County High pupils produce silver lining in plate final; Walden under-15s edged out

PUBLISHED: 09:30 03 May 2018

Saffron Walden County High School's under-16s celebrate winning the Essex Schools' Rugby Plate final against Fitzwimarc Rayleigh

Saffron Walden County High School's under-16s celebrate winning the Essex Schools' Rugby Plate final against Fitzwimarc Rayleigh

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Saffron Walden County High School's under-16 boys enjoyed a silver lining to their season with success in the Essex Schools' Plate final.

Saffron Walden's Hugo Carey powers through Walsham's defenceSaffron Walden's Hugo Carey powers through Walsham's defence

Their meeting with Rayleigh’s Fitzwimarc was a hard-fought affair, with both teams scoring early tries.

After a long period of defending, County High produced some scintillating passages of quality attacking rugby to build a 22-7 lead by half time.

The second half saw them up the tempo once more, leaving a spirited Fitzwimarc squad chasing shadows as passes were offloaded out of tackles.

When Fitzwimarc managed to get possession, they were on the receiving end of some huge tackles, with Jarno and Beau Longaretti instrumental in the pack alongside Josh Cilia, Max Skingsley and Ryan Curtis.

The County High backs also impressed, with full-back Ollie Haxton making the tackle of the day after sprinting 40 metres to stop his opponent just short of the posts.

Half-backs Jack Stanton-Stock and Ben Turnbull were in fine form too, as three-quarters Gabe McBride, Harry Ball, Harry Underwood and Max Luxford impressed in a 61-23 victory.

SWCHS: Josh Cilia, Declan Hoskins, Rohit Johns, Max Skingsley, Archie Weeks, Harry Cook, Toby Fletcher, Jarno Longaretti, Jack Stanton-Stock, Ben Turnbull, Harry Underwood, Gabe McBride, Harry Ball, Max Luxford, Ollie Haxton, Joe Saych, Ryan Curtis, Beau Longaretti.

*Saffron Walden Rugby Club’s under-15s finished second in the Eastern Counties Finals, while retaining their County Cup title.

They played hosts North Walsham first in an incredibly tight game and kept probing in foul conditions.

Full-back Josh Shear was faultless in cleaning up loose ball and Alex Keys slotted a penalty in the second half to put Walden ahead.

Walsham came back in the last five minutes with forward power but Walden kept making tackles and held on to win.

Next up was a strong Colchester side, who built a 21-0 lead by half time against a tired Walden side.

Walden scored a try through Fraser Murray in the second half, with Keys adding the conversion as it finished 21-7, with Colchester beating Walsham to take the title.

A Walden club spokesman said: “Our forwards were immense all day, so many strong performances and exceptional teamwork. They were a credit to the club and most importantly themselves.”

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