Dawn broke on a cold, wet Sunday morning in Guildford.
Armed with essential kit of pillows, Forbes croissants & Pheasey Beastcake, the squad assembled in the damp gloom at Guildfordians club house on Stoke Park at 6am, boarding their chariot coach and commencing their long journey to the cold forbidding North.
DVDs of old Lions and England matches merged with the hum of the tarmac and eventually the team arrived at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford at 11am. The crowds of fans who had waited at the home of Sale Sharks & Salford Red Devils all night in the cold pushed past Danny Cipriani and Mark Cueto to get a fleeting glimpse of their heroes as they walked, hoodies down into the stadium and the sanctuary of the changing room.
After their Official RFU Team Photo on the hallowed pitch, the waiting was over and the RFU National U17 Finals Bowl Competition commenced at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford ( The Home of Sale Sharks ) kicked off at 1.15pm on Sunday 3rd May 2015.
Wetherby started off in threatening mood, but some great tackling by the boys from Surrey kept their line in tact. Nevertheless, it was Guildfordians who took the lead with a converted try after 15 minutes and although Wetherby quickly cut the deficit to only two points with a try of their own in the corner.
Once again Guildfordians bounced back when they grabbed another try to lead 14- 5 at half time.
The boys from the North began the second period in positive mode and took the game to their Southern rivals, but within a minute, Guildfordians scored their third try. From here on, with their tails up and full of confidence the boys from Guildfordians never looked back with a scintillating performance of running rugby and a clinical attitude when it came to taking their chances. By the close, the Southerners had amassed a huge winning margin of 54 -5.
So a marvellous result for the Guildfordian boys who gave everything and thoroughly deserved their convincing victory. So it was an exhausted , but elated Guildfordians squad who were crowned RFU National Under 17’s Bowl Champions.
A very proud day for the boys and their families and friends - also a wonderful achievement for Surrey Rugby.