Monday night (20.5.24) was the Penicuik Rugby Club Youth Touch Rugby Tournament Grand final and third place playoff, a thrilling end to a fantastic tournament was had by all.

Teams Hawaii Try-O battled it out with the Chubs in a gruelling 3rd place playoff, with the final score standing at 9 tries to 2. Well done to team Chubs for never giving up throughout the entire tournament! You all gave it your absolute best.

A big congratulations to the Chubs team captain, Logan McCreath, for winning the Player of the Tournament award! This award was by far the hardest to decide among 40 brilliant players, all having a fantastic time on the field with their friends. Logan’s resilience, commitment, leadership, and all-around good attitude is what gave him the edge. Well deserved Logan!

Congratulations to team Hawaii Try-O for coming in hot with 3rd place medals! Another fantastic team led by captain Arran Jennings-Young, with a well-rounded bunch of players showcasing serious pace, ball-handling skills, and fantastic support play all around.

The final started off with an absolute cracker, as Welshy’s Wanderers took the early lead. Captain Alec Welsh and his team came out of nowhere in the first minute with a blinder of a try, immediately putting team Oasis Summer Fruits on the back foot. It wasn’t long before Oasis Summer Fruits managed to equalise the scores, and combined with the best May weather sunshine we’ve seen in years, the atmosphere soon heated up!

By halftime, Oasis Summer Fruits had surged ahead with a 2-try lead, cranking up the pressure on both teams. During half time refreshments both teams were in tight huddles cooking up a strategy for the second half.

The second half witnessed Welsh’s Wanderers swiftly scoring an impressive try that caught Oasis Summer Fruits captain Andrew Hope and his team by surprise. In response, he promptly executed what seemed to be a strategic substitution. Was it part of his master plan? It didn’t take long for Oasis Summer Fruits to extend the lead by another point, putting them ahead at 4-2.

With around six minutes remaining in the second half, the atmosphere grew increasingly intense. Two more tries by Oasis Summer Fruits extended their lead to 6-2. Yet Welsh’s Wanderers refused to relent. Two additional tries by them provided the team a much-needed boost, bringing them within two tries of a draw. Oasis Summer Fruits now needed to bolster their defensive strategy with only minutes left.

As everyone cheered on both teams, fully focused on their attacks and defences, the full-time whistle blown by Referee Andy Law startled the spectators. Faces reacted with shock as it signalled the end of the game.

In a last effort of a steely defence, Oasis Summer Fruits maintained their two-try lead, securing the Winners trophy and medals of the 2024 Inaugural Penicuik Rugby Club Youth Touch Rugby Tournament. Congratulations to both teams! It was truly a great game of touch rugby enjoyed by all who attended.

A post-match presentation ceremony followed, with Penicuik Rugby Club Vice President Andrew Mitchell, Youth Convenor Sonia Watson, and referees Andy Law and Paul Hope sharing the stage to distribute medals. Not to be overshadowed, the club was in awe of a Special Guest for the evening: double centurion capped player boasting an incredible professional rugby career since 2008, Mr. WP Nel. who also joined club representatives on stage to congratulate the players.

Tournament Director Mr. Paris Herne delivered a slightly emotional presentation, thanking all the players for their amazing efforts throughout the tournament. Paris paid particular attention to speaking highly of the club culture that resonates strongly and loudly through all the volunteers who stepped up to help bring this idea, conceived over a cup of tea in the clubhouse one Wednesday evening during some of Penicuik’s finest winter weather, to fruition. This initiative aimed to bring the young people of Penicuik together, as well as the community as a whole, through the joy of sport, friendship, camaraderie, and the Penicuik spirit that resides within all of us.

The outcome of this tournament and the collective efforts of all those who participated serve as a reminder of the rich history and traditions upheld by Penicuik Rugby Club, especially as the club celebrates its 100th birthday.

We extend our gratitude to organiser Paris Hearne for pushing this fantastic tournament, and all the members who have supported and assisted.

We are already looking forward to next year’s tournament! We’re aiming high Penicuik! Get on board, any way you can!

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