Simon Yarrow Memorial Cup

When England take on Scotland in the M40 division on day 2 of the European Touch Championships in Jersey this year, there will be more to play for than just points and bragging rights. Traditionally this fixture also sees the winner take home the first piece of silverware handed out at the Euros – the Simon Yarrow Memorial Trophy. After winning the cup on home soil in 2010, England retained it by a couple of scores in Treviso. However, Scotland are the current holders, producing a second-half comeback in Swansea to take the cup north of the border for the first time.

Simon accrued dozens of caps playing for Scotland at the highest level before moving down to Cambridgeshire. His passion for senior Touch was exemplified in his becoming the first M40 coach for the England national side, a side that continues to develop year after year as the division gets more competitive with every Euros.

Jon Lovell, captain of the England M40s commented: “If both sides show the commitment for the game Simon demonstrated every time he stepped onto a field this should be a great game of Touch. As a team mate of Simon during his time in a Cambridge shirt I’ll be making sure the England team performs to their best so we can regain a hold of the trophy that honours him.”

Scotland M40s captain, Ali Crozier said: “I didn’t have the opportunity to know Simon personally but being part of the team to win the trophy in Swansea 2014 it was clear how much this means to both teams, coaches and the wider touch community. His legacy is one of continued development evidenced by the ever increasing skill, fitness and performance levels of both teams. I personally consider it an honour to continue his memory and we are determined to build on the tradition in the best way possible with a competitive and entertaining contest in Jersey.”

Who will win this time? One thing is for sure – both sides are playing some great Touch, full of skill, flair and determination. It’s going to be a cracking game, played in the best competitive spirit – just as Simon would have wanted.

ETC2016 | England Referees announced (update)

ETC16_Announcements_Refs v3


Perform Better and University of Chester team up to support England Touch

Perform Better and staff from the University of Chester Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences have joined forces to support England Touch Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Open teams at the upcoming European Touch Championships in Jersey.

performbetter logoPerform Better have very generously provided enough Catapult GPS units on loan to collect data on all England open athletes performance for the duration for the four-day tournament. Three University of Chester staff will also join the England touring party in Jersey to assist with the data collection and performance monitoring.

Tim Osborne, High Performance Director said ‘we are thrilled at the chance to work with Perform Better and the University of Chester sports scientists.

‘This project is a very exciting opportunity to better understand game and tournament loads over a four-day international Touch event. We understand that this sort of study has not occurred anywhere outside of Australia and we have great hopes that it will continue to provide insights that will sustain England’s success.’

Cari Thorpe, Head of Medical Services for England Touch for the past 4 years, added ‘We have looked at demands of the national and regional games previously, however, this was only a snap shot. This opportunity will provide a more detailed analysis of the women’s, men’s and mixed games, potentially giving us a greater insight into position specific demands as well as highlighting injury risk’.
England Touch would like to thank Alastair Yule and Rob Pacey of Perform Better along with Dr Craig Twist, Nick Dobbin and Jamie Highton of the University of Chester.

More Level 1 referees upgraded

Congratulations to our 5 new L1’s today, following their successful upgrades at the Lincoln DTS.

  • Lynn Astley (Orrell St James)
  • Kieran Burke (OSJ)
  • Gary Povall (OSJ)
  • Nicolas VdR
  • Danni Payten (Canterbury)
  • Charlie Meredith (Canterbury)

Inaugural Northern Cup

Saturday June 4th saw the inaugural Northern Touch Cup held at Percy Park with 5 teams from the north of England coming together for a Touch filled day by the coast.

Percy Park Pirates, Percy Park Buccaneers, Rocklciffe Blackadders, Cumbria Cyclones and Tynedale Touch made up the 5 teams with the tournament being played in a league format. The rain threatened to spoil the day early Saturday morning, however the sun made its appearance just in time for play to start! ☀️

The first round of games saw Tynedale play Blackadders in a closely contested but high scoring game which Tynedale prevailed 8-7. The other pitch saw host team Percy Park Pirates playing newcomers Cumbria Cyclones, final score 5-2 to Percy Park Pirates. Next up was the Percy Park derby with Pirates facing Buccaneers whilst the other teams had a game off. The Pirates won the game 6-2. Round 3 pitted Tynedale Touch against Percy Park Buccaneers and Cumbria Cyclones against Rockcliffe Blackadders. Tynedale edged their game 6-5 whilst Cyclones beat Blackadders 8-5.

Next round saw the local derby of Percy Park Pirates face off against Rockcliffe Blackadders whilst, again, the other teams had a games rest. The Pirates ran away with game 13-3, giving their point difference a big boost on the way.
Round 5 saw Tynedale Touch play Percy Park Pirates in a top of the table clash whilst Percy Park Buccaneers played Cumbria Cyclones. Tynedale and Pirates ended in a draw 6-6 leaving Pirates at the top of the table by 3 points with Tynedale having 1 more game to play. Cyclones saw off the Buccaneers 6-4 in the other game. The final round was Cumbria Cyclones against Tynedale Touch and Percy Park Buccaneers against Rockcliffe Blackadders. Cyclones edged Tynedale 6-5 whilst the Buccaneers were on the victorious end of a high scoring game against Blackadders, final score 11-6.

At the conclusion of play, Percy Park Pirates were top of the table on 10 points with Cumbria Cyclones pipping Tynedale to 2nd position with their victory in the final game.

Top touchdown scorers for the day were Richard Moody of Percy Park Pirates amongst the males and Lesley Marshall of Rockcliffe Blackadders for the females with 9 touchdowns and 5 touchdowns a piece.

MVPs for the day were Caitlin Morrell (Tynedale Touch) for the females and Daniel Brew (Cumbria Cyclones) for the males.

Overall the day was enjoyed by everyone and the standard of touch had improved throughout the tournament. A massive thankyou to all the teams who entered and really well played by everyone. The Northern Cup hopes to be back in September offering another competitive tournament for teams in the North East of England. Date to be confirmed soon.

DTS Warwick

Warwick managed to negotiate all hurdles to bring the perfect setting to gather for DTS3 2016 on the 15th May.

As all 16 teams arrived in the land of the King maker, the battlefield was set and players ready to commence competition right on time at the home of the Knights.

As Warwick, Nottingham, Chester, Crewe & Nantwich, Bournemouth, Halton, Sillians, Guildfordians, Thames Valley, Lincoln, Coys, CSSC, Rugby and Orrell St James all got stuck into the group stages the level of play continued to turn the heat up as did the weather with the clouds burning out to sun soak the rest of the day’s action. Perfect for the large crowd of spectators on show.

The groups stages where all tightly contested to finish with Chester, Orrel, Bournemouth and C&N taking the cup spots.

Shield and Plate semi spots were taken by Halton, Knights, Jesters and Sillihans for finishing the collated group stage