Under-18s end their Incredible Journey in style

28th April 2015

The Under-18s secured the 2014/15 Herts Middlesex Division Two title to cap off a memorable season.

Their glittering campaign began in good spirits having finished last season mi-table in Herts Middlesex Division Two.

This was progress from being second bottom the previous year after earning promotion the season before that.

They set their stall out to win the league this year, which they did in dramatic style after a mid-season slump.

Pre-season paid off early in September with the first league match a resounding victory coupled with wins in the opening friendlies of the season and in an Academy match against Ealing.

The U18s then went to France and had a great weekend taking part in WW1 anniversary commemorations and having a memorable match against a much bigger and older Racing Metro side.

The boys on and off the pitch represented the club with pride and dignity.

Then we had a friendly against Old Albanians and with injury, sickness and study issues we lost by a considerable margin.

This was followed by losses in some Academy matches, a number of friendlies, the LV Cup and our second league match.

The league defeat was particularly disappointing having been 25-0 up at half-time.

Following a meeting with the team leadership group in the New Year, players were moved into different positions and, coupled with an improved mindset, a magic formula was hit.

The boys suddenly clicked and since the start of 2015, the Under-18s have won 14 matches and lost just one, by two points.

In that period they turned over the league leaders and two league teams who they had never previously beaten.

The boys also won every Academy match and eventually won Herts Middx Division Two by six points.

Challenges in the main centred on keeping the boys focused whilst trying to balance academic aspirations, the social lives of teenagers and the personal aspirations of those who wanted to play Academy rugby.

At the end of their own Incredible Journey from minis rugby, the U18s had a 30-plus strong squad, about a dozen regular Academy players and four boys who started together at the age of five and a half – 13 years ago!

Next year most boys will be going to University, a number will play social rugby at LSFC and a good number will remain in the Senior Academy.

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