Swans come up short to a strong Sherborne team but come away with great credit
By Laurence Bowen
Its all uphill for U11's
The U11's had their first away trip of the season as we travelled over to Sherborne. A crisp autumnal morning welcomed the team and after the last few weeks of drizzle the sunny day promised some running rugby.
The U11's were a little nervous as Sherborne had well beaten the side the previous year but the coaches had faith that the teams progress this year would make the contest a little closer this time.
Although the conditions were good the pitch did offer its own challenges as it noticeably sloped in one direction and this offered a bit of an advantage to the side going down hill!
As any good home team would do Sherborne decided to play downhill in the first of 4 ten minute quarters. They also had a large squad with almost tow sides to pick from which would make the next 40 minutes a challenge in terms of fitness.
The first quarter saw Sherborne immediately on the attack with some great off loads and backs play that Swans struggled to compete with. Despite a good thirty minute warm up it appeared as Swans had not quite got the trip to Sherborne out of there system. Sherborne ran in four unanswered tries and it looked like we were in for a long morning!
In the second quarter we had the slope and Swans finally found there feet after some stern words during the break. Suddenly we looked like a different team adopting a pressing defence and winning the breakdown. This resulted in Alex G making a nice break and touching down. Swans maintained the pressure and through some nice phase play the ball was released wide and Sam B maintained his try scoring streak by going over. Great committed defence from Will and Zack and some strong running held Sherborne out and this quarter at least was won 2-0.
Was again Swans were back uphill in the third quarter and tiredness was starting to become a factor for some. Sherborne again refreshed there side again and it proved too much for Swans as they ran in two tries.
The final quarter saw Swans dropping like flies as fatigue set it, not to mention some theatrical injuries that didn't seem quite as bad when closely assessed [too much watching football!!!]
Alex G managed to make another break with some great side stepping and went over for his second only for Sherborne to come back with a try of there own. The final quarter resulted in a 1-1 draw.
The final score was Sherborne 7 tries to Swans 3 or as some like to look at it Swans 3 tries to Sherborne 1 playing downhill and Swans 0 tries to Sherborne 6 playing uphill!!!!
The man of the match award went to Zac who showed some great direct running and was all over the pitch in defence. The supporters award went to Will, who despite his size continues to be the U11's hard hitter with some great tackling.
Despite the loss it was a great game for a side that only had 10 players which resulted in most playing all of the match. Some great rugby was played by both sides which was helped by Sherborne's ref/coach who let the game flow. The team are continuing to improve and its great to see, keep it up.
Swans return home next weekend to take on Dorchester and Weymouth.