Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Downpour fails to deter district U11 team

While the U17s were up in Lichfield the search for next "generation" of North Herts girls' rugby was underway at Hatfield in the Herts Youth Games.

For the second year it was an U11 tag tournament and for the second year it was a rather damp day. Admittedly not the continual drizzle of 2006 - there were gaps between the showers this time - but it made up for it with a thunderstorm at the end.

After some weeks of worry we eventually unearthed a good squad of girls, including four with plenty of contact experience - our own Philippa (captain on the day, as the only "survivor" from the 2006 tournament) plus the Beth and Kate Summerfield and Ales Stevens who all play mixed mini rugby at Hitchin.

In addition the district team also included Robyn Godfrey, Isla McLachlan, Alice Sunderland, and Emily Wallis - who have all played tag for their school - and Lauren Armitage, who came to U14 practice last Wednesday. So on paper a good side, and if we had managed to get them all together a little earlier than the day of the Games itself probably they would make a very good side!

Fortunately North Herts' first opponents - Hertsmere - pulled out, giving the girls time for a short training session before the first game against Watford.

The girls went down 6-4 to what looked a well drilled and experienced team, though a star was born in the second half when Alice came on and showed an incredible turn of speed to score two tries.

After a short break came the next game with Stevenage. As they had also lost to Watford this was in effect a quarter final and the team - now playing together well - overturned a 4-3 half-time deficit to win 7-6 and book a place in the semi-finals.

Their opponents here were East Herts - historically strong rivals in these games ever since North got them disqualified in 2005. East Herts had unearthed a big side who were clearly used to playing together and their strength overpowered the younger North Herts girls, who to their credit carried on running to the end, despite the odd bruise and bashed nose.

And so to the third place play-off. In now pouring rain a tiring North Herts team again could not quite match Watford, but as the thunder rumbled the girls kept trying to the end and were still in great spirits when the final whistle went, barely audible above the thunder.

So overall a creditable fourth place - very good for (in essence) a "scratch side" that barely knew each other before the Games. And apart from the four experienced girls who we all knew about, some really talented players emerged, and it can only be hoped that players like Emily, Isla, Robyn, Lauren - and above all Alice - will be able to give the "real" game a try next season. Anyone running a U12 mini team in the area should be seeking to sign these girls up straightaway!

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