Steeple Morden and Jeavons Wood book places at tag rugby county finals
Fast and frenetic action at Swavesey
South Cambs School Sport Partnership tag rugby event, Swavesey Village College, Gibraltar Ln, Swavesey, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell
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With ribbons flying and wilful running, there was no mistaking the competition being hosted at Swavesey Village College on Monday.
Organised chaos would be the best way to describe the action as 24 teams contested the South Cambs School Sports Partnership Year 5 & 6 Tag Rugby.
And it was an energetic, action-charged afternoon as the primary school youngsters with turbo-boosted shoes hared around the 12 pitches marked out at the venue, keeping the hands full of the young sports leaders from Swavesey, who were officiating the event.
Put aside any prejudices about ages, this was gripping and enthralling end-to-end action as the schools battled it out for a place in the final and the right to represent South Cambs at the county finals.
So when it came to the semi-finals, it was left to the Vine, Steeple Morden, Cottenham and Jeavons Wood to contest for a place in the last two – and the coveted spots in the next stage of the competition.
As Jeavons Wood edged out Cottenham in the first semi-final, it was much more tense in the second semi as the Vine and Steeple Morden went to sudden death.
From one end to the other the match flowed, and neither team deserved to lose given the efforts they both put in, but it was Steeple Morden who snatched the winning try.
And so it was into the final, where another entertaining fixture ensued, with both teams moving the ball and trying to create space to run into.
Steeple Morden scored and then Jeavons Wood replied, and this happened twice before Steeple Morden took victory with a last-gasp try.
“We normally have 20 teams, so we did have four extra teams,” said Claire McDonnell, the South Cambs SSP manager, “so it seems to get busier each year.
“It is organised chaos – quick matches so it is quite fast and furious during the afternoon but we want to make sure that the children get as many games as possible.
“The semi-final was really close. I hadn’t really planned for what we would do if it went to a draw, but we played sudden death and it took a while for them to score as there was some really good, close competitive rugby.
“The two teams will go on and represent South Cambs, along with two teams we had from our small schools competition earlier in the year so they join Harston & Newton and Meldreth at the county finals on March 23.
“Fenstanton won it the last two years for South Cambs, so fingers crossed.”
Spirit of the games winners were Swavesey B team, who were praised for supporting each other and other teams’ players, congratulating the referee and playing with a big team spirit.