Hertfordshire U12s - with girls drawn from Hitchin, Letchworth, Stevenage and Welwyn - were winners of the country's first inter-county girls U12 festival, played at Hitchin this afternoon.
Organised in less than two weeks notice, after the cancellation of a U12 exhibition game at the Essex girls festival at Harlow, the afternoon was a remarkable success, in no small part thanks to Hitchin RFC who proved to be excellent hosts, providing welcome hot food at the end of a bitterly cold day.
Opposition for the day came from Kent (a combination put together by Beckenham, but incuding girls from Old Alleyans and Mitcham) and Middlesex (Ealing RFC's girls, who had hosted Herts two weeks before). All the country teams are currently "unofficial", but that did not stop the girls taking things very seriously indeed.
Hertfordshire and Kent opened the proceedings, and within a minute Herts were two tries down - but remarkably these would be the only tries the home team would conceed all day. By halftime the score was back to 10-10, and in the second half Herts gradully pulled away to win 30-10.
Kent played Middlesex next and again started well, leading 20-5 at half-time. Middlesex, however, gradually pulled back over the second period dominating most of the half and pulling the score back to 20-15 with less than two minutes before Kent finally broke out of defence to score to seal the match 25-15.
Finally Middlesex took on Herts, with the home side looking to avenge their defeat in Ealing two weeks before. This proved to be a very physical game with both sides relying on strong forwards play to move down the field. At half-time the score was only 5-0 to Herts and the game was wide open, but in the second half the visitors began to tire as Herts drove in for three more tries to win 20-0. Results:
Hertfordshire 30, Kent 10
Kent 25, Middlesex 15
Hertfordshire 20, Middlesex 0