Following some strong training sessions supported by Hedley Verity (Wharfedale RFU Development) in weeks one and two of the academic year, the Y9 team (captained by Ben) began the 2017-18 season on Thursday, 21 September at the curtain raiser of the White Rose Rugby year; kindly hosted by Wharfedale Rugby Club.
In a strong round-robin format, Ermysted’s began the season with a match against an impressive looking Oakbank School. However, intelligent play by the forwards and an exemplary demonstration of effective counter attacking and expansive rugby delivered the ball to Matthew and Will in the centres who led Ermysted’s to a four-tries-to-none win. In game two, the luxury of a bigger squad of eager players allowed for team changes but Ermysted’s were still capable of overcoming a strong Bingley Grammar side three tries to one.
By game three, the squad was beginning to click and Wharfedale School succumbed to a six-tries-to-none loss. With Luc and Mohadis kindly playing for Skipton Academy, who had suffered some unfortunate injuries, Ermysted’s had their first scare when Luc ran in an excellent try against us in the first minute. With exemplary captaincy, topped off by tries from Leo, Seamus and Josh Skipton Academy were overcome three tries to one. A nemesis team of last year, South Craven were faced in game five but by now Ermysted’s were in the zone and ran out victors five tries to none. In the final game, against a well organised Beckfoot School, Ermysted’s had to fight hard for a fine two tries to none victory.
It’s always great to record successes. However, it is equally important to note that one student was rightly not allowed to leave school for incomplete work. He did however rush out of school at the end of the day, catch a bus to Wharfedale, change in a field behind a wall so that he could take part and not let his friends down. Added to the fact that the referees for the tournament were sixth form students of Ermysted’s who wanted to give something back to school Rugby, could there ever be a greater statement about the strength of character of our boys?