Report by Ms Goater
The Girls Key Stage 3 London & South Regional Champion Schools Festival was held at Grasshoppers RFC in Isleworth, West London and produced some exciting rugby league and several dramatic finishes.
The festival showcased the best girls teams at Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 from around the region - and a more committed, determined, skilful group of players would be hard to imagine. A chilly, misty morning gave way to brilliant sunshine as the teams took to the field to compete for the chance to go on and represent London and the South on the national stage.
The Year 7 competition comprised two schools from Richmond; Christ’s and Richmond Park Academy, and two teams from Kent, The Malling School and Fort Pitt. It turned out to be a Surrey v Kent final with The Malling School facing Richmond Park Academy.
It proved to be a thrilling contest with the sides locked at two tries apiece going into the final minute. However, The Malling School broke the deadlock with a last gasp touchdown which earned them the victory. There was some consolation for Richmond Park in that they had the Player of the Match in Danielle.
It was a full-blooded encounter with both finalists showing real commitment in defence and at the final whistle they couldn’t be separated. Each had conceded just one try so the match had to be decided by golden point extra time.
After a tense couple of minutes Richmond finally broke through to touchdown and claim the winners shield.
The Year 9 competition featured five teams, Richmond Park Academy, Fort Pitt, The Malling School plus Harris Academy from Crystal Palace and St John Fisher from Kent. RPA showed great grit and determination, but the well-structured play from other teams proved to be too tough to overcome.
Massive congratulations to the girls who competed in each squad, especially those in Year 7 and 8 who now go into the national stages of the Champion Schools competition to be held in May at St Helens and Leeds.