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Here’s what Nottingham had to say about their U17 National Cup victory

Nottingham U17 recently staged a stunning comeback to win the National U17 Cup against Sevenoaks, here’s what they wrote about it:

It’s official, after coming together at U6 this group of players can officially declare themselves as the best club side in England at their age group, awesome!

This was a game won by many, and all those who were part of it should cherish today for the rest of their lives. There will be few you meet in your lives who will genuinely be able to say, ‘I was a National Champion’, so a huge salute to the players on the day, and their mates who were unlucky not to make the final 22.

So too to the coaches and managers who defied the odds to take the first group of post 16 at Nottingham for some 10 years, David Calland, David Hargreaves, Steve Wright, Matt Tucker, David Dodge, Tony Costante, and Tash Goodman, who helped them become National Cup Champions at U17.

What to say about the game? Played at the AJ Bell Stadium, home of Sale Sharks and Salford Reds, Sevenoaks promised to be tough opponents and so they proved taking the lead not once, but twice, and at 14-7 they pulled further away with two penalties making the scores 20-7 with just 6 minutes on the clock.

Nottingham never gave up, as they hadn’t against Ampthill in the first round when they scored in the dying minutes to win 19-17, and on this occasion pulled it back with a converted score to 20-14.

This was, with the benefit of hindsight, the stuff of movies, for Nottingham at least, and with the clock standing at 0.00 a final flurry in the 22 resulted in a penalty – no time for a line out the ball was flung out to the right, and then to the left – yellow card to the Sevenoaks 13 – again out it went and back it came and this time the skipper Jack Dickinson exploited an overlap to score.

Final play of the game – conversion attempt – hero or zero for Nottingham 10 Gabriel Calland, no pressure!

He stepped up and slotted it! The best kick of his career? you ‘betcha’ because now Nottingham U17 are National U17 Cup winners! Not only that, the first NLD team to achieve this feat!

Congratulations to all, and of course it would be remiss not to highlight a few individuals. To the U16 in the contingent, what an outstanding contribution. Jack Dickinson, who also skippered the side, Andrew Brown, Nick Hobbs, and Oli Burns. To the unluckiest member of the squad, Joe McMenamin, one of the power houses in the 2nd row, injured himself with just 10 minutes to go before kick off and we now keep our fingers crossed for favourable results on his knee when he visits A&E.

To another unlucky member of the squad, after a tough shift at tight head, Henry Mawhood injured his neck after an attack on the Sevenoaks try line with 15 minutes to go and had the agony of listening to the game from the medical room having been stretched off, thankfully all well after an enforced trip to A&E.

To Gabriel Calland , fitting that you should be mentioned twice for the same achievement, kicking a conversion in a swirling wind from near the 5 metre line is no mean feat, but especially when it is the last kick of the game.

The man of the match, as voted for by the referee was Pierre Byworth. He was omnipresent be it in the scrummage or in the loose, but he was in good company because there were a plethora of team mates by his side who were not going to go down with out a fight.

Beyond that there is no need for a verbatim minute by minute summary. Nottingham are the National U17 Champions of England 2015.

Congratulations. Enjoy it, Remember it, Savour it.

Sevenoaks 20-21 Nottingham

Pierre Byworth, Jack Weedon, James Stevenson, Henry Mawhood, JP Bennett, Joe McMenamin, Tom Tucker, Nick Hobbs, Tobias Adams, Josh Gorodecky, James Pritchett, Jacob Wright, Jack Dickinson, Andrew Brown, James Wilkins, Gabriel Calland, Angus Bates, Kaine Buchanon, Luca Costante, Greg Fieldhouse, Oliver Davidson, Oli Burns, Jonny Meal, Jacob Davies, Oli Dodge, Will Back, Conor Craven, Andy Musvaburi, Jake Wathall, Pat Mulready, Adam Tatham, Josh Brown, Tobias Burton-Rudge, and Yiannaki Kyriakou.

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