Greneway School’s Year 7/8 rugby team are the champions
- Credit: Archant
Years of hard work, training and the memory of last year’s very narrow defeat in the final lay behind Greneway’s Year 7 and 8’s motivation to defeat all in their path to the North East Herts Rugby title.
Four Schools were competing to walk away as the winners on the day and then progress to the first round of the County competition against the winners of the Stevenage competition.
Greneway’s opening fixture was against Ralph Sadleir of Puckeridge. Both teams made a number of early handling errors but neither team were able to capitalise on the awarded penalties.
It was proving to be a battle between the forwards with the scrums and lineouts being hotly contested, Alex Howarth was starting to dictate the play for Greneway and giving running opportunities to the backs in space and with Freddie Raymen at inside centre this meant trouble for the opposition.
Raymen predictably touched down the first try of the game after bursting through four tackles this was followed by fly-half Euan Rees kicking the conversion.
Ralph Sadleir responded with some confident possession of their own, but were constantly denied by strong tackling in particular from forwards Harrison Vale, Toby Evans Will Mitchell.
Raymen crossed the line again to increase the lead to 12-0 and Greneway were able to retain the lead to claim their first victory of the tournament.
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However Edwinstree had looked equally impressive on the opposite pitch with a comfortable victory against Roysia.
The second round of fixtures saw Greneway play local rivals Roysia. Both teams were keen to put their mark on the game and were trying to make every tackle a memorable one.
Jamie Judge took the initiative in a game that was in the balance powering through not once but twice to give his side an early lead. Greneway were able to use the full depth in their squad with Harry Tasker, Matthew Evenden, Daniel Brown, Flyn Lanham and Owen Wood all making strong contributions including Wood scoring a composed try in the corner.
The game was closed out with Charlie Johnson scoring a great individual try to complete a polished performance for the side.
Meanwhile Ralph Sadleir had opened the competition up with a well-earned victory against Edwinstree meaning that three teams were still in with a chance of lifting the trophy with just one round of games to play.
All the teams were by this stage suffering from fatigue and needed to re-group for one last push to try to finish on a high.
Greneway were the only School with their fate still in their own hands knowing that a win would secure their place in the county finals.
Edwinstree were also in a strong position knowing that a victory against Greneway would leave them top of the league on tries scored. Edwinstree continued this good form with the first try of the game which was also confidently converted for a 7-0 lead.
The response was positive from Greneway with Rees making good ground every time he got possession and with Raymen on his shoulder it proved too much for Edwinstree to level the score with the accompanying conversion from Rees.
However Edwinstree bounced back to take a seven-point lead again.
With three minutes remaining and a scrum on the 22m line, Greneway knew they needed to make it count.
Scrum-half Jono Adam continued to execute his role with style and accuracy and this created a chance for Adam Taylor to make excellent progress before spinning the ball out wide to the now feared Raymen who yet again crossed the line to give Rees the chance to level the game, he of course obliged.
The game was now tied at 14-14 and ended this way with Greneway having done enough to finish champions of what had been an excellent tournament played with plenty of determination and skill.
Greneway Squad: Callum Kingston, Harrison Vale, Will Mitchell, Jonny Gambell, Charlie Johnson, Euan Rees (captain) Freddie Raymen, Samson Watson, Oliver Warburton, Nathan Roberts, Owen Wood, Flyn Lanham, Matt Evenden, Daniel Brown, Jamie Judge,
George Adam, Jono Adam, Adam Taylor, Will Elliott, Toby Evans, Alex Thompson, Harry Tasker, Alex Howorth (vice-captain).