OAs U10s win Champions Festival at Allianz Park
- Credit: Archant
In front of 8,000 fans at Saracens’ Allianz Park, Old Albanian U10 Lions beat Sevenoaks to win the Champions’ Festival.
The Lions were not the only OAs’ team at the event, the Sharks also qualified back in December for Sunday’s festival.
Lions and Sharks were on opposite sides of the 12-team, two pool draw with the latter having a seemingly tougher route to the last four.
The Sharks’ day got off to great start with a narrow win over Bishop’s Stortford. The remaining games were just as close as they lost to Sevenoaks, beat Blackheath and drew with Hitchin.
It came down to the last play in the last game against Woodford but OAs prevailed to reach the semi-final.
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On the other side of the draw, the Lions came into the tournament boasting a long unbeaten run; and it looked to be in jeopardy in the first game against the Kent County Champions, Aylesford Bulls, but a single try swung the match in OAs’ favour.
Wins against Hampstead, Hemel, Blackheath and Bromley followed as Lions earned a place in the final four.
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Lions and Sharks were drawn against each other in the final, meaning at least one OAs team who compete for the trophy. In a tight game, the Lions prevailed by three tries to one.
In the final, in front of 8,000 spectators at half-time of the Saracens’ Aviva Premiership game against Exeter, Lions were given a stern test by Sevenoaks. After repelling an early onslaught, Lions scored the only try of the game to win the tournament and lift the trophy.