Withycombe Under-11s land runners-up spot in Chippenham festival
PUBLISHED: 15:48 20 March 2013 | UPDATED: 15:48 20 March 2013
Withycombe Under-11s returned from an appearance at the Chippenham festival with the runners-up award.
The squad had to battle through snow, rain and strong wind just to get to the venue!
They were tasked with five pool group games which would ultimately lead to the top two contesting the cup and shield whilst the third and fourth teams would play for the plate.
First up Withy met Sidmouth who they defeated 10-0. Ben Bolwell with a quick tap penalty, scored the opening try of the day. The other Withy try came from a sweet passing move that ended with Josh Arbuy powering his way over.
Next up was a meeting with Bath that ended 5-5. Bath struck first, but Withy responded well and their continual pressure eventually paid off when, from a penalty, the ball found its way to Joe Blyth to score in the corner with what proved to be the final play of the game. Swansea Uplands were next and a fine game ended 10-10. Joe Blyth put Withy ahead, but Swansea levelled before the break. In the second half Oscar Moyle dotted down, but the Swans restored parity and that’s the way it ended.
Game four saw Cowbridge beaten 10-5 in a game played with uncontested scrums as the Welsh opposition had not scrummaged before. That actually played into the opposition hands as they were quicker in the scrum and opened the scoring with a well-worked try. The equaliser arrived when, at a line-out close to the Welsh line,
Harry Cartwight stole the ball and then and barged his was through the wingers tackle. After the break Jason Farrant scored the winner.
The fifth and final group game saw Withy require a win or a draw to guarantee a top two group finish and they secured the latter, ending 0-0 with Salisbury. It was a contest which turned into one of both packs mauling the ball, not something Withy wanted to engage in as they prefer to get good fast ball to launch attacks.
The final saw Withy once again lock horns with Swansea Uplands. The first half was a non-affair with neither side able to find any sort of rhythm. After the break , playing down the slope, the initial Swansea kick was deep into the Withy half where the ball remained for the full six minutes of the second period! The Welsh side kept hold of the ball with great phases of play, recycling the ball time and time again, giving the
backs plenty of opportunities to break free. Withycombe, to a player, tackled their hearts out, but could not wrestle the ball back and, with what turned out to be the final play of an intriguing contest, an outstretched arm came through the ruck to touch down for the winning Swansea try.
On the day Withy served up a great all-round effort. They were understandably disappointed to lose the final, but everyone who saw the action was very proud of the way Withy approached the whole occasion.
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