Tom Harrison’s Junior Report: The season so far

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With a few days to go before Christmas the halfway point of the season has now passed and it’s a great chance to take stock of the year so far.

The mayhem that was the Minis Christmas party was a great success with more than 50 children staying behind after training on Sunday to enjoy some traditional rugby club games and food.

With some of the Minis involved in fixtures at Malton and some here for training at the club it will not be until January 8, when all of the Scarborough sides return to Silver Royd.

Overall the under-sixes, sevens and eights have attracted many new players this season with an average of 25 children turning up each week.

Coaches Steve Purdy and David White have been helped and supported by a band of enthusiastic dads, many of whom have completed the rugby ready course.

under-sixes

In the under-six age group, William Marshall has crossed the line for the most tries so far this season while Josh Moir and Oliver Edwards are both making great strides and have also been regular scorers.

under-sevens

In the under-sevens age group, Oliver Jones and Louie France are the top try-scorers so far, and they have been very well supported by Richard Sharpe and Jamie Dennis, both of whom have had outstanding seasons.

Under- eights

In the under-eight age group, Harry Jones tops the try scoring list, closely followed by Robbie Kerr.

The number of players in this age group continues to thrive along with the performances of many other team members.

The under-nines, 10s and 11s are coached by Nigel Wilson, Simon Dickinson and Nick Jackson.

A special mention must go to Joe Fishburn who has missed a few weeks due to wrist injury from gymnastics and should be back in the New Year.

Also leaving in New Year to go to Tasmania are Bobby and Sam Fordy who have been members of the club since they were six-years-old.

Everyone at the club wishes the Fordy family all the best with their relocation.

Most improved players so far this season go to Keenan Coles-Metcalfe and Billy Readman and finally Guy Taylor and Aaron Crookes, who are new players this season and have had a great start to their rugby careers.

Even though these age groups are still short of players to make three teams the players have been a very dedicated bunch and have no shortage of enthusiasm.

Under-nines

The stand-out performers for the under-nines have been Archie Paxton and Josh Bagshaw, who have performed well in matches and training throughout the season so far.

Under-10s

For the under-10s it was hard to look past Jack Corney who has attended every training session so far this season.

Under-11s

Max Bingham has had a stand-out start to the season, including scoring three tries in Thirsk match earlier this year.

Under-12s

So far this season, the under-12s are our most successful age group and are coached by Ian Evans, Peter Revett and John Welsby.

After starting the season with barely 13 players, hard work and good commitment shown by all the squad has seen an influx of new players and they now have a squad of 23.

After coming third in the East Yorkshire competition, the under-12s made history by being the first Scarborough under-12s side to make it through to the Yorkshire Cup, although the cup run did end in disappointment after a narrow defeat to Wetherby.

The under-12s record this year currently stands as played 14, won seven, drawn two, lost five.

But all the losses have been very close.

Top try scorers are Euan Govier with 10, Tom Anderson, eight with Tom Evans kicking eight conversions.

Top tacklers have been Euan Govier, Dan Marsh, Reece Corney and Kevin Williams, the latter leading the pack really well too. 

Tom Evans always gives 100 per cent, both in training and in competitive matches, directing operations from scrum half.

The under-12s have had a number of players who are new to the game and have fitted in well into the team and are learning the game quickly.

The team have progressed from a side that was used to losing matches to one that expects to win all of the games they play, they are really disappointed when they don’t and as a team I know they will hope to make a real impact in the Breakaway Festival at the end of the season and win all our remaining games in our matrix fixtures.

Under-13s

Sam Rehill, Ryan Fowler & Alex Ingham (who narrowly missed out on an East Yorkshire call up) have all had great starts to the season.

Just like the under-12s, they started the season with small numbers but now they have 20+ players to choose from.

Looking forward to the rest of the season the under-13s are all set to go on tour to Bognor Regis and the fundraising has been going well.

Keep an eye out for them at all 1st XV home game this season and they will be supporting the club all dressed in shirt and ties.

Under-14s

With the longest away trip (Wharfedale) of any of the junior sides this season behind them the under-14s will look be looking forward to starting the New Year with a couple of home games against Hull Ionians and Whitby.

