Halesworth so happy

HALESWORTH Middle were successful in the recent Suffolk Schools Sports Partnership’s U11 Tag Rugby County Finals, held at Stowmarket Rugby Club.

Seven teams had qualified for the finals after winning their respective partnership tournaments.

Their success was even more remarkable when one considers that their numbers were reduced during the afternoon and two key players ended their day in hospital.

In this eight-a-side version of the game, there must be at least two of each sex playing at any one time.

Halesworth were placed in the group of four and managed to secure an exciting seven tries to six win over Breckland Middle in their first match.

Archie Winter was brought down just short of the line, and suffered a knee injury which put him out of the rest of the matches.

The second game also saw a narrow victory with a 4-3 win over Stowmarket Middle.

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The final group match would decide who topped the group and again it was a close encounter, with Halesworth coming out on top 6-5 against Kyson Primary from Woodbridge.

In the semi-final Halesworth ran out 7-5 winners over Uplands Middle, who were the runners-up from the other group.

The final was a very dramatic encounter, with Halesworth again facing Kyson Primary. Kyson took and early lead, but Halesworth responded within a minute with a super try to level the scores. Play went from end to end and with five minutes remaining, the scores were level at five tries each.

At this stage Jack Pritchard attempted a try-saving tackle and fell to the ground, landing heavily on his left knee.

First aid was administered and Jack had to be transported to Ipswich Hospital.

As the ambulance left the ground, the Halesworth team were lining up ready to be presented with the County Shield, having somehow managed to re-group and achieve a remarkable 7-6 victory.

Archie Winter was released from hospital later that evening after having stitches. Jack Pritchard stayed in overnight and was operated on the next morning and has returned home.

This really was a stunning achievement for the Halesworth team, with all players raising their game to keep on playing at a high standard of rugby under such circumstances.