of rugby, given how awfully weather beaten most pitches are in the North we were delighted to have game on for our first ever fixture against a combined Ilkley and Harrogate U16 squad. As parents we were in awe of the posh country club look of the Ilkley club house and were pleasantly intimidated by their serving of proper cappuccinos with chocolate sprinkling and a small wrapped chocolate. This resulted in a few confused parents enquiring if they could have a spa and facial whilst waiting for the game to kick off. The forecasted sleet and rain held off but with a gusty breeze it was a chilly day for rugby. The pitch proved to be more playable than one would have thought given its very muddy state. The first few minutes saw IH drive slowly into our half with regular pick and goes charging around the fringes of the ruck. Sean read superbly their attacking plan and when IH eventually threw the ball wide he rushed up to intercept the pass and sprinted 65 metres to score under the post for an easy conversion for Lewis; 7 nil. IH came back with greater vigour and twice they broke our line for a near clear sprint to the try line, once down the left wing and once down the right wing. In both cases superb cover tackles from our winger Jimmy denied IH these scoring opportunities. IH continued to focus on charging in the middle, their forwards were strong ball carriers who often broke the game line to approach our 22 and 5 metre lines. However, with a magnificent team effort from our forwards, especially Bill, George, Callum and Ed who put in tackle after tackle, time and time again we ultimately drove them back. Kirkby regained possession after one wave of attack around our 22 line and drove hard into their half with charges from Xavier, Tom and George; the ball was then passed wide to Sean who sprinted under the posts for his second try, with Lewis converting to make the score 14 nil. A few minutes into the second half Markuss picked up a kicked ball from deep in our half and ran 40 metres, Tom then carried the ball further before passing to Sean who gained further metres before passing to Alex who raced down the right wing handing off one player to score; 19 nil IH once again worked their way to our 22 but a knock on gave us a scrum; and what followed was the most perfectly executed team try the lads have executed this season, it was a beautiful exhibition of outstanding rugby. The scrum held firm with Xavier peeling off as number 8 to gain a few metres before passing to scrum half Lewis who raced a few more metres before executing a sublime chip kick placing the ball a few metres behind the defending IH line but also a few metres in front of their sweeper. Sean raced onto the ball and side stepped their full back to score under the posts; 26 nil. The final passage of play saw Kirkby driving slowly but surely into IH’s half. Will received the ball some 20 metres out whereupon he weaved his way through two players by means of superb feigned passes, which fooled both the opposition and spectators alike, to score under the posts. Will converted his own try to make the final score 33 to nil. Sean with three tries and some great defensive tackles was chosen by his team mates as man of the match.