Sidcup U14's at Kent Festival Prelims
An improvement from a year ago sees the Sidcup U14's reach the Kent Plate Final.
The Sidcup U14's made the short trip to Westcombe Park to face a challenging day at the Kent Festival.
The group draw meant that the day would open against one of the favourites to win the competition, Aylesford Bulls. That would be followed by a match against the relatively unknown quantity of Folkestone.
Pool Match #1 - Sidcup 5 Aylesford Bulls 29
Despite having been badly beaten by the Bulls at the start of the season, the lads started well and competed with total commitment.
Sam Leek launched a kick deep into Aylesford territory and chased to charge down an attempted kick by the full back. Sam gathered the loose ball and dived down to put Sidcup into a 5-0 lead.
The lads held the lead until the stroke of half time when after constant pressure the Bulls forced over and converted to go into the lead 7-5 at half way.
The second half would prove to be too much for our boys as some good moves and great passing at pace from Aylesford opened up the defence and earned them 4 unanswered tries, with one converted to take the match 29-5.
Despite being rather comprehensively beaten there was plenty of praise from the Bulls' coach who felt that our lads showed a massive improvement and played as a real team.
Pool Match #2 - Sidcup 26 Folkestone 0
The second and final group game saw a complete change of fortune as Folkestone were cast aside with some strong and steady rugby.
Ben Stock joined the fray having been delayed due to girlie Cricket commitments and opened the scoring after a strong forward drive by the pack following a powerful run from Ross Macewan. This time the lead was not relinquished as the lads stayed 5-0 up at the turn.
The second half was a very one sided affair as more dominance from the forwards including an impressive run from Connor Coakley paved the way for Kieran Moore to score under the posts. This was shortly followed by another try for Ben Stock and one for Scott Humphryes, Stocky converting all to wind the match up at 26-0 and take us into the Plate Quarter Final.
Plate Quarter Final - Sidcup 21 Tonbridge Juddians 'B' 7
The quarter final match pitched the boys against a physically impressive looking second XV from Judds.The early exchanges were fairly even with Samuel Foster scoring for Sidcup and the Juddians responding with a score of their own to keep it level at 7-7.
Sidcup were gaining in confidence and taking the game to TJ's when the match had to be stopped due to an injury to one of the TJ players who could not continue and unfortunately needed medical help.
The game was moved to another pitch, but neither this change, nor the delay could change the nature of the match as our boys continued to dominate.
Sam Leek ran in his second of the day and Full Back Ryan Livermore found space to outpace the defence to score to take Sidcup into the Semi Final with an impressive 21-7 win.
Plate Semi Final - Sidcup 5 Bromley 5
After what seemed an absolute age it was finally time to face last year's Cup Finalists Bromley for a place in the final.
From the start Sidcup dominated with the pack completely out-muscling their Bromley opposition. Each scrum, whether with or against the head was won by Callum Morton as Ben Williams and Samuel Foster won the front row battle.
When Bromley did get the ball they were predictable as they fed their strong inside centre 'Rambo' who had done all the damage for them in their earlier matches.
There was no way through the defence as Robbie Smith introduced Rambo to the Westcombe Park mud time after time, winning the physical battle proving technique can beat pure size.
A score had to come and it did as Robbie went on an attacking run and found Kieran Moore on the right wing who scored after a very 'Campese' like step took him into the corner. A great conversion attempt from Stocky almost made it but fell just short.
The second half continued in the same way as the first and the only surprise was that the lead was not increased. Nerves were frayed with only a narrow 5 point lead.
Bromley started to get into the game in the last 2 minutes and were assisted by some extremely strange decisions by the referee.
With hands scuttling the ball back in a ruck being unseen Bromley made a final push and scored in the left corner much to the disappointment of all who saw the clear penalty that was missed.
The conversion was missed and the whistle blown to end the match level at 5-5.
A drop kick competition would decide who would be victorious. Despite decent attempts from the 22m line by Oliver Mason, Ben Stock, Sam Leek, Callum Nurse and Samuel Foster both sides remained level with no kicks going over.
By the rules, this meant sudden death and the opportunity to use a kicking tee should the kicker choose to.
Bromley were first to kick and using a tee went close but the kick was too low. If Sidcup could kick over the match was won.
Up stepped Chris King, the calmest man in town. Choosing to drop kick and showing no sign of nerves whatsoever he slotted his kick right through the middle to send up a chorus of cheers and take the lads through to the final.
The joy of all the boys and parents was clear and there was a tear in the eye for many.
So, Old Colfeians are to be the opponents in the Plate Final and will no doubt be a tough challenge for the boys. But, having clearly improved since being beaten in the Bowl Final a year ago you never know what may happen.
All that remains to be said for now is.....
LONG LIVE THE KING!!