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Youth Newsletter

Jim Lloyd  Thursday, October 18, 2001  18:47 GMT


l4th October 2001 or thereabouts
temporary editor:- Jim the Scoop


The season has started but not without the usual staggers. Numbers are good; space is difficult to find; hair is being torn out: BUT, rugby is being played - which is, after all, the most important thing. As ever, what is needed most is more parents to help with all the little jobs that need to be done to make sure you can play rugby. Some job descriptions have been circulated. Please make sure your Mums & Dads see them and then nag them! Meanwhile … …


Poor little flowers are getting a raw deal at the moment. Have so far been subjected to the coaching skills of Jim, Didds and Rosey. Haven't played a game yet, although they went to Trowbridge on 30th for a "joint training session" and ended up playing a couple of games, against Corsham and against Trowbridge. The half dozen that turned up did very well, particularly as the opposition were fairly physical. Particular praise to Joe Frazier, who really got stuck in; but he must learn to stop kicking the ball.

A bit short of numbers: some players missing from last year; but all of those attending are putting in a lot of hard work. Lost one game and won one game at Trowbridge. Came up against the new continuum rules at Salisbury festival and struggled to come to terms with them; won one game and lost two.

Have adapted to tackling well; there some real naturals. At Trowbridge beat Trowbridge by 6 tries to nil, with two of them scored by Peter Thompson. Then came up against a mighty Corsham side and lost by 7 tries to 2 despite the best efforts of Mark Fox, Edward Mardon and Peter Thompson. At the Salisbury festival they were overwhelmed by the weather and the other teams but never gave up, despite atrocious conditions.

The squad is developing well, with 4 new recruits; Henry Marlow is outstanding with 9 tries to his name. Had a good day at Trowbridge with wins over Trowbridge and over Corsham by 15 -10 and by 30 - 5 respectively. In the Salisbury festival we opened with an unlucky loss to Wimborne by one try, then beat Trojans 20 - 15. In the semi-final we came up against Salisbury, who could only manage a late consolation try in reply to an early strike by Henry Marlow and a splendid team move, resulting in a score for Jack Araskin. The final saw Wimborne completing the double (beating us by 10 to 5) with that man Marlow scoring our points.

A welcome to ne recruits, Ben Walker-Riley and Robert Burry, as well as Alex Surman (rescued from football). Luke Flower is becoming a bit of a star in the backs, Kit Nisbett is developing into a .forward player of real potential, and Liam Butcher is showing promise with the boot. At Trowbridge, there was no Trowbridge; but we beat Corsham by 20 -10 in an encouraging start to the competitive season. At the Salisbury Festival, we had to play all the other teams in a round robin. Beat Eastleigh and Wimborne; but lost to Salisbury and to North Dorset, so progressed no further: but there was much to appreciate in the performances.

Some very good work being done in training but some players seem to be still on their summer holidays. At Trowbridge we were unable to compete in the forwards and lost comprehensively against Trowbridge and against Corsham. In the Salisbury festival we were doing very well in the first game, leading Eastleigh by four tries, and then someone decided we were playing the wrong team. We never quite got over the shock and went down to Trojans and to Wimborne, although the backs did their best to stem the tide, with Daniel Sainsbury putting in a particularly good performance. We finished off with a win in a friendly against Eastleigh. It will be good to see the very talented Devizes u12s squad playing as a team again!

This season has started well, with a good strong squad working very hard in training. Started the competitive season with a good win at Andover 20 - 5 with Dan Mayland and Tom Carey having particularly good games. Adam Townsend and Ryan Pickard impressed in a 12 - 7 loss at Warminster - Dan Mayland scoring a try and Maz converting.

The connection with Melksham (sorry Cooper Avon Tyres RFC) continues. Ewan's Dad, Graham, tells me that all is trundling along well. You may have noticed them a few weeks back, when they had a joint training session/game with our u15s. They are golng (have just gone- that was quick?) on their postponed tour to Ireland. We wish them well/hope they had a good time. We look forward to them playing a home match at Devizes.

The squad is showing healthy numbers with 18+ players to call on. We beat visitors Tetbury - and even gave them players because they were short. We were then murdered at Midsomer (excuse the pun) Norton. After the initial County squad selection session, David Flower and David Wilkinson of Devizes School, and Matt Hale, David Mayland and Andrew Thompson of Lavington School have been invited for the second session

Good news and bad news. Bad news:- numbers down again (moves to Chippenham; girls; jobs; inertia, etc.) Good news:- combined with Swindon RFC U16s and played Warminster first (winning 29 - 0) then last year's County champions, Melksham (sorry, Cooper Avon Tyres RFC) and beat them 17 -10. So, Good News or Wot?!

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