Hampstead young stars make strong start to the season
- Credit: Archant
Hampstead chairman Simon Taylor is pleased to see the club’s young stars being rewarded for their efforts after three strong performances in the past fortnight.
The club’s Under-12s won the Blackheath Festival tournament while the Under-11s were triumphant in the plate final – and the Under-sevens were runners-up at the Rosslyn Park Festival.
“It’s so gratifying to see the kids not only enjoy their rugby but get rewarded for it,” said Taylor. “It’s been a hectic start to the season, with over 50 new players in the junior ranks, lots of parents getting involved and us hosting numerous events, such as the Camden Primary Schools Tag Festival.
“The club is a firm believer in being inclusive and results being secondary, but the kids continue to surprise us with days like these.”
Four age groups competed at the Blackheath Festival on Sunday October 11, with a number of children experiencing their first taste of competitive rugby.
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The Under-12s won all of their pool matches before beating Old Colfeians in the final, scoring 15 tries in all and not conceding any to deservedly win the competition in their age group.
The 18-man squad displayed some fine rugby, with their blitz defence giving the opposition no time on the ball, while their aggressive attacking play and commitment to running the ball enabled them to punch above their weight, surprising physically larger teams and winning a number of scrums against the head as they emerged battered but victorious.
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Hampstead’s Under-11s were defeated by two tries to one in their first match, but ferocious tackling and an improved defence helped them to recover and win their next six matches – including the semi-final and final of the Plate Cup.
Seven days later the Under-sevens had their chance to shine in the Rosslyn Park Development tournament.
They entered alongside 11 other London teams and, although some members of the Hampstead squad had only been playing rugby for six weeks, they narrowly failed to win the tournament.
Hampstead eventually lost a hard-fought final against the Rosslyn Park Reds – a result which marked a big improvement on the previous year’s performance, when they came 11th.