Minis show their mettle at Elmbridge Primary Festival

St Albans Centurions Minis U11s

St Albans Centurions Minis U11s - Credit: Archant

St Albans Centurions Minis attended the Elmbridge Primary Festival in Surrey on Saturday in the latest of these regional events.

The Minis were represented at both U9s and U11s, playing in a round robin league format.

The U9s, playing six-a-side full-contact rugby league included many new faces who have recently joined this section, exceeded the expectations of coach Mike Kelly, as they defeated Medway Dragons, Elmbridge Eagles, London Skolars and Hemel Stags.

Kelly said: “The squad numbers have been growing steadily over the course of the last few weeks, and the boys and girls have worked hard in training and I think that was reflected in their performances today.

“For several it was their first exposure to festival rugby league and they loved it, as the games were fast, open and they got lots of game time, opportunities to run with the ball and make tackles which is what they want to do.”

The U11s travelled with great numbers but because of the competition format couldn’t enter two teams. Like the U9s, there were several boys who had never played the game competitively before but the festival format is very much about players getting involved and they certainly did that.

The performance in the first game reflected the miserable weather conditions with Sussex Merlins taking a comfortable 4-0 victory. But as the sun came out, so did Cents’ form and victories over Southend Spartans, Hemel Stags A and B followed and the day climaxed with a return game with the Merlins.

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The great improvement of the Cents across the tournament was reflected with a 1-1 draw.

Coach Gary Tetlow said: “The boys and girls responded really well to a disappointing first game and turned things round magnificently. I emphasised I was less interested in the results and more interested in the children playing to their potential. With regular fixtures, we can see the improvement in all the children, in terms of base skills and confidence.”

The U11s and U9s have a week off and attention turns to Centurions U12 Juniors who travel to Essex to take on the Brentwood Eels on Saturday.

For more information about the U9s, U11s or U12s, email or call 07713472091