Girls from The Grammar School, St Sampsons, La Mare de Carteret High School and Les Beaucamps High School put on a great display of Touch Rugby in the Annual Canaccord Secondary Schools Girls Touch Rugby Festival.
The Festival was played on the 3G pitch at King George V Playing fields and for many teams this was their first experience of the pitch. The cost of hiring the pitch was gratefully covered by the Guernsey Charity ‘Only Fools and Donkeys’ which was set up by Guernsey Rugby Football Club stalwart’s Mike Marshall and Ray Smart.
The Festival was split into morning and afternoon sessions with the school years 7 and 8 playing in the morning and the 9 and 10 in the afternoon.
Normally these age groups are combined but this year Le Mare de Carteret High School pulled out all the stops by entering teams in each age group, which was a fantastic achievement.
Each session started with the offer of coaching from Harry Burns (Grammar School and Island Touch Rugby player) and the Island Rugby Development Officer (RDO) (Steve Melbourne).
The previous week Harry and Marcus Rees (Grammar School) had both been on Working Experience with the Islands RDO and had during this time worked on the running of the Festival. Marcus on the day ran the fixtures, timings and collated the score whilst Harry was involved in the coaching and refereeing of the games. Both Grammar School pupils acquitted themselves well and were a credit to their school.
Back to the festival, and the first games saw a very young looking La Mare Yr 7’s overcome by the combined Yr 7/8 from Les Beaucamps, whilst on pitch 2 St Sampsons sneaked a good win 2-1 against a very determined La Mare Yr 8’s.
The festival continued the Grammar school proved to be a difficult opponents winning their first game against St Sampson’s but then going down 2-1 to Les Beaucamps in a nail biting game.
As the scores were collated by Marcus Rees it became clear that there was nothing to split both St Sampsons and The Grammar School who had finished with equal wins and therefore shared the Trophy.
Canaccord Wealth Genuity Management had sponsored the event and provided each player with a medal which were presented by Guernsey Ladies Rugby players Heidi Mahy, Jemma Crouse with future player Madison. The Guernsey Ladies Players where amazed at the standard of players coming through the development pathways and said a few words about how Women’s rugby on the Island is moving from strength to strength as they enter the National League for the first time in 2014/15 season.
A short break allowed for the pitches to be widened for the afternoon session and the Yr 9 and 10’s to transit from schools to the playing fields.
The afternoon session also saw the appearance of some of the Yr 9’s from La Mare and St Sampsons who make up the core of the Guernsey Rugby Academy newest team (U15 girls). These players have started the transition from Touch to Contact.
All the games where competitive with the La Mare Yr 9’s, 10’s and Les Beaucamps showing early promise. However, it could have been a repeat of the morning session if St Sampson’s 9/10’s had not slipped up against a very fast Grammar School who ran out eventual winners of the Yr 9/10 Festival.
Medals were presented by Vanessa King from the Festival Sponsors Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management.