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Tonbridge Juddians RFC

News and Events

U12s Enjoy Premiership Day Out

5th November 2019

On Saturday the 12th October a team from the U12s were invited to attended the Landrover Premiership Cup tournament at Hendon RFC in the shadow of Allianz Park, home of the reigning Premiership champions, Saracens.

After an incredibly early start, the boys arrived at Hendon in plenty of time to warm up and prepare for their pool matches – the tournament format was for 10 invited teams to be split into two pools of 5 and games were played as straight 10 minute matches with no half time in quick succession with the eventual winners and runners up from each of the pools playing for the opportunity to play a final match on the hallowed artifical turf of the Aviva Stadium during half time of the premiership showdown between Sarries and Quins that afternoon.

TJs started well with an early win and following four hard fought matches ended up as pool runners up with 3 wins and 1 loss. As runners up of pool B the boys were to play the winners of pool A, Wymondham in our semi-final which was an incredibly exciting match with barely anything between the two teams. At full time the score was 0-0 and so the referee asked the teams to play on for 2 mins of extra time. At the end of extra time the scores were still 0-0 with several chances by both teams having gone begging.

And so, due to time constraints, the match had to be decided on a coin toss….up stepped the captain, Tom Costello, to call……..and TJs were through to the cup final with a fair amount of celebration from the boys, parents and coaches alike only for another spanner to be immediately thrown into the works.

Sadly due to an oversight by the opposing final teams management at Ampthill RFC, the club had failed to book tickets for the premiership match and so the final had to be played immediately following the semi-final, still at Hendon RFC with an agreement that the semi-final would be replayed on the Sarries pitch to try for an overall winner. 

By this stage we had lost two of our three subs to injury, and the boys were flagging slightly given the intensity and close proximity of the matches. Nevertheless, they played the final match as though their lives depended on the outcome and the spectators were treated to a real nail biter with barely anything between the two teams again.

TJs struck first with a long range burst from Billy Boomgaardt but Ampthill came back strong and were camped on our try line for several minutes with some heroic defending including a try being held up by Zane Jemmeh. Unfortunately the attacks proved too strong and TJs conceded a try right on the stroke of full time. Extra time was again to be played but sadly a last gasp try by Ampthill ended the match 2-1 to Ampthill.

However, despite the obvious disappointment, the day wasn’t over and the team readied themselves for the main event playing the half-time match. After some much needed re-fuelling and refreshment during the first half of the Premiership match, TJs and Wymondham lined up to take to the field and with a few thousand spectators watching on immediately proceeded to carry on exactly where the previous match had left off.

Aided by some magnificent support play and a couple of incredible offloads, Billy was able to thunder in from long range again to break the stalemate this time to much applause from the stands and his moment of glory having been caught by the match screens. Again Wymondham came back and though well defended, they managed a score. The match ended 1-1 and the boys left the pitch as the Premiership stars made their way back for the second half.

An incredible day was had by all and all 15 boys in attendance should be highly commended for their teamwork, tenacity and sportsmanship.

If your age group gets the chance to take part then we would recommend you take it!

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