Alton Rugby Football Club

Under 7's Triumph at Vectis

Throughout a competitive season the Mighty Under 7’s have come close on several occasions. At the London Irish festival series they were won every match at through the Group and Finals stage only to be pipped by a couple of tries in the final. Hampshire Cup the same all be it losing to Petersfield by a single try on aggregate scoring in the semi-final.


On arriving at Vectis we learned that each team although playing concurrently would be competing independently in four separate pools. This meant we had 4 teams Alton Blacks 1, Blacks 2 Alton Reds 1 and Reds 2,  (of 4 plus substitutes) all playing independently relying on the outcome of their own matches to progress to the knock-out stages This was a new experience for the whole squad including coaches.


This was by some distance the largest tournament we had been to.  24 teams / clubs from all over Southern England including less familiar clubs, to Alton RFC, such as  London Scottish, Reigate, Bracknell, Becchamiams (Kent) and Wanstead, and the more regular Chichester and naturally Vectis. This allowed us to compare our development against clubs outside our regular tournament opponents.


From the very start it was clear that if Alton were to succeed they would have to play well individually and as most importantly as a team. We were impressed with speed and agility displayed a number of our opponents especially Bechammians and Bracknell. However it was clear that our recent defensive drills, in training back at Anstey Park and our warm up at Vectis, were paying off. Our opponents star players were closed down by disciplined aggressive tagging meaning they took longer to score tries or conceded turnovers. Alton teams were either winning or drawing matches with only 25% of the possession.


Drawn matches at Under 7 level, this season has been a rare phenomenon, however Alton Black 2 drew 4 and won 1 matches in their 5 group games including one spectacular 10 /10 draw. Baring in mind the match was 2 ½ minutes each way it was genuine end to end stuff!! Alton Black 1 topped their group with 4 wins and 1 draw. Alton Reds 2 narrowly missed first place in Pool D, however progressed to the Plate Semi-Final. Sadly Reds 1 just missed qualifying  for the knockout stages.


As the Pool stages of the tournament drew to a close it was confirmed that Black 1 had definitely qualified for the Cup semi-final. It was just a question of who they might be playing? Black 2’s had not lost a Pool Stage match and as the final Pool B match was under way it was clear that Reigate Rhinos had to not only win their final pool match but, crucially also win by 9 clear tries to win the group. They won by a single try and Alton Blacks 2 won the group on superior try count.


This was great news,  Black 2’s were into the Semi-Final. Sadly it meant they were up against Black 1’s. On a positive an Alton side would be contesting the final but sadly it would be at the expense of their squad / team mates.


The semi-final had all the hallmarks of the normal end of session tags games just with a little more intensity and 50 screaming supporters. It was played with great spirit and 19 tries were scored, 10 to Black 1 and 9 to Black 2.


So here we were again in the final at another competitive tournament this time against Reigate Rhinos, the same club who had knocked Alton Red 2’s out in the Plate Semi-Final. After the intensity of the pool games and semi-final, Alton were able to demonstrate superiority in both attack and defence. Alton converted Reigate turnovers into tries and crucially defended solidly when they turned their own ball over. Alton won 7-3.


This was a great result for the club and obviously the Mighty Under 7’s, and the perfect result to end a great game, a great tournament, and great tour and a great season!! Well done boys!!

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