The omens were not necessarily good as the squad which had first come together on a wet and windy Sunday morning last August stepped on to the hallowed Twickenham turf on Saturday. The first two sides participating in this Yorkshire invasion, Northallerton and West Leeds, had lost their respective finals, playing well in patches but ultimately falling to oppositions who played better on the day. As has been shown on a number of occasions before this season however, a principal strength of this young side is its resilience; a refusal to admit defeat. This attitude served them well on a day when the trademark passing style displayed so well in Cornwall only came in fits and starts and Berkshire offered sterner resistance. Yorkshire's pack was magnificent though, and it was they who drove forward for the two opening tries which, along with accurate kicking from Chris Bell, built a solid platform, sowing doubt into the minds of the opposition.
With a 15-3 difference at half-time there was still enough in the game for Berkshire and they mounted several dangerous attacks in the second period. The defensive line held firm though; the refusal to allow any Berkshire breakthrough was a joy to behold. Joe Fell's howl of resistance below kind of sums it up.
Gradually the opposition's frustration began to show and Yorkshire's backs were able to capitalise. First, Ollie Fewtrell (below) crossed the line beneath the posts, following a burst of pace which left defenders standing. Then Jonny Coser (I think) seized on a pass from Rob Rekis to score on the right before Ben McGee completed the symmetry with a run and try on the left. By this time kicking duties had been passed to Ezra Hinchliffe and he made no mistake with the conversion.
So, job done! Not always pretty to watch but the scoreline was still more than convincing: 36-3. A supreme defensive display and a well deserved win to secure the RFU U20 National Championship Trophy. You can read a much more detailed match report on the RFU website. Much celebration followed well into the night, from Twickenham reception to The Sun in Richmond and beyond.
And now it's over. Hopefully the legacy will continue next season as several players are young enough to have another go. For others it's on to new challenges. Good luck for the future to them and many thanks for allowing ickledot along for the journey.
Here's a little slideshow of the magnificent day, before, during and after the match: