On Sunday 6th May, club sides from around Norfolk headed to Diss Rugby Club for the Norfolk Big Finals Day. This annual event is held on the last week of the club season and sees six cup finals played back to back. Norwich School had sixteen representatives in total.
The U15 plate final was first in the day, where Leo Sargent (M5S) and his Diss teammates were beaten by Holt. In the U15 Cup final which followed, Jake Garside (M5R), Freddie Jenner (M5R), Harry Thomson (M5S), Alex Creasy (M5S), Oliver Reek (M5S) and Matthew Pitcher (M5E) who were all representing Wymondham, came out on top over North Walsham, who had Gerald Ikazoboh (M5E) in their line-up.
In the U14s, it was North Walsham with Cameron Tasker (L5N) and Kip Horton (L5B) who ran out winners in the cup competition over Nat King (L5B) and his Holt side.
The U16s Cup final was another hotly contested game with Holt who had 1st XV players Jake Mermagen (U5E) and Dani Long-Martinez (U5N) in their line-up running out winners over Diss. Over in the U16 plate final it was Wymondham and Zak Ashdown (U5B) who secured victory over North Walsham which featured Oliver Epurescu (U5S) and Nick Byrne (U5P).
There has been some significant individual success at the end of season awards at our clubs. Cameron Tasker secured the Player or the Year for the U14s and Pieter De Lange for the U13s at the North Walsham Rugby Club awards evening. Nick Saunders earned a similar prize at Southwold Rugby Club where he plays a year up for the U15s.
Away from the club scene Jake Garside, who is a member of the Northampton Saints DPP programme, played in a regional academies festival. The festival was held at Sheffield Hallam University on 7th May, playing the likes of Leicester Tigers, Wasps and Yorkshire Carnegie, where Jake scored a couple of tries on the day. Through his performances at this festival and his hard work throughout the season, Jake has been invited to an England Rugby Development Day later this month. Jake will also train with his Northampton teammates over the summer, before joining with the school 1st XV for pre-season in late August.
Freddie Steward completed a highly successful season, in which he was part of the Leicester Tigers U18s, who won the Academy Grand Final in March. He finished the season by captaining the U17s in games against Nottingham, Northampton and Saracens. Like Jake Garside, he will have a busy summer with a training camp and fixtures in Ireland, before returning to 1st XV pre-season in August.