London Scottish ended the season with one final hurrah as they went on tour to Bishops Stortford and played in the U13s festival over the May bank holiday weekend.
The qualifying games on Day One found London Scottish playing in the Land of the Giants, as a succession of teams fielded players of bigger and bigger stature throughout the day.
Gentle Giants off the field, these six foot monsters happily posed for pictures as they towered over our parents let alone our players, and on the pitch they proved to be far more of a handful.
Scottish started a little ring rusty after a few weekends without any competitive games, and first Bishops Stortford As then Saracens As each put a flurry of points past us before we eventually found our feet in the game against Boroughmuir.
This was a compelling game which ended in honours even at 7-7, which was probably just as well as Boroughmuir were staying at the same hotel as ourselves.
So bragging rights shared, it made for a good atmosphere at the ground and hotel, with Boroughmuir even busing some of our lost parents back after the evening festivities!
The next two games were games we should have won, however we couldn’t get the break we needed, and with 8 min halves, there’s not a lot of time to come back into a game if one side has gone ahead.
The final match versus Upminster was one of those that saw Scottish lose out two tries to one, a wrong that needed to be righted later in the festival.
The players, meanwhile, were unconcerned with the day’s proceedings and promptly beat Saracens at football before moving as one around the clubhouse, and the travelling en-masse around each of the rooms at the hotel, presumably in a desire to find the room that suited them best.
Bemused parents received a series of texts stating “I’m in room 20”, “I’m in room 250”, “I’m in room 149”.
Unable to keep up with the constant change, the parents found solace aided by a variety of drinks whilst listening to the bands at the clubhouse, before eventually retiring to the bar in the hotel and putting the world to right with more drinks and banter.
The question on everyone’s minds though was what would happen on Day Two, and who would come away with the prize?
Day Two saw Scottish and Upminster in the Shield group, along with Saracen and Bishops Stortford Bs.
We opened with our first match at 11.30am, which was appreciated by many as the night before had been long and liquid, and a good breakfast was required before the parents could raise their voices to support the team during the day!
Throughout the day the players stuck to the game plan and succeeded to draw the opposition in close, before spinning the ball wide and giving our backs the chance to shine.
Forwards and backs tackled like demons throughout and we ran out convincing winners against Saracens and Stortford before having to face Upminster in the final.
This time the players were ready and fought a tough, hard game.
Scottish went ahead through a well worked backline move which saw us score under the posts, allowing us the easy conversion.
Sadly one of our talisman, Marcel, was injured in the move and forced a major shuffle in forwards and backs early in the game.
Once again the players showed their class and fought for every hard yard and defended like demons.
Eventually Upminster managed to score through a good backline move of their own after sustained pressure on the Scottish line.
However, it was out wide, and the conversion was missed.
Scottish then continued to fight for every inch as the clock ticked down and were eventually rewarded with a deserved 7-5 win to take the Shield.
Congrats to all of the successful touring team – Adam, Callaghan, Cameron, Carl, Charlie, Eli, Freddie, George, Jacob, Jackson, Konrad, Kyrill, Marcel, Max, Nolan, Olly, Rocco, Sean, Seth, Ted, Thomas – and to the parents for a great atmosphere throughout the weekend, carrying on from the regular season where the players have done so well.
We’re looking forward to next season now and a well-earned summer break.
See you in September as the Under 14s.