With the magnificent backdrop of Eltham College, Kent Girl’s section hosted teams from Hampshire in the final round of this year’s CB Girls competition. The Old Elthamians provided first class facilities for the players, their coaching staff and the spectators. The girls particularly enjoyed the heated floors in the changing rooms!
The Kent teams took to their respective fields of play with the U15’s playing with the prize of a top of the table finish in their sights and the U18’s playing to cement the development of the team this season and looking to finish on a high. The U15’s took the initiative in their contest by scoring quickly, however, a strong Hampshire side replied in kind albeit without the conversion. The game ebbed and flowed throughout the first half with ferocious defence, good set piece play and some strong running rugby, the contest entered half-time with Kent 19-7 in front.
The U18’s were having a similar start to their match and had established a small but crucial lead in the first half, the Kent forwards were taking the game to Hampshire and really putting their mark on the game, this supported by some strong and straight running form the backs, only Hampshire’s strong defence was keeping them in touch as the first half drew to a close.
The second halves of both games started at the same tempo as the first halves had finished, the U15’s struck first with a quick and well-worked try, this followed inside 5 minutes with another converted try. The Kent U18’s were working tirelessly to keep out a previously unbeaten and resurgent Hampshire team who it’s fair to say had found their second wind and were now starting to turn the screw on the Kent girls. The Hampshire U15’s were taking heart from the U18’s and were starting the fight back. After a regroup the Kent U15’s shored up their defences and saw the game out with a winning score of 31-19. Unfortunately, the Hampshire U18’s eventually overcame a very spirited Kent team closing the game out with a narrow 18-24 victory.
The Head Coaches of both the U15’s and the U18’s paid tribute to their respective charges and gave thanks to the opposition for their efforts and commitment, this responded to in kind by the Hampshire coaching staff. The spectators were all treated to two fantastic games of rugby and for that, the players have every right to be very proud of themselves.
The tables show that the Kent U15’s finished top with 3 wins from 3 and a points difference of 105, the U18’s finishing 7th. With the foundations now set the girls section are looking to get together in the new year to maintain the traction they now have and are already looking towards the start of next season.
On behalf of Kent RFU I would like to thank all the coaches and team managers who selflessness and professionalism make this CB girls programme possible, to the players for working hard and for their commitment to proudly representing Kent, to the parents who have delivered the girls to training and matches come rain or shine, to Old Elthamians for their first class hospitality in what was our only home game this season and to our colleagues at the RFU who support the programme through funding and provision of coaching support.