Rugby: 1st XV Through To County Cup Semi-Finals
On Monday 8th December the 1st XV travelled to Worth for the quarter final of the county cup, a round which has caused us problems in previous years.
Although some still felt weary after the close defeat to Cranleigh two days before, we felt confident of victory, especially with the full strength squad that we had.
Led by the captain, Welsh exile Josh Novell, Bede's started strongly with a well worked try in the corner, scored by Josh O'Reilly. However, Worth replied with a converted try and penalty within quick succession showing their pace and skill out wide.
Due to our early dominance in the set piece, we worked our way up-field spending long periods in their 22. Joe Juran powered his way through multiple tackles to the try line from a quick penalty tap giving Bede's the lead once again.
After some first half substitutions, the very much strengthened Worth side continued to have no answer to the power of the Bede's forwards. As the game started to slow from its vibrant start, Bede's structure, dictated by scrum half Joe Madelena, really started to become prominent resulting in a brilliant solo effort from Marcus Hendry.
We spent the rest of the half in Worth's third but failed to convert the chances, leaving the half time score at 17-10.
A sloppy start to the second half led to sustained pressure from Worth, who scored two very good tries.
From the restart, the Bede's pack took control with rampaging runs from Joe Juran, Artin Valinejad and Ryan Day. Harry Walker at Fly-Half spotted the gap and splitting the Worth defence and setting up Gary Walker for the next try; but yet again Worth's pace out wide proved deadly, scoring their third of the half.
In this thrilling cup game, with a cheering crowd, Josh Novell took control with a pick up from the ever-dominant Bedes scrum dotting down the ball beneath the posts.
The referee announced that there was 10 minutes remaining with the scores tied at 27-27. The physicality stepped up to another level with both teams truly putting their bodies on the line.
Yet again, Worth had a lengthy period attacking the Bede's try line, with two attempts being held up. With hard work and determination we managed to pull through powering past the gain line on nearly every carry.
In the dying seconds of the game, Ryan Day snuck his way through a gap at the side of the ruck and weaved his way over the line.
Victory was secured with this sixth try, which put us through to the semi-final of the County Cup. The boys have never been so happy with victory, maybe not because of what it means for the team, but that it was our beloved, long-standing coach, Mr Tom Elwell's last game at the school. He has kept Bede's rugby alive over many years, and will be dearly missed.
Now, of course, the whole team is looking forward to seeing who our semi-final opponents will be, for we all have firm ambitions to win the County Cup.