U11 Rugby Tour 2017
16 boys travelled down to the north of England with Mr Murdoch and Mr Pike to play three games of rugby and experience life on the road as part of a squad on tour. Unfortunately, Finn was injured but came along for the one night to help and support the team.
We left on Saturday morning and stopped at Austin Friars School in Carlisle. This was a new addition to the regular Tour and they were very welcoming. Joshua played the pipes beautifully as the team took to the field. The hosts began well, running hard at our defence in the opening minutes of the game. We missed a couple of tackles and they were in. Suddenly after a few minutes, we were two tries down. However, we dusted ourselves down and began to get into it, playing some superb rugby. Sebastian was running great lines; Jack was very much enjoying the tussling for the ball that we aren’t allowed to do up here in Scotland and Quin was lively with quick feet and evasive running. We eventually scored 9 tries without reply to make the final score 9-2.
Another two hours on to our hotel in Skipton and the boys checked into their rooms before going for a swim. Mr Pike was on hand to ensure there were lots of pool games but most importantly, the boys got a wash! After a pleasant dinner, where the boys behaved impeccably in front of over 100 locals having their Christmas party (!), it was time for bed and with the energy used up on the pitch and in the pool, there wasn’t much left and it was a good night’s sleep had by all.
The next morning we had a very early breakfast due to the Christmas Party-goers needing the dining room and then set off for St Martin’s, Ampleforth. On arrival, we gathered for a very moving and traditional laying of the wreaths in Gilling East. The boys watched on what was a beautifully, crisp Autumnal morning as the local Vicar read the act of Remembrance and the names of the locals who lost their lives in both World Wars were read out. We then made the short journey up the St Martin’s drive and were welcomed by the Ampleforth boys and staff. Their Under 11 age group was not very big and so four of the Cargilfield boys represented them. It was Edward who piped the boys on with his rendition of Flower of Scotland. There was a good battle at times with the ball and even though our boys played very well indeed, it was not enough to help the home side and Cargilfield ran out winners by a considerable margin. Max and Ned were particularly strong for Cargilfield but Jack S, Logan, Adley and Joshua who represented the Ampleforth team, played some super rugby. After a cup of tea and a chat, the parents went for their traditional lunch at the nearby Fairfax Arms as we had our match tea in the lovely old dining hall in St Martin’s. As captain, Jack was presented with a rugby ball and we gave Finbar, the Ampleforth captain one of our Cargilfield balls as a gift of thanks for hosting us.
Back at the hotel, the boys enjoyed another swim and another splendid dinner and it was lights out for the second and final night of the tour.
It was north to Sedbergh for the final match and this was a much more competitive fixture than the previous day. We played really well and won by quite a few tries to their one, but the score line did not reflect the close competition on the field, especially in the second half.
We look forward to welcoming Sedbergh to Cargilfield for the return match where those who didn’t get to go on tour will get the chance to play the team from down south.
I’d like to thank the parents for making the long journey to come and support the boys – there is a lot of driving involved but I am sure everyone had fun! All in all it was a successful tour with 3 wins from 3 but often the rugby is secondary to what else the boys learn while away. The boys were a super bunch to take away and I want to thank them for making an effort both on and off the field. As the captain, Jack set a terrific example to the boys both on and off the field so I would like to thank him for leading the squad so maturely and with great purpose. I also want to thank Mr Pike for helping with the boys and looking after them so well.