Rugby Tournament was held at their Onley Grounds site on the 20th and 21st of June and despite some heavy rain showers on Saturday, which eventually put an end to play early for the day, the tournament managed to run and saw a number of clubs share the spoils. After the enforced early ending on Saturday, play started early at 8am on Sunday (editor’s note: much to anguish of some players who had enjoyed Rugby’s bar facilities almost as much as they had enjoyed their pitches) but luckily due to the fact Rugby had four pitches running and had some natural breaks in the original order of play they managed to get most of the games which had been abandoned the day before played.
The A grade was played in sections and featured in it the entire UK World Cup team and also the UK Under 21’s boys squad. However, despite the UK men’s section remaining undefeated all weekend they weren’t actually allowed to win the competition as they were playing hors concours (editor’s note: that is your actual French) so it was left to Kent Target and Rugby to fight it out in the final. Kent won the day by a few goals as Sam Marsh showed that he is beginning to rediscover his best form after a year off and he was ably backed up by his cousin Joe and the ever reliable Will Halcrow. Sam and Will picked up best number 1 and best number 3 respectively while Rugby’s Olly Gardner picked up best number 2.
In the B grade it was Cotswold and Arden who met in the final after they each won their respective pools. It was a hard fought and fast affair but Cotswold lead throughout and ended up leading by two goals at the end of the fifth chukka. Arden tried their hardest to pull it back and grabbed one goal but Cotswold then held them at bay and took their chances to add another two goals and so ended up winning by three. Arden saw some consolation at Harry Twinberrow won best number 1 while James Allen of Cotswold won best number 3. Kelly Farr of Rugby picked up best number 2. “Uncle” Pete Wherrett, who was playing in the Welsh Dragons B grade side picked up best overall open horse for his horse Kelly.
In the C grade it was a very close final between Kent Target and a combined Welsh Dragons and Arden team. The Welsh Dragons went into the last chukka down by two goals but they leveled it up and so it went to golden goal. Arden got the first chance in the golden goal but failed to keep the ball, Kent won it and went on the attack. However, Jodie Davis of Kent then saw her shot to win it turned on to the post by Chris Milburn and Arden won back the ball again. However, they lost it again in midfield due to some strong Kent defence and this time Jodie slotted it between the posts to win Kent the game. Hamish Gillanders of Northern Lions won Best number 1, Jana Dillon of Kent won best number 2 (editor’s note: despite playing with a stick of Jason Webb’s which looks like it either belongs in a museum or a skip. We really think Jason should buy her a new one while he is in South Africa). and Matt Hale of Ledbury won best number 3.
The D grade saw Cotswold on the top of the podium again as they overcame a combined Northern Lions/ Limemere Sparks team after a long and hard final. Both teams had won their pools but it was Cotswold who ultimately reined supreme in the final. Cotswold’s Dom White won best number 1 and Laura Scott won best number 2. Nadine Bristow of Rugby won best number 3.
In the E grade it was a mixed team of Welsh Dragons, Northern Lions and Chiltern players that won first place with Limemere Sparks again in second place. Shaunna Evans of Welsh Dragons won best number 1, with Barnaby Rudge of Cotswold picking up best number 2 and Neville Ingley of Rugby getting best number 3.
The Junior grades saw lots of entries and lots of action as there were four junior grades, with the creation of a second intermediate juniors grade to accommodate all the entries. In the Open Juniors it was Arden who overcame Celyn in the final after they each won their half of the draw. Matilda Marsh of Kent won best number 1, with Rosie George of Welsh Dragons winning best number 2 and Annabel Twinberrow of Arden picking up best number 3.
In the higher Intermediate Juniors grade it was a mixed section of Charlotte Pym, Leila Franzen and Maggie Johnson who won, they combined to overcome Rockwood Harriers’ Alicia Easdon, Ryan Sweeney and Jake Wilson. In the second Intermediate juniors division it was Kent Target’s Charlie Kish, Alice Power and Jack Webb who claimed the grade, pushing a mixed section of Tegan Bristow, Drew Followell and Phoebe McCairns into second place. Tegan Bristow’s Pepper also won best junior pony, adding another best pony prize to its already large collection.
The intermediate junior grades saw Charlie Kish of Kent take best number 1 while Drew Followell of Chiltern won best number 2 and Jack Webb of Kent took best number 3.
In the Primary Juniors it was Rockwood Harriers who took the grade with Eve Thomasson, Harry Thomasson and Caitlin Heagney managing to win the day a mixed section of Boy Wilson Fitzgerald, Will Holland and Paige Wilson in second place.