Flames are on fire as Farnham impress at junior rugby festival

Tuesday 19th October 2021 3:00 pm

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Farnham’s junior girls’ squads produced some moments of magic at a festival of rugby hosted by RAF Halton near Aylesbury.

Farnham had been invited to the event by Kasey Allen, the head of women’s rugby at Wasps.

More than 45 teams took part, representing 12 clubs from across the country.

Farnham’s under-18 Hawks played excellent rugby in back-to-back tens games on a full-sized pitch - these girls’ skills and stamina were a credit to the club.

In addition to their tens matches, the under-15 Eagles enjoyed their very first full 15-a-side match.

This gave many of them the chance to make more tackles in one match than in their entire playing career to date!

The under-13 Flames were undefeated in their five pool matches winning against Trojans, Old Albanians, Eton Manor and Peterborough and securing a draw against a strong Berkshire Barbarian side.

This put them through to the final against a similarly- undefeated Welwyn.

The physicality and intensity of this game was a huge step up for the girls, who had finally met their match. Nevertheless, to receive the runners-up trophy was no mean feat.

The Flames line-up included the daughter of a director of Oak Tree and Acorn Ltd, the local homeware and gift emporium that sponsors the magnificent first pitch at Monkton Lane.

Almost 40 years ago to the day, the president of the club arranged for a Chinhook from RAF Odiham - where he then served as a senior aircrewman - to fly low over the club’s old ground in Wrecclesham in a vain attempt to "blow dry" its waterlogged pitches.

How times have changed for the club - and for the better!

Meanwhile, at Monkton Lane, Farnham’s Academy - the under-17 and under-18 boys - lost 31-121 in a hard-fought encounter against Guildford in the National Under-18 Cup.

The well-drilled Farnham pack out-scrummaged their heavier opponents, won their line-out ball and effected a number of crucial turnovers lead by openside flanker Ned Brooker.

However, the Guildford backs were simply bigger and faster and could cut through Farnham’s defences on the rare occasions they got good, go-forward ball.

That Farnham scored the best team try of the match in the dying moments was a tribute to the home team’s fitness, skill and never-say-die determination.

There was no men’s rugby on Saturday - an RFU imposed rest day.

This Saturday the first XV are back in action searching for their first win of the season at Hammersmith and Fulham RFC’s ground in Hurlingham Park.

The Vikings (second XV) face Worthing at Monkton Lane, the Warriors (third XV) travel to Dorking and the Barbarians (fourth XV) are at home to Eastleigh.

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