A season of mixed fortunes and the first without Craig Ashby as joint Head Coach; Anna Scott stepped up to take the role of Team Manager and Craig Shelley became Head Forwards Coach, both doing a fantastic job throughout the year.
We started the year with 32 boys signed on, unfortunately not quite enough for two teams so took the decision to only enter Division 1 of the HML league as well as the Beds Cup.
A decision that was well justified as a combination of injuries and the demands of GCSE preparations left us short of players for several games. Despite this we managed to fulfil all league games and friendlies to maximise game time for all the boys.
The league started with a very positive, but hard fought victory over perennial opponents Twickenham, unfortunately this was somewhat of a false dawn for our league season. We contrived to draw a game that we dominated against St Albans and unfortunately lost our remaining 4 league matches.
That said, in all but the game against Hertford, we could and in some instances, should have won, at times playing some fantastic rugby and even in the very tough game against Hertford, refused to give up and pushed our opponents to the end.
We fared better in the cup. Having decided to give away two tries against the run of play to Bedford in our Semi Final, we finally woke up with twenty minutes to go and ended up winning convincingly 32-10.
So, onto the cup final, at home and a rare outing on the first team pitch against a Dunstablians team keen for revenge following defeat at our hands in last years’ semi-final.
The boys did themselves and the club proud, trusting their defensive patterns and making their individual tackles, they imposed themselves on the opposition and dictated play throughout the first half, turning round 17-0 up.
The second half was harder, Dunstable doing more in attack than they did in the first but in all honesty very rarely threatening to score, the game ending 17-0 and with it we retained the cup we won last year.
It has also been a successful year at representative level once again with 12 playerS making the DPP squad, Fynn Cooke and Pierce Holland making the East Midlands squad and Liam Watson retaining his EPDG place only to suffer a season ending injury.
Next year we will contest the HML in Division 2 along with the East Midlands Cup as well as supporting the Under 18 Academy with players as and when needed.
I would like to thank all the coaches, helpers and parents for all their support and hard work and look forward to seeing the boys back in training over the summer.
U16 Head Coach