Tom Harrison’s Junior Report: Minis Festival a big hit despite the rain

Scarborough RUFC under 12s and friends  meet Stuart Lancaster, centre, the new England RFU rugby coach, at the Rugby 7's tournament, at Silveroyd, on Sunday. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121568c        14/04/12
Scarborough RUFC under 12s and friends meet Stuart Lancaster, centre, the new England RFU rugby coach, at the Rugby 7's tournament, at Silveroyd, on Sunday. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121568c 14/04/12
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Rain doesn’t stop play…

Now that the dust has settled after last weekend’s Minis Rugby Festival, everybody involved can take a moment to relax after the event was again a huge success.

Young players in action at the Rugby 7's tournament, at Silveroyd, on Sunday. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121568h        14/04/12

Young players in action at the Rugby 7's tournament, at Silveroyd, on Sunday. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121568h 14/04/12

With everything including the weather determined to disrupt this hugely popular event, as well as the restriction this year on any amplified music and tannoy announcements, the staff and volunteers at the rugby club were pushed right to the limit but they coped admirably despite the blizzards, hailstorms and the constant northerly breeze.

The warning signs were there from the outset when the heavens opened at 9.30am on Saturday morning, one of the marquees blew away at 10am and then the Red Devils Parachute team were unable to jump due to the wind and low clouds.

We all had the feeling that it was going to be one of those days but thanks to an army of club volunteers giving up their spare time the rest of the weekend went on without any more major dramas.

The matches started on time at 10.45am and nearly 2000 people braved the conditions to watch teams from around the country from under-sevens through to under-12s compete to be Breakaway Tours Scarborough Minis Festival Champions.

Young players in action at the Rugby 7's tournament, at Silveroyd, on Sunday. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121568j        14/04/12

Young players in action at the Rugby 7's tournament, at Silveroyd, on Sunday. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121568j 14/04/12

As always, the standard of the rugby played through all the age ranges was amazing with some truly entertaining and thrilling matches played.

The bleak and frequently changeable weather never once dampened the spirits of the boys and girls taking part and they put on a great show for everyone who came to support.

On Saturday, with the first team players having to leave at 1.30pm to prepare for the game against Heath it was left down to the referees, a handful of players from the under-14s, under-15s and under-16s and some of the Colts to see out the end of day one and they worked together admirably and were rewarded with a spell of sunshine to round off the first days play.

When 9.30am came around on Sunday, there was a change of personnel as many of the volunteers from Saturday were unavailable due to work commitments and the under-15s were away on a mini tour but no change in the weather with more rain and string winds forecast throughout the day.

Parents cheer on young players in action at the Rugby 7's tournament, at Silveroyd, on Sunday. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121568k  14/04/12

Parents cheer on young players in action at the Rugby 7's tournament, at Silveroyd, on Sunday. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121568k 14/04/12

However, everyone was still in very high spirits and determined to enjoy the weekend and the second day ran smoothly from the off with the fields awash with

hundreds of happy rugby players and fans.

Day two was finals day and, sticking to the ‘problem’ theme of the weekend, the laptop which all the results were being recorded on broke and it was down to the volunteers who collected all the scores to help tally up the results and get the problem sorted.

The presentations to the winners of each age group ran throughout the afternoon and some teams stayed on at the club late into the afternoon to make the most of their trip before making their journeys home, some of whom had travelled half the length of the country to take part in the Festival.

Top tips. Stuart Lancaster, left, the new England RFU rugby coach, chats with Tom Harrison, Scarborough RUFC youth development officer, at the Rugby 7's tournament, at Silveroyd, on Sunday. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121568d        14/04/12

Top tips. Stuart Lancaster, left, the new England RFU rugby coach, chats with Tom Harrison, Scarborough RUFC youth development officer, at the Rugby 7's tournament, at Silveroyd, on Sunday. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121568d 14/04/12

On a personal note it was great to see the Scarborough sides do so well and score plenty of tries and win a fair few games.

It was a great weekend despite the best efforts of the weather to put a spanner in the works and everyone involved, whether on the field or off it came away happy.

I would like to thank everyone who helped out with the planning and the running of the event; it is such a great showcase for the facilities at Scarborough and the continued success of the Festival is a testament to the efforts of the organisers and those who gave up their time to help.

l Moving on to this weekend, we have a packed schedule at Scarborough with five touring teams coming to play.

With the under-13s v Winnington Park will kick-off at 11.30 and will be played 20 minutes each way and will be played on the 1st Team Pitch

Scarborough under-13s against Waterloo will kick-off at 12.15 and will also be played 20 minutes each way.

This game will also be played on the first team pitch.

Scarborough under-12s v Percy Park will kick-off at 12.30 and will be 20 minutes each way and the game will be played on pitch five.

Scarborough under-19s v Lutterworth will kick-off at 1pm and will be 35 minutes each way and will be played on pitch two.

And the under-14s will be playing first XV player Tom Ratcliffe’s old school in a game of touch and pass on the Saturday morning.

Thanks for reading

Tom Harrison

YDO, Scarborough RUFC