On Sunday 15th November, Lucton School retained their title at the National Small Schools Rugby Tournament at Rendcomb College.
Lucton School’s team found the pool matches in Saturday’s dreadful weather hard work and were delighted to be rewarded with a semi-final place on Sunday against the tournament hosts. Lucton were reasonably optimistic, as they had beaten Rendcomb in the pool stage of the tournament. In Sunday’s much drier conditions, Lucton was able to exert considerable control and only some strong defending from Rencomb limited the Lucton victory to just 7 – 0, though it was always obvious who would have the place in the final.
In the final, against St David’s College, Lucton began positively, with confidence and were rewarded with an early score. Unfortunately, a handling error gave St David’s an easy score under the posts, 7 points all! Playing against the wind in the second-half could have been a problem for Lucton, but St David’s had no answer to Lucton’s speed in defence. Some clever play, keeping St David’s on the defensive, led eventually to a dangerously placed penalty, which was quickly taken by Lucton’s captain, Will Russell, and he raced over to score the winning try. Final score 12 – 7 to Lucton School.
This was a very good team performance, with Lucton’s players adapting their play to suit the conditions. The senior boys, Aliaskar Yerimbetov, Liam O’Neil, Will Russell, Ben Fillery, Aidan Berry and the dancing Charlie Grimes (a North Midlands squad player), led by example. Aliaskar in only his second year of rugby, was brave and won many turn-overs. Amazingly, there were also four overseas boarders in the squad, who had only started playing rugby this year, from Spain, Germany and Dubai, and they all made a positive contribution.
Lucton has a strong rugby tradition and Lucton’s Headmistress, Mrs Gill Thorne, is delighted at the consistency Lucton is showing. “I am so proud of the team and when I think of how many relatively inexperienced players we fielded compared to last year’s winning team, I am amazed. It was also wonderful to see their pride in coming to tell me how they had done upon their return to school on the Sunday night, though they were almost apologetic for not winning the final by a bigger margin!”