St Thomas More, Blaydon RFC Season Review.

A hugely successful season of rugby at the School, for both girls and boys, saw over 60 games of various lengths and age groups played in 30 days of the season. There were many highlights, notably the success of the Under 15 girls, who were crowned County 7-a-side champions in exciting fashion at Durham RFC in March, and County Shield winners in February, and the U16 boys being runners-up by the smallest margin in the County Cup finals. Furthermore, the U15 boys’ squad were runners-up in the prestigious Newcastle Schools for Boys 7-a-side tournament. Rugby at U12 level was also a success, with many boys making up the squad, and being involved in multi team tournaments. A number of Year 11 boys and girls, having taken a referees’ course last summer, have helped officiate some of the tournaments held this season.

Our focus for next season will be continued progression for the U12/13/16/18 levels for boys and U15/18 levels for girls, together with a new boys’ squad at U12 level, and, hopefully, squads available at U13/14 levels. An attempt to get girls’ rugby started at U13 level will begin in the summer with a touch rugby club at lunchtimes.

Our home fixtures have taken place at Ryton RFC (on grass) and Blaydon RFC (all weather), and we thank Charles Thoburn and Paul Strachan/Bruce Costello for allowing us to hold fixtures throughout the season. The School teams have also had the benefit of RFU coaches coming in to help with training, especially our new intake, and the girls’ teams. We would like to thank Jon Benson and Damien Ameer-Beg for their efforts. Furthermore, Vanessa Luxembourg at RFU headquarters, has been of great assistance in helping book the all-weather surface at Blaydon RFC.

Finally, this has been a team effort, and thanks go to Mr Smith and Mr Strachan for helping to ensure the smooth running of the sport at STM. We wish good luck to Mr Strachan in his new post at Emmanuel College.