After a long tough season our rugby boys made it to their Cup Final, held at the St Neots Festival of rugby on April 27th. Their route there was far from clear - rather than playing with the other teams in their league, instead they and close rivals Renegades were both seeded into the competition for the league above, putting them up against some seriously strong competition!
Having beaten Saffron Walden in the first round, the 'semi-final' saw a draw against Renegades - a team who had already been beaten reasonably convincingly in the league and the boys were happy to be able to see them off again after a good match.
We took strong support up to St Neots - one thing that other teams always comment on with us is the numbers we have on the sidelines - wives, girlfriends and Mums plus spare and injured players - there's invariably plenty of us, and we're noisy too! At home matches our 4th team boys always have far more folk watching than the first team do! Arriving at an away match to find that there is a mini beer-festival happening at the same time is always good too, and those of us not playing got stuck-in to the ales on offer pretty fast! (Limited in my case by the fact that MrEH had already persuaded me to drive home - crafty boy that he is!)
Our opposition - Bury St Edmund's second team (their first team are semi-professional!) had gone through the season strongly - winning all their league matches (including one with the slightly astonishing scoreline of 133-0!) and several times putting 100 points past their opponents! In their League matches they had conceded just 44 points all year - a phenomenal record, and one which meant we were far from disgraced by our 84 -24 loss. The boys played extremely well, and by their own admission Bury were taken by surprise by how hard a match we gave them.
The fun and games wasn't over at the end of the match either - as we had the presentation for the league trophies which included our league win! Great to see Steve going up to collect our cup - although we only had JUST enough time to get photos done before having to hand it back for safekeeping! We were all delighted though - a lot of work has gone into the results that they have had this season and they thoroughly deserved their moment in the spotlight.
We're still waiting for confirmation of which league the team will be in next year. We've done a lot of travelling over the past few years - up as far as March, Ely and St Ives in Cambridgeshire, and sometimes the teams that are a distance away are reluctant to return the favour and play their match down at ours which is a bit unfair. we lost 4 home fixtures to this problem this year - and whilst we get awarded the match result (As a 15-0 win) this doesn't make up for the boys not getting a match (and in many cases we'd score more than those 15 points, too!) so a new league is being sought where we might stand a chance of more regular matches.