Unbelievable Team Spirit against strong opposition
By Neil Fisher
Performances to be proud of, maiden tries too!
A brisk and breezy start to the day ended with some wonderful, welcome sunshine. A mixed ability team took to the field with the prospect of playig local rivals, Fareham Heathens and old foes Alton. Also in our group were Trojans and new side to us, Bournemouth.
Relishing the local derby, the Celts flew out of the box creating havoc in the Heathens defence with first blood drawn by Noah Gridley as he weaved in and powered over from 15m for his maiden try! Well done Noah! Almost straight from the restart, the ball was spread wide to Peter Headley who picked a line and with some well placed hand-offs scored the teams second. With their backs to the walls, Heathens won a scrum on their own 5m line and looked to clear with a kick. A well placed full back Harrison Bennett took the catch on the run, hit fifth gear and the rest is history. In the second half, it was more of the same with the Celts looking to get the ball wide and their handling skills proved the difference with Charlie Fisher powering through for a quick double in either corner. Great stuff. Heathens had the better of us in the ruck so still some work to be done but a great start.
Game #2 was against a solid Trojans and a few missed pportunities cost us the victory. Elliot Giles picked up his first of the day with some great sidesteps and hand-offs and the Trojans didn't look to be causing too much trouble. However, as we well know, Trojans are warriors and always look for opportunities to get back into the game and with some unfortunate calls by the ref, they found their chance. The game finished 1-1 and the Celts would not have deserved to lose - they just didn't take their chances.
Game #3 was against a very strong Alton who topped the group. Whilst the Celts neutralised their main threat, they struggled with their creative players from the breakdown and conseded 3 early tries. Heads didn't drop and the team spirit saw them come back to 2-3 with powerful runs from Jack Harrison and Jake Hoare culminating in a try from Elliot Giles and after Kai Williams stormed through making 20m before going to ground just short, the supporting Celts cleared the ruck for Thomas Hutchinson to sneak in with a lovely pick-and-go try. The momentum was with the Celts and it looked like they had cracked the Alton spirit but a few minor mistakes cost us dearly and Alton were lethal in attack picking up another 2 tries against the run of play. L2-5.
Game #4 was against Bournemouth where dispite the difference in class, the boys played together as a unit and came off the pitch with their heads held high. Samuel Beeching, Gus Corbett and Bryn Allison with the pick of the big tackles but ultimately, our tackling confidence and intensity need to be raised. Everything else is there.
Back to basics next week at training and a few weeks off before the next tournament at Havant next month.
Well done to all players and parents who conducted themselves very well and gave the team great support. These events are designed to play less experienced players to give them more confidence and all the Celts should be proud of their teamwork today. We came up against some very strong sides today and as Rich said, the performance is more important than the results in these festivals.
See you all soon