Current champions and with a history of success as Nottinghamshire Plate winners 2011/12 and Nottinghamshire County Cup Winners 2012/13, the Dukeries Academy U16s set out to defend their Nottinghamshire County Cup title, but ended up having to share it with Farnborough School after a 5-5 draw,
On a wet and windy afternoon at Mansfield Rugby Club, Farnborough School proved to be a much improved team from the defeated semi-finalists Dukeries met last year.
Richard Byrom, head of PE at the Academy said; “The lads dug deep and showed real grit and determination to retain the title.
“Farnborough were formidable opponents and showed real sportsmanship. Along with the team around them, particularly coach Jonathan Williams, I’m proud to be part of the ongoing successes of this team. Like the champions before them they leave a huge legacy at the Academy and something that others will aspire to in the future.”
Dukeries U16s started the game playing into the elements and as such had very little possession to launch an offensive. It was Farnborough who dominated much of the first half with some slick play out wide.
That paid off as Farnborough worked their way down towards the Dukeries line, managing to crash over out wide, though the conversion was missed.
With time running out and Farnborough in control it was time for one final push.
A big carry from Josh Moss up the middle, followed by Ben Kelly and some neat interplay by Ben Jones and James Weaver saw Dukeries deep in Farnborough territory.
The ball worked its way back to George Eley, and, with the try line in sight Eley was not going to be stopped, scoring right in the corner.
With the clock red, the scores were tied at 5-5 with a kick to win the game outright.
Ben Jones stepped up from quite literally the touchline and just slid the kick wide, the referee and both team captains electing to share the title.