Bideford Under 12s travelled to Crediton on Sunday to compete in the Land Rover cup and what a day the young lads had!
The day started with the groups being drawn, and there were some big clubs involved, ranging from Crewkern to Newquay, and the likes of Exeter Athletic (Branded by Exeter Chiefs) and Taunton Titans joining the ranks. It was always going to be a tough tournament. The 16 teams were split into four groups.
Bideford were handed a tough pool with Torquay, North Petherton and Withycombe. The first game was against Torquay, and with over a year on no competitive rugby, it was a slow builder of a game.
The first half was a stalemate with a 0-0 at half time but it took everything to hold Torquay out and some defensive play on the Bideford try line ensured that Torquay did not cross the line, Finn Booth in particular hitting a player over the line and driving him back to hold them out.
The second half was more one way traffic with Bideford settling down and playing their usual rugby. Big carries form Harry Parker, Clark Faber and Alfie Fisher created the space for the backs to Work and Seb Cackett took full advantage of this to gain his first try of the tournament. Alfie Fisher impressed with his tackling and running with the ball and was rewarded with the second try of the game.
North Petherton were up next and Bideford started to play some lovely rugby New player Byron Bellamy being the pick of the game with two run away trys to his name. Adam Norman powered over the line from a freekick and Alfie Fisher also hit the line again through the match. With the pace of Archie Johns, Thomas Reed the opposition struggled to keep up with the Bideford team but North Petherton never gave up at any point and scored a lovely try.
Withycombe were up next and it was much the same the power play from Bideford was really good. Harry Parker scoring an great individual try and a lovely move out wide gave Olly Shaw the space to cross they line. Olly Garnett had a particularly good match. Theo Rowe the pick of the bunch for his defensive display, Oli Cornish pinched balls at the breakdown which inventively led to the trys.
Bideford finished top of their group and progressed through to the Winners competition with the top teams from each group facing each other.
First up were Exeter Athletic who were incredibly skilful with he ball and in a 9 aside game had the edge. 12 aside I think we could have edged it but they were great to watch and we enjoyed the match. Unfortunately we went down to them 3 trys to 0 but there was no lack of effort.
Newquay we next. Bideford knew they needed to get the win if we were to keep second place alive and they guys did just that. Two tries were sealed from Byron Bellamy and the consistent Seb Cackett.
That left us to play Taunton who no word of a lie had two players who basically won the game for them. Both stood just short of 6 ft and could run like the wind. The kids didn’t give up and there were a lot of emotions from the guys after the game but as coached and parents we couldn’t have been prouder.
Little old Bideford RFC coming 3rd in the South West marginally beaten by two very good sides.
Next up is the West Buckland Festival, when Bideford will have two teams representing them.