13 May 2019 / Club News

Bridgend Sports Youth “Tour de Sports”.

Following last year’s successful trip with the Sports Under sixteens  winning the Plate Competition at Ghent, the Youth Fifteen decided to return to Ghent this year to compete in the Under Nineteen competition. The Sports have a  young youth side with most players in their first year. It was always  going to be a challenge but all part of the Youth team development programme to take the players through to senior rugby in two years’ time

The squad set off for the long coach trip via Dover then Calais onto the historic Cathedral city of Ghent for a weekend of hard rugby, team bonding and absorbing the local culture.

The squad arrived at Ghent early on Friday evening and quickly checked in to their hotel, before taking in the sights and sounds of the city. Then it was up early on Saturday for the journey to the tournament site with the  Welsh Flag proudly adorning the rear of the coach.

Three games in temperatures of 24 degrees bright sunshine was going to be tough but the young Sports side stepped up to the mark. A 19 -0 defeat to Bracknell in the first game was a wakeup call and then after a refreshing cool off in the lake the Sports won their second and third games  5 – 0 against  RC Bulldogs Almere and the third 25 – 0 against  Harlow RFC.  At the end of the first day, the Sports were sitting mid table. The side enjoyed a well- earned rest Saturday evening before stocking up on the carbs with a team evening meal.  

By Sunday morning, a combination of the heat and journey began to take its toll as the side were greeted with blazing sunshine again as they faced their final two pool games. They narrowly lost the first game 5 – 0 to  Woolbridge Colts. It was a brutally tough  game where two hard teams put in an immense defensive performance. The match official was so impressed, he commented that it  was the best game he had seen all weekend.  The Sports faced an extremely big  Saracens feeder academy side Horsham RFC next. Despite the mis match in size the Sports secured an early lead and played with pride and determination before going down 5 – 21.  

The Sports counted the injury toll with elbows and knees exposed, a product of a weekend of rugby on 4G . It was a mid-table finish from all the pool games to set up a Bowl Competition Semi Final  against Pontarddulais RFC. Pontardulais had benefited from a Sunday morning rest as two of their opponents failed to show up on the morning, they were also fortunate to having played only one game on the Saturday. Nevertheless, in true Sports spirit, the side carrying a few knocks and scrapes were up for the game and as so often happens at the Ghent festival, two tough  Welsh sides battled it out in front of a European audience. The Sports adopted an ambassadorial role to recruit the neutral supporters, with “Come on the Sports” ringing around the touch lines!

The fresh legs of the opposition showed through as both sides battled the heat, the Sports struggled losing 0-33 but it was not without a fight.

On to the final night , the young team enjoyed a final night of culture and chocolate before returning on the long journey home. It proved to be another great tour. Unfortunately, there was no silverware to show this time, but it was a great experience for the young squad who had represented the club and Bridgend admirably. The tour proved to be a great learning experience for you people all made possible by the help of sponsors Kontroltek, Stephenson’s and The Tan Studio. All the squad would like to extend a big thank-you to Team Manager and organiser Steve “Duffs” Duffill and stand in Tour Coach Andrew “Edda” Jones.

Playing Squad (see photo from left to right);

Ben Rich, Sam Keane, Garyn Edwards, Drew Murray, Oliver Cox, Deacon Coles, Iestyn Rees, Dan Quick, Ewan Coles, Fin Duffill, Evan Jones, Marshall Williams, Ryan Mordecai, Callum Reape, Elliott Bebb, Joe Duffill (Capt.), Ethan Bevan, Zac Hemsley, Kyle Bruton.




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