By Joe Cornell
Hampton School’s U13A rugby team produced an outstanding performance to win away from home against Warwick School. The Hampton players were desperate to win, after narrowly losing last year, and they started strongly with a good drive.
This came to nothing, though, and Warwick counter-attacked. Hampton’s defence remained strong, holding off their opponents for 15 minutes, but they conceded a number of penalties and Warwick finally crossed the whitewash.
Hampton responded miraculously from the kick off, with Thomas Kilpatrick landing a kick right on top of Ben Conaghan – playing 12 because of an injury crisis – and he raced down the line to score in the corner.
Hampton then withstood further Warwick attacks before a moment of magic by Ben Conaghan, who intercepted a floating pass on half way and raced through to finish under the posts.
Hampton continued to defend strongly, resisting Warwick’s attempts to break the gain line. The away side retained possession well, and a string of good offloads sent Tom Harvey flying over the line. Hampton went into the break 15-5 ahead.
Hampton started the second half with a strong drive before Thomas Kilpatrick kicked to the corner. The Warwick full back was caught in possession as Joe Cornell and Will Wallace drove him over the line. From the resulting five-metre scrum, Ben Conaghan picked up and crashed over the line.
Hampton were now 20-5 up but Lucas Raviol was yellow-carded for the team’s persistent offside as they frantically defended their line. Hampton were down to 12 players and had to withstand constant attacks from Warwick, who scored twice before Lucas could come back on.
Hampton were desperate to win and the supporters of both teams were in strong voice. But Hampton recorded some strong hits – notably from Will Skinner – to withstand the Warwick attack and hold on for a memorable victory.
As a result Hampton managed to avenge the defeat from last year and became the first Hampton U13A side to beat Warwick in 4 years.