Biggest Test of the Season Gives QE Epic County Win
With a Devon County Cup Final against Ivybridge Community College, the stage was set for a mouth-watering encounter at the Crediton RFC yesterday.
The Final of the Devon County Cup against Ivybridge was chosen to be played by the Devon Schools RFU at Crediton RFC, a welcome home fixture for the QE boys who had travelled the length and breadth of Devon in previous rounds, fighting off very strong opposition.
The big test matches began with an East Devon Cup, Semi Final win over Sidmouth College back in November with valued support from Exeter Chiefs player, Marcus Street (brother of player Marshall Street). Next up, was the final of the East Devon Cup where QE fought a tough away encounter against St. Peters School to finish as East Devon Champions with a 29-7 win. This game saw incredible performances from Kofi Firth and Kai Shanks. Winning the East Devon Cup, qualified us into the next branch of competition which again saw us playing away from home at Torrington School. It was at this game where the boys really started to connect and a convincing 43-7 win was achieved, leading to their ultimate test of the season, County Finals.
The first half saw two very different game plans with Ivybridge using some intelligent kicking to gain territory and QE looking to keep the ball in hand and maintain possession. A fiercely fought first half saw Ivybridge finishing at the break 7-0 up. With Ivybridge dominating much of the second half the large home crowd could hardly watch, but the conditions suited the QE players due to strength in running Rugby and effective handling, Tariq Sayers pounced on the ball over the line after some strong counter rucking to score our first try. In the final quarter of the game, as cramp and injuries set in it was the remaining substitutes who came on to have their input in this remarkable final chapter of the game. The superb handling of the QE boys saw the ball span wide at pace over three passes where, impact substitute, Callum Brown ran from 10 metres out to finish the game off with his try, three minutes from the end delivering a nail-biting, epic win, 10-7 at full time.
Captains, Freddie Blackburn and Kai Shanks provided some vital leadership on the pitch in the excruciating final moments of the game but it was the strength and depth of this 21-man squad that ultimately won QE the game.
Colin Skinner, Learning Area Team Leader for PE & Outdoor Education at QE, said: “Queen Elizabeth’s Under 14 Boys 2018/19, we salute you! What a memorable match! The game lived up to all expectations and extended thanks must go to Crediton RFC for hosting. The PE Department is extremely fortunate, and appreciative to have such a strong link with the club. The quality of gameplay from these boys can be attributed as much to the coaching that goes on at the club as does at school. A huge thanks must go the parents and additional staff from QE who helped to provide a Rugby Tea for both teams after the game and giving such excellent support during the match. Finally, congratulations and thanks must go to the players of both sides who provided such a spectacle. The future of Devon Rugby is looking quite incredible.”