Little old Marlborough………….
As the U13’s turned up to the Melksham D&W (Dorset & Wilts) Festival on Bank Holiday Monday there was lots of excitement, nerves, and expectation after topping their D&W league only a few weeks before. These feelings were only heightened by seeing the other teams turn up in Club Coaches with players faces plastered over the side.
Such is the squad size and depth, the U13’s was able to put two teams into the competition across two leagues, both playing five games apiece. This is by far the most serious and professional festival set up the boys have ever been involved in, playing the top teams in the region such as Chippenham, Bournemouth, Salisbury, Devizes, North Dorset, Supermarine and Walcot. Some of the teams had been played and lost against in the past, and others had never been encountered before.
Both teams got off to a flying start, winning their opening games with some incredible displays of skill, desire and commitment which was a trend that continued throughout the day. What was great was that the energy levels never dropped, with each team supporting the other and cheering each other on, demonstrating the team spirit which the U13’s have built.
The first league was won convincingly with Marlborough maintaining 100% win rate and a positive points difference of +85, which was the best points difference across the whole festival! The second league was a different story all together with one of the most fiercely contested competitions that Marlborough had ever seen. It all came down to the final game. Marlborough had won four games and lost only one with a points difference of +55. The only team that could beat them was Chippenham who were playing Salisbury and needed to win by four tries to clinch the title. Chippenham quickly racked up a three try lead within the first seven minutes, it was looking like a forgone conclusion that they were going to snatch the title from Marlborough in the very last game of the day. Now if there were rugby gods, they were certainly looking down on this game. After significant pressure and disallowed tries, the game finished three tries to one, after a full-length pitch try from Salisbury, crowning Marlborough winners of the second league also.
Two out of two for the day was nothing more than the Under 13 team boys deserved for the effort they have put in all season. All of this was done with the philosophy of not having an A and B team, and mixing ability from start to finish – ‘we win as a team and lose as a team’. This U13’s team is special, not because they won their respective leagues/trophies, but because they won/lost as a team from the first game of the season to the very last!
Maybe not so little old Marlborough after all…………..