London Irish trip is a winning one for Chichester rugby lads

Chi U13s at the London Irish festival
Chi U13s at the London Irish festival

The London Irish U13 Festival meant an early start for Chichester under-13s and their supporters.

The format was four matches in four pools, then the first placed teams in each pool played each other, second placed in each pool played each other (and so on), with the winners of each semi-final playing in the final.

After a good warm-up Chichester beat Redingensians 6-0, rotating the large squad the best they could.

Chi knew Battersea Ironsides would be a much harder test, but another good win was a marker.

Next up was Newbury, but Chi had to face the rest of the tournament without captain Rory Minton, groggy after a tackle on a Battersea Ironsider. But the whole squad was playing well.

Blues are happy at Hove
Breach and the Red Roses are blooming brilliant
Alton were the final match in the pool, and another impressive win was gained and Chi topped the group.

Chi’s semi-final was on a full-sized pitch against Drifters and they were comfortable winners.

In the final against Rosslyn Park - always tough opponents - Chi were told to get in their faces and cause havoc and mayhem.

It was 1-1 in tries at the end which meant sudden death. Happily it went Chichester’s way.

Not once in any of the six games did Chi concede first. This was vital in such short halves, meaning the opposition were on the back foot. And they applied pressure constantly - a scoreline of 21 tries scored and only three conceded was stunning and testament to the whole squad.

A large trophy collected from some of the London Irish 1st XV meant some tired, battered but elated boys were celebrating a famous festival win.

Congratulations went to the squad, and thanks to the parents who withstood sun, hail, wind and rain, and were still cheering at the end.

Chi U13s: Oscar de Bathe, Ruben Bennett, Miller Cole, Rory Davey, Hughie Fleming, Rory Gordon, Sonny Grant, Joe Handley, Eliott Hartridge, George Kent, Henry Langford, Isaac Lavington, Conor McCormack, Rory Minton, Sean Savage, Luke Skinner, Harry Soden Bridger, Edward Timberlake, Hamish Williams, Jakey Wood.