Thanet Wanderers U14s v Beccehamians U14s Sunday 10th February

TWRUFC’s U14s made the long trip to Beccehamians Rugby Club for their Kent Bowl semi- final on this cold wet Sunday morning. Dover RFC had already dropped out as they were unable to field a team which meant the game became a full knock out match between the two sides. Thanet started well playing up the slope and into the wind hoping they could take advantage of the conditions in the second half. The boys continued with the intensity shown in their previous match against Sittingbourne & Sheppey, challenging hard in the tackle and pressing up fast in defence. Working on the England basis of dominant tackles TWRUFC defended well causing lots of turnover ball with some crunching tackles from Josh P, Flynn S, Sam M and James P to name just a few. Beccs. regularly spilt the ball due to the ferocity of the TWRUFC defence. After 12 minutes the deadlock was broken after a dominant scrum from the TWRUFC pack and some slick handling along the backs allowed Josh P to beat his opposite wing on the outside and outsprint the Beccs. full back to run half the length of the pitch and score under the post. The try was converted by Captain Harrison Q. The score remained 7-0 to Thanet at halftime.

Playing downhill with the wind behind Thanet in the second half allowed Harrison Q to regularly test the opposition full back with some probing kicks. The forwards remained dominant in the scrums and rucks but due to the wet muddy conditions there were a lot of dropped passes from both sides before a fine break out from inside the Thanet 22 by James P and Patrick S gave Josh P the chance to outsprint his opposite number again this time with a three quarters of the length of the pitch run to the line. This score was again well converted by Harrison Q. Beccs. continued to show great spirit and some strong running by one of their pack meant they scored in the corner with just 7 minutes to go, but they were unable to convert the try. Thanet still led 14-5 which meant there was going to be a nervous last few minutes for the watching parents and coaches. With time running out, one of the big Beccs. backrow forwards breached the Thanet defence evading a few tackles as he sprinted for the line only for the outstanding “player of the week”, Josh P, to cover across from the far wing and with a last ditch tackle cause the Beccs player to be knocked behind the dead ball line and spill the ball. A try saving tackle if ever there was one which was much appreciated by all who were present.

The Thanet backs were unable to finish the last few plays of the match with a score despite ending up close to the Beccs. try line and the final whistle sent the team, coaches and parents into humble celebrations. The Thanet boys were heaped with praise from the opposition coaches and the referee for the way they had played and are all now looking forward to Finals Day on 7th April. This is the second year on the trot we have reached the final and hopefully we will defend the cup we won last year. This was a full team effort and all 19 players played their part, no one gave up, every kick was chased, and every tackle was made or attempted. The forward pack, despite being smaller again out scrummaged the opposite pack. Scrum half Owen J was tenacious again in winning the ball and providing quick ball for fly half Harrison Q. The back row of Sam M, Oz W and Flynn S all put in a great attacking and defensive shift and centre James P regularly broke the opposition line. However, it was a unanimous decision that Josh P was the outstanding “player of the week” with his best game this season with two fantastic tries and a number of great tackles.

Jason Deacon U14s Head Coach.