The U14 girls team, playing alongside our friends at Blackheath RFC as the Crimson Blacks, travelled to Tonbridge Juddians in the pouring rain for the Kent 7s competition. Having claimed the bowl in this event last season, the girls were keen to upgrade their trophy this year.
Despite the atrocious handling conditions, the girls showcased their fast running and high-quality offloading to gain victories over Beccs Valley (21-5) and Ashford (35-5).
The last group game against Sevenoaks, the reigning champions at 15 and 7-a-side, was a very different affair. Two very talented and determined sides displayed excellent defence combined with skilful and speedy attacks to keep the game in the balance throughout. A first-half Sevenoaks score was equalised by a try by Mary with three minutes to play to earn a hard-fought 7-7 draw and the group win.
And so, we took our place in the Cup final group alongside Tunbridge Wells and Dartfordians. The game against Tunbridge Wells was played in the heaviest rain of the day but despite the ball being like a bar of soap, the girls controlled possession well and ran out 12-0 winners. With Dartford having also beaten TW, it all came down to our final match.
Dartford started strongly and took an early lead but the Crimson Blacks bounced back quickly with a try of our own scored by Tess to put us 7-5 ahead. The game remained tight with both sides having plenty of the ball but with some great tackling and counter rucking, we won the ball with only a minute to go, moved it swiftly wide and Tess outsprinted the defence to touch down and make it 14-5. There wasn’t enough time for Dartford to respond and with one last tackle driving the Dartford winger into touch, the final whistle blew and the celebrations began.
The club, coaches and parents are immensely proud of the players. Winning the Kent Cup is a thoroughly deserved reward, built on unseen hours of training and hard work from young women who demonstrate over and over again their skill, talent, resilience and tenacity – both on and off the pitch.