Chichester Rugby Club’s under-11s are the 2014 West Sussex champions - winning the West Sussex Cup in rampant fashion.
Continuing 2013’s haul of winners’ trophies, Chichester competed in a pool against Haywards Heath - 2013 champions of this event - plus Horsham and Worthing.
Chichester came out of the blocks in inspired fashion against defending champions Haywards Heath with nearly all the possession, pinning HH in their own half for almost the entire game for a 2-0 win.
A 2-1 triumph over Horsham, followed swiftly by a 3-0 win over hosts Worthing, put Chichester as winners of their pool and into the semi-final against Pulborough.
After a great display of rugby from both sides, Chichester, with a try scored in each half, won 2-0 to reach the final with Hove.
Having never beaten Hove before the Chichester boys knew a tough match awaited them. But Chichester were ready, making key tackles and turnovers very quickly at the breakdown and shocking Hove by keeping them defending their 22 and try line for most of the game.
A solitary try for Chichester, swinging it across from one side of the pitch to the other for the winger to score, saw Chichester lift the title as 1-0 winners.
After six great games of rugby, against the strongest teams in the county, Chichester could look back on six wins and only one try conceded. It was a massively-deserved win for the biggest tournament of the season.
CHICHESTER: Nawai, Slater, Blanshard, Lewis, Carter, Nutting, A deBrunner, N deBrunner, Quinton, Lowe, Mayhew, Cameron, McCulloch, Allden, Gillespie, Fountain, Minto. Coaches: Gavin Young, Aidan deBrunner, Rob Lowe, Steve Quinton.
On a super sunny day for running rugby, the Chichester under-sevens ventured into their first West Sussex Festival at Worthing RFC.
The squad were pooled against Haywards Heath Harriers, Bognor and Hove B. First opponents were HH Harriers, on paper the toughest opposition, but Chi displayed great defence and a few opportunist tries for a 9-9 draw.
Against Bognor, Chichester won 8-6, while in the final pool game, they beat Hove B 9-3.
Bognor’s win against HH meant Chichester were Pool A winners.
Chichester then faced Horsham, the Pool B winners, and scored some great end-to-end tries for an 8-6 victory.
The final brought a clash with Hove A. With the Chichester supporters growing in number, you could feel the expectation levels increasing - and Chichester won 6-5. What a result for the under-seven squad on their first venture to a big competition - five games played, 40 tries for and 29 against.
Seaford College became Sussex under-18 rugby champions for the second year in a row with a 32-5 win against Sussex Downs College.
They scored five tries and played expansive, attacking play. Seaford’s small forwards were incredibly mobile and put Sussex Downs under huge pressure.
Defensively the team were solid, which minimised Sussex Downs’ attacks.
Captain Jamie Wilcock was one of the key players and said: “It’s fantastic to win and our headmaster’s talk at half-time really inspired us to dig deep and succeed.”
The win tops off a hugely-successful season, with the other highlight seeing Seaford reach round five in the NatWest Cup national schools competition, the furthest any Sussex school reached.
John Green, Seaford’s headmaster, and Antony Cook, director of sport, coach the under-18s with lots of the successful techniques stemming from the work that Bill Cuthbertson does with Seaford’s younger ages.
Cook said: “Bill gets them drilled in skills and techniques early on and this is really noticeable when they come to compete at under-18 level.” Meanwhile, skipper Wilcock has been selected as a reserve to train for the England Club and School under-18 team, with the potential to train and play.
Cook said: “This is a huge achievement for a boy who’s always excelled in the game. His attitude and commitment has led him to almost fulfilling his potential. There’s more to come from this great player.”