Sidmouth Under-15s gain experience and make new friends at Minehead festival.
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Under-15s sent a party to Minehead to take part in the Leicester tigers challenge, writes Heather Bagwell.
Thirteen players along with seven parents made the trip to North Somerset. Team numbers were down due to a couple of players having to drop out at the last minute, but the boys who went made up for the lack of numbers with real team spirit and determination which ensure that not only did they thoroughly enjoy themselves, but they also produced some very good rugby.
Day one of competition saw the young Chiefs play three matches against Corsham, Weston-super-Mare, and Barnet.
Not having quite enough players to make up a full team Michael Horsnell’s negotiating skills came to the fore and he managed to get three players on loan from Havant, for the first and third match, and players on loan from Bridgewater for the second!
With a five-minute walk negotiated to the rugby field there was little time to warm up for the first match against Weston Super Mare that ended in a 10-0 defeat for the Chiefs. Next up they faced Corsham and the Chiefs spent much of this contest pinned back in their own territory and ultimately slipped to a 30-0 defeat.
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The third game against Barnet saw some fantastic defending by the Sidmouth lads against a very strong side, the boys kept the opposition off the try line after wave upon wave of very determined play by Barnet. This was some of the best play of the whole tournament, worthy of the cheers from the growing crowd and comparable to premiership standards and fittingly ended all square at 5-5.
After playing the boys were then able to return to the Butlin’s complex to enjoy the activities on offer and socialise with their new found friends from Havant!
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After “an early night of rest and relaxation” the boys enjoyed a morning swim at the pool and then off to play the last two pool matches.
First up was a very strong Havant side that have not been beaten for several seasons.
With only 13 players on duty and two borrowed from an Under-14 side, the Chiefs found Havant very well drilled. However, Sidmouth, with pure passion and determination managed to score a try in the dying seconds of the match, courtesy of a some spirited play by Dave Chan. A 45-5 defeat being softened by the knowledge that the Chan try was the only one the Hampshire side conceded in the festival!
The last game having borrowed players from our now good friends Havant was a great match and the boys came together as a real team, the support from the Havant parents and the small band of Sidmouth parents helped the team win their first match of the weekend 15-5 to avoid finishing last in the pool table.
A very good time was had by all, well done to all the boys who took part, Tom Thorne, Nick Gidley, Dan Swain, Theo Headon, Lucan Horsnell, Will Thomas, Jamie Walker, Aaron Bagwell, Henry Thomas, Dave Chan, Ben Cook, Ellis Sage and Tom Robins.