Lewes were first up, a team who had confidently got the better of Shoreham at the recent East Sussex festival. The boys worked hard and fought a brave game against a very good Lewes side. Shoreham just seemed to have the edge and ran out 3-1 winners.
Next up were the other side to beat us at East Sussex, Crowborough. Shoreham took charge of this game from the off and used their size and power to push ahead. Despite Crowborough coming back into the match Shoreham always kept ahead, winning 4-2
Fast improving Crawley came with a physical game plan, which played into Shoreham’s strengths. The boys kept on top of the opposition, not allowing them space and matching their approach, and won convincingly 4-1.
This meant a group decider with Eastbourne for a place in the final. The boys started slowly and despite playing some excellent rugby let Eastbourne in twice. The big change this season has been the boys attitude when a match isn’t going their way. A determination to get back into matches and keep heads up has more than once turned matches round.
It happened again here. Despite playing well they were 2-0 down at half time, in the second half they really took it to Eastbourne, who played an excellent brand of the game, moving the ball across the pitch repeatedly. Strong tackling and running, and much better ball retention, got Shoreham into good positions and over the line. The final score, a 4-2 loss, didn’t do the boys performance justice, and Eastbourne went on to be worthy winners of the final.
This season has been interesting, with the U10s dismissing some sides with ease and battling to other wins using our undoubted talent and size. We are now at the top table in the county and giving the best teams a run for their money. Next season we need to kick on and find a way to get more results against those best sides. Better team play and movement of the ball is going to need to be allied to stronger rucking and ball retention.