Reeds U16 End their Youth League Rugby with Fine Win
Greg Tack – 23 April 2017
There must have been a fine script-writer preparing the story of what unfolded today at Reeds. It was on a very similar looking day 11 years ago that many of these U16 boys began their rugby journey at Reeds. I recall the sunshine, the bouncy castles, and the festival atmosphere, all those years ago. And the same scene greeted us today (including the bouncy castles), for the final Youth League game for this group of players. In the intervening years, the little rascals have grown into giants, developed amazing rugby skills, a team bond, and everlasting friendships. And there was a fitting closure to this circle of life, a fine 54-17 win over Old Ruts in Surrey League 1.
Reeds started the game with a desire which defied any other result than a win. Charging up the hill from the kick-off, they forced their opponents backwards. After sustained pressure in the Old Ruts 22m area, Reeds completed a text-book pick and go from the base of the scrum, and a fine driving maul, to go over for the first try of the game, Matt Johnson with the ball in hand.
Nine further tries followed in an exhibition of skill, control, pace, and fine interplay between forwards and backs. James Botterill celebrated his call-up to the England U16 team with a sublime hat-trick of blistering pace and vision. Will Fitch showed class and silky skills at fly-half, capping his performance with 2 tries, the second of which was a perfectly executed chip and chase which would make any No 10 purr with pleasure. And then there was Stefan, looking dangerous every time he had the ball tucked under his arm, a 50m run-in for a try in the first half wasn’t quite enough exercise for him, so he added a 70m run down the touchline for another try in the second half. The forwards wanted a piece of the action also, and it was fitting that the winner of the most improved player of the year award, Dylan Morgan, was the one to do it, almost flattening the posts in his determination to barge over the line. And linking it all together was our 9 carat gold scrum-half, Thomas Sturmer, a player of such vision that he seems to know where his team mates will be moving to before they have decided themselves. He sealed another fine performance with a long range try of his own, which he converted on the final hooter.
And so the season and youth rugby draw to a close, what have we learnt? The U16A team ended 3rd in Surrey League 1, the U16B team won Surrey League 4. Lewis Dudley deservedly won Player’s Player of the year for his outstanding leadership and commitment. James Botterill underlined his exceptional ability with Head Coach’s Player of the Year award, county, academy, and national call ups. Other players to feature in county teams and representative squads were: Dan Aldwinkle, Stefan, Will Fitch, Ollie Tack, Lorcan Walters, and Harrison Matsis. We also learnt that we have a fine team of committed coaches who have worked tirelessly to make Reeds the best club in the county!
And so a chapter ends, but the story is far from over for this talented bunch of players – bring on Colts rugby next season!