Regular readers will be aware that ickledot has been on the trail with Yorkshire U20 rugby team, witnessing each of their victories in the group stages and then the quarter final. Now, a journey of over 700 miles and an outstanding exhilarating semi final against Cornwall has brought a trip to Twickenham to contest the County Championship Final. While not wishing to be unfair to semi final opponents, Cornwall, this was a match which Yorkshire dominated virtually from start to finish. Attacking in endless waves, scoring no less than eleven tries, it's remarkable that this talented, hard-working group were also able to restrict their hosts to a mere three points. With a watertight defence and relentless attack, the difference in score could actually have been wider.
You can read a more detailed report of the game here. Suffice it to say, this was something of a classic. Extraordinary. Towards the end of the game, a shattered Cornwall defender was heard to express pity for whoever Yorkshire would face in the final. As those who've followed these posts will also know, ickledot has been to Twickenham with Yorkshire U20 before, a momentous occasion which ultimately ended in defeat at the hands of Northumberland. Given such a strong showing over the weekend, one perhaps only fears a degree of complacency, a feeling that the job's been done, the prize won. Could always happen but several factors make this unlikely, hopefully!
Firstly, an experienced coaching team will be aware of this danger and warn against it at every opportunity. Secondly, a number of players, most notably the team's remarkable captain, Josh Burridge (it's worth noting that Josh played for his club, Wharfedale, on Saturday before travelling to Cornwall), took part in that fateful final last year and will be fiercely determined there'll be no repeat of the result. Perhaps the final and most important clue's in the manner of yesterday's performance. It truly was a team effort in which everyone was aware of their role, whether in defence or attack, on from the start or as a replacement. Whatever challenges are to come and however individual errors may occur, one has the feeling that the team - the individuals combined as one - will come through. We'll see - 3 May!
As always, you can see more pics from the game here.
Post script - on the hospitality in Cornwall - here.