Stand-out performers include Drew Govier and Toby Welsby, who have both been exceptional for their schools in the Skipton Building Society Schools’ League.

Under-15s

Known around the club as the Thor’s men have had a rollercoaster ride of a season already.

After some heavy defeats in the opening few games they have benefitted from some new faces and have managed to turn things around with the highlight of the season so far being a 24-12 victory over Beverley.

The forwards have been outstanding for most of the season and now that the backs are beginning to click, 2012 is set to be a good one.

The player who has most impressed so far is Joe Marshall who made it through to East Yorkshire and only just missed out on a full Yorkshire call-up.

New players for this season including Arron Aghajanian, Dan Semons, Callum Kail and Liam Bruce have all settled in well and will be looking forward to continuing their rugby development into the New Year.

Under-16s

Coached by Craig Fairbairn and Mark Hopper, the under-16s have had a quite start to the season.

The highlight so far came back in October during the Junior Festival while competing against some of the best teams from across the North.

The under-16s picked up their first win of the season after a great effort against Blyth on the opening day of the tournament.

Stand-out performers include Dan Brookman, Rory Day, Nick Wilson and Lewis McMillan who has also had terrible luck with injuries this season.

There is no doubt about the talent at this age group and with a bit more work on the training paddock early next year I’m sure the under-16s will have a successful end to the season.

Under-17s

Bad injuries to Josh Stacey and Luke Proudfoot have hampered the good start the under-17s had to their season.

With their last game being the only fixture this season (across all ages) to succumb to the weather they will be raring to go come the start of 2012 and Jaxon Tite’s men will be looking to finish as high in the league as they can to secure the best play-off place.

Stand-out performers include Marcus Palmer who has already represented the under-19s, Josh Stacey, who had shown great talent until his injury, and Joe Edmond who, as captain has lead by example all season.

Under-19s

An excellent season in many respects.

Both in terms of competitive performances in all matches and individuals performing consistently but as a team they have identified areas they will be looking to improve when the return after the Christmas break.

Currently lying third in the league and with strong performances against the two clubs above them, Rotherham Titans and Scunthorpe, the Senior Colts will look to push for a top two finish when the end of the league structure finishes.

Stand-out players include Sam Warren, who always leads by example and is ably supported by a strong front row with many further options in the back row, where Anthony Robertson is showing his versatility between playing at seven and two.

James Saffman has always worked hard in a quiet but effective manner. In the backs Alex Renwick has been the outstanding player and top try scorer, making regular incisive breaks.

Ollie Heaps has had a good season so far at scrum half and Elliot Graham started the season in great form but has recently been starved of possession although his goal kicking remains strong.

Greg Dixon has been consistent and reliable at full-back despite the best efforts of the weather. Attendance at training continues to be excellent where we are averaging 13-plus players per session.

Scarborough Sixth Form College

The Sixth Form College has had a great year so far and currently lie top of the British Colleges Yorkshire and Humberside League after an unbeaten start to the season.

The highlight of the year so far came back in November when they beat rivals Scarborough College under floodlights 54-26 in the Daily Mail Cup.

Unfortunately the draw wasn’t kind to them, being pitted against private school St Peter’s of York in the next round and despite a spirited display the Sixth Form College went out of the Cup.

Stand-out performers include Jonny Aldcroft, Adam Newton, Alex Wood and Josh Gretton. With all but two of the squad currently playing at Scarborough Rugby Club the link continues to grow and this will be shown on Friday December 23 at 6.30pm as a Sixth Form College Old Boys side takes on the current crop of students.

A special mention from me must go to the School teachers for giving up their time on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon to take part in the Skipton Building Society Schools’ League.

The League has been a huge success and a boost to the club with more and more players coming down to play on a Sunday.

To finish off I would like to thank anybody who has helped out around the club so far this year. From Sixth Form College students, who help run the festivals to parents, who help out on a Sunday morning.

Mini and youth rugby at Scarborough couldn’t run without your support.

Finally, I would like to wish everybody associated with Scarborough Rugby Club a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you all again in January.

Thanks for reading

Tom Harrison

YDO, Scarborough RUFC