U18 End Of Season Report 2014-15
For the first time in many years the Club fielded an Under 18’s team. Despite some doom laden prophesies about its sustainability not only did the squad complete a full season, but also came back from a half time deficit of 7-22 in the final match to win 26-22, taking the Herts and Middlesex League Division title in the process. The squad’s final record was Played 12, Won 8, lost 4, amassing 344 points for and 276 against.
On the weekends without a match players took the opportunity to play for the 4ths, Extras, Vets, and even the 2XV. Thanks go to the coaches and players of all those teams for giving them the chance to taste senior rugby and to inculcate them in the dark arts of rugby rituals. The “double gin, double brandy” inflicted by the U18’s players on their Head Coach during the final presentation evening seemed to be a particular favourite.
A final end of season Tens tournament at St.Neots saw Ampthill field a mixed U17/U18’s team. Despite not having played together before, and doing it “just for fun”, the team reached the Final of the competition, just losing to a Bedford team that had played and trained as an U17’s/18’s team throughout the season.
In terms of representative honours, two of our players – Josh White and Jerome Hallett – made the East Midlands Colts team. Thanks go to the Captain, Conor Williets, and the Vice Captain, Billy Ward, for their work throughout the season, and to the parents who have helped behind the scenes over the years. Thanks also got to Bruce McTavish, Keith Belcher, and Paul New – all of whom have, in their own way, helped to keep this group of players together.
This age group has now travelled the road from Under 6’s to Under 18’s, with this year being the end of their Mini and Youth journey. The last event of the season was the Presentation Evening held two weeks ago. A full turnout of the squad and parents made for a “memorable” evening. No “Player of the Year” awards were given out. However, the Players’ Player Shield, which Gary Thomas had set up in the days of mini rugby to be awarded each year up to U17’s, went to the whole squad. Gary hadn’t anticipated that an additional space on the shield would be needed for the U18’s, but would have been immensely proud that his legacy of comradeship and playing for the joy of the game had taken these players this far.
At the end of the evening each player received their own medal, engraved with their name and a motto which is uniquely theirs: “Ex Amicitia Victoria”. Roughly translated: “Through Friendship, Victory”