Student festival is huge success

PUBLISHED: 09:51 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 06 May 2010

OVER 150 young rugby players turned out for the first ever Herts Xmas Festival, hosted by Old Albanians at Woollams on Monday, December 23. Eight teams took part in the tournament, organised to help clubs keep in contact with players who are away at colle

OVER 150 young rugby players turned out for the first ever Herts Xmas Festival, hosted by Old Albanians at Woollams on Monday, December 23.

Eight teams took part in the tournament, organised to help clubs keep in contact with players who are away at college or university, which featured ten minute games with no penalties.

The teams were made up of students back for the holiday period, colts and younger members of the senior sides.

The rugby served up was exciting with Bishop's Stortford and home side Old Albanians winning their pools to reach the final.

In an even contest, Bishop's Stortford narrowly edged out their hosts to lift the Herts Returning Students trophy.

OAs did receive two accolades though, with Joe Brouder awarded Best Try and Francis Denny picking up the Best Player award.

There were county selectors present at the event, looking for players with the Under 20 County Championship, Under 23 fixtures and the senior County Championship Shield coming up in the New Year.

The trophies were presented by John Drew, President of the Herts RFU, and he would like the event to become a permanent fixture on the Herts Rugby calender: 'We've seen some quality play here tonight and I'd like to congratulate all who made tonight's festival go so well."

Festival organiser Peter Engledow, the Herts Rugby Development Officer, was pleased with the response to the festival: "It's all about keeping players involved with their clubs, particularly those that move away to attend college. This gave the guys a chance to meet old friends, play a bit of rugby and have a couple of beers - what better way to start the Xmas holidays!"

Other clubs taking part were Barnet, Cheshunt, Fullerians, Harpenden, Hertford, a second side from Old Albanians and Welwyn. Each club received a Gillette community rugby bag containing training balls, bibs and water bottles, courtesy of Apex Multisports and the Herts Sports Partnership.

Herts Rugby would like to thank OAs for hosting the event and the Herts Referees' Society for officiating.

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