U9s gelled well in tough mizzly conditions
By Ian Thornton
U9s gelled well in tough mizzly conditions
[Many thanks to Ted's dad, Tom, and Alfred's dad, Graham, for this match report]
Hove Hawks: Albert, Dillon, Casey, Finlay, Harry MR, Joe M, Jospeh VW, Oliver M, Seb, Ted
Coaches: Ian, David
What a fabulous tournament by the Hove Hawks team, expertly coached by Ian Thornton and David Connell.
Game 1: Hove Hawks v Uckfield
Hove Hawks came out of the blocks quickly with a try with the first move of the game by Dillon Thornton who had a barnstorming first game with a hat-trick of tries and some strong tackling throughout. Seb Connell and Albert Collings contributed the other team tries.
Most impressive was the teamwork and commitment to tackling. Finlay Bell put in a huge tackle in his first competitive match and Joseph Vermeer-Williams was relentless in clinging on to his opposition man until he went to ground. The passing was excellent in damp conditions. Good start for the Hawks Hove!
Game 2: Hove Hawks v Crawley
Oliver Martin started for an undermanned Crawley team and had no qualms about running through 3 of his own Hove players and putting an awesome tackle in on his mates. He got injured in the process leading to a succession of Dillon, another injury, then Seb Connell running out for Crawley too. The first half was chaos! Unable to write shorthand or type in the wet, this reporter has no idea what happened for the rest of the half, except we were edging it at the interval.
The second half belonged to the Ford-Farrell combo of Dillon Thornton and Seb Connell -great offloads and great lines of running leading to 2 tries. The commitment to defence was excellent with several Hove players tackling a Crawley player into touch inches from the line. Harry Munzinger-Ray swatted off several tacklers to run the length of the pitch for the try of the game.
Game 3: Hove Hawks v East Grinstead
Hove played brilliantly as a team with some incredible defence against a strong and much bigger East Grinstead team. The Dunkirk spirit showed through - we will not be breached.
Three of the smallest players Joseph Vermeer-Williams, Joe Middlewick and Ted Hutchinson showed real bravery and technique to have the highest tackle counts in the game. Casey Chalk played strongly throughout with some excellent runs and good positional play.
The tries were scored by Seb Connell, Albert Collings and Dillon Thornton (2)
Game 4: Hove Hawks v Crowborough
The East Grinstead team having been defeated left early leaving David Connell and the Crowborough Manager to referee the game. David went first and awarded a penalty try to Hove when the Crowborough player deliberately knocked on a certain try giving pass. Without recourse to video analysis the decision was both correct and brave!
Albert Collings scored twice in the first half with some determined running. Joe Middlewick tackled hard and knocked the ball out of the hands of a promising Crowborough attack and Finlay Bell ran excellent support lines.
The second half was all Hove Hawks with Ted Hutchinson evading several Crowborough defenders to touch the ball down in the corner for the final try of the game and festival.
In summary, the boys really gelled as a team today in tough mizzly conditions. The new boys excelled and the more experienced players really showed the way. The team spirit was very good throughout and Ian Thornton and David Connell deserve real credit for getting the boys ready to play in the right spirit – play hard, play fair. Joseph Vermeer-Williams was a deserving Hove Hawks player of the tournament with his strong tackling and determination.
Well done Hove Hawks!
Hove Hurricanes: Alfred, Griff, Henry TV, Iolo, Jack M, Matthew L, Orlando, Ozzie, Tom C, Toby
Coaches: Matt, Mike
Match 1 vs Eastbourne
The overcast conditions on the high wield, were illuminated by some electric passages of play. The Hurricanes first match was against Eastbourne. Within 2 minutes Tom had breached the opposing defence after a slick sequence of team offloading and a deft change of direction he hung on to score. Hard tackling from Griff softened the opposition to the point where Tom could again take advantage and score his second. A fantastic pick up and drive from Toby was capped off by a blistering second phase from Mathew who showed amazing speed to score. Eastbourne were still in it in the second half, but more tenacious tackling from Henry, Ozzie and Iolo created turnovers for Tom and Landy to score. Toby again broke for the line and this time scored, having been denied earlier by a magnificent last gasp ankle tap by an Eastbourne defender.
Game 2 vs Bexhill and Hastings
The first half began with a sustained bout of pressure from the Hurricanes, with tackling from Tom and Iolo which ended in Hove gaining possession and a try from Landy after a decent offload from Mathew. More strong talking ensued from the restart with Hove bossing the rubber. However, they could not contain Bexhill who scored twice in quick succession. Then Hove responded with a try from Tom. Then another drive over from Tom saw VAR being used for the first time at the festival to adjudicate whether the ball had been properly grounded. The judgement being “no score”. The second half began with Hove trailing, but we were soon back on level terms. More solid tackling from Jack and Griff led to a turnover and a score for Landy. More fabulous tackling resulted in another turnover and another score from Landy after a great offload from Jack.
Game 3 vs Crawley
Superb pressure at the beginning from Hove set the tone for the first half. Then a breakaway by Toby saw Griff continue the momentum and score. However, Cawley were on their metal and clawed back the deficit and then took the lead with a try right on half time. A try from Griff at the beginning of the second half was followed by more tenacious tackling from Ozzie and Tom. This led to a turnover and a loose ball offload by Griff to find Mathew who blazed in to score. More fine tackling by Iolo, Henry, Ozzie and Landy was not quite enough to stop Crawley from scoring to keep it level. More pressure ensued from Crawley, but Hove’s defence was resolute. But, Crawley’s pressure told, and they scored. Griff then responded to make it all square again. Some more fine tackling by Mathew, Tom, Toby and Jack led to another score for Hove but Crawley levelled with a last gasp equaliser.
Game 4 vs Uckfield
An early try for Uckfield against the run of play was countered by a mazy run from Toby combining with Landy who scored. Another fine score by Landy was followed by a locomotive like run from Tom, who steamed in to score from deep in his own half. Toby and Tom then put in a brilliant sequence of tackles to prevent a try. A fabulous pick up and run from Henry gave the impetus for Tom to complete the score. The second half began with more superb Hove tackling, Iolo and Jack putting in a proper shift, along with all the lads. But this couldn’t stop Uckfield scoring. Landy then extended our lead from the restart with a brilliant solo effort. Uckfield responded immediately with a quick try of their own. Then, after continuous tackling pressure from Hove, Mathew picked up the loose ball and scored in the corner with another blistering run. Tom then converted another with a powerful arcing run. Iolo and Jack combined to help defend but Uckfield grabbed a late try.