Prizes and silverware as Welwyn Rugby Club enjoy success on and off the pitch

Welwyn Rugby Club's U14s were joint winners of the Herts County Youth Plate.

Welwyn Rugby Club's U14s were joint winners of the Herts County Youth Plate. - Credit: WELWYN RUGBY

A group of youngsters at Welwyn Rugby Club finished their season with yet more silverware - but only after a nail-biting final.

The Hobbs Way-based U14s had already claimed an unbeaten triumph over Easter at the Lychett Minster Rugby tournament but their major goal was the Herts County Plate final and a clash with Verulamians.

It was a game that lived up to the billing too and in the end the sides could not be separated, drawing 7-7 and sharing the prize after a rapid review of the the rule book.

Welwyn's team started brightly with the opening five minutes spent in the Vees' half.

It brought the first try, the ball being moved from the base of the ruck with a strong cross-field carry by Du Plessis being offloading to Skilbeck.

With support on his shoulder, he headed for the corner and outpaced the defence to score, Du Plessis adding the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

It stung Verulamians into action and they quickly levelled under the posts but the rest of the half saw Welwyn create chances thanks to the tireless work of Owen, Johnstone, Sutherland and Aitken.

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The second half had Welwyn on the defensive but they were resolute, not allowing the London Colney side to break through.

And after two penalties had sailed past the posts, the last with the last kick, the plate was shared.

Brad Wiles of Welwyn Rugby Club was named Hertfordshire Volunteer of the Year in the game for all category.

Brad Wiles of Welwyn Rugby Club was named Hertfordshire Volunteer of the Year in the game for all category. - Credit: HERTS RUGBY

There was success off the field too at the Hertfordshire regional ceremony of the RFU's volunteer recognition awards.

Held at Hertford Rugby Club, Welwyn had representatives in each of the three prizes and scored wins in two of them.

Ian Ewin, Linda Ginty Dennis Flick Abbie Higgins and Chris Gwilliams were the winners of the connecting the community category, the group having organised the club's shifts at the Roche vaccine centre at Shire Park between February and August in 2021.

Bradley Heaps meanwhile was the winner in the game for all. He started the club's mixed ability section from scratch, the sessions being aimed at young adults, both male and female, who have learning and other difficulties.

And with Heaps' help, the section has seen a steady increase in numbers, not only in participants but also coaches.

He also took home the overall Hertfordshire win and will now go forward to the national finals in September at Twickenham.