We have seen a lot of Champagne Rugby this year, but that was a tense finale! Winning in the last play!
There was joy for Belsize’s third team as they secured a third successive title and promotion in the Middlesex Merit Table while extending their magnificent unbeaten run in competitive rugby to 50 matches.
Captain David Tink scored a winning penalty with the final kick of the match as BP beat Kilburn Cosmos’ second team 20-17, maintaining their perfect record for the season and taking another crown.
Pressure is on!
They have won all 15 of their league games this campaign, scoring 789 points in the process and conceding just 61.
Kilburn kicked a penalty midway through the first half but Belsize quickly responded as Matt Fiander touched down for a converted try. And, when the Cosmos replied in kind, Adam Marcus went over just before the half-time whistle to give BP a 12-10 lead at the break.
The Cosmos struck first in the second period but Park’s number eight Lee Harrison made it over the whitewash to equalise at 17-17.
Belsize thought they had scored again when Miguel Martinez touched down, but the try was disallowed for a forward pass.
Instead, it was left to Tink to win the day as the referee awarded a penalty right at the end of the match, and the skipper stepped up to win the match and the title.
The two teams go head to head again on Saturday – this time in the Middlesex Merit Bowl final at Finchley RFC.
Photos available here;
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BP XV’s III bs Kilburn Cosmos b’s League Final 13/04/15Photos from multiple sources.
Belsize’s second and fourth teams have also won their leagues this season, but they lost their cup semi-finals at the weekend against Hertford’s fourth team and Biggleswade’s third string respectively.
Belsize III’s make it 49 games undefeated and push on to League and Cup Double in season 14/15!
After an undefeated season which saw Belsize III’s take 69 out of a possible 70 points for the season, with a points differential of +660 from 14 games, the season was on the line against the Thamesian Spartans who had been in excellent form at the back end of the season, pushing Belsize to a tight 28-14 result only a few weeks ago.
Belsize headed into the game full of confidence after beating Northolt (leading the league above) 40-5 in the Bowl Semi Final and came out of the blocks, fired up in the Semi. Within minutes Park were on the board and followed up with some good forward tries immediately after, including a lovely rolling maul move from a line out. Everything was going right and the backrow of Lee Harrison, Stef Pozzebon and Jimmy Thillet working exceptionally hard, although the same could be said for the entire pack, who really were the difference. The Belsize backs did what they have done all season in running straight hard lines for their 10 to pick a man, with great support play from the outside men. Although the team was disappointed to back off in the second half, with the game won at half time there was a lot to be pleased about.
Attention now turns to the final games of the season, both of which are grand finals. Importantly this win took our Belsize 3s to 49 games undefeated with the first sudden death game (v Kilburn IIs in League Final) to the only opportunity to make it 50. Belsize will face Kilburn again on 18 April in the MMT Cup Final which many punters say is shaping up as great club day out.
Final Score – Belisze III’s 68- Spartans 0
(2 tries to Lee Harrison, Stef Pozze, Brad Stuart, and Andrew Winder with Ben Gandy, Miguel “Miggy” Martinez grabbing 1. )
Last weekend saw the second and final club day of the preseason with four teams taking to the field in Dulwich against Old Alleynians. Belsize fielded 79 players in an afternoon that saw another clean sweep for the central Londoners. The 1st XV ran out 38 – 14 victors, the 2nds 104 – 5, the thirds 41 – 17 and the fourths completed the rout 31- 22.
The Belsize attacking flair was evident across the board as free flowing rugby lead to the tries rained in from all areas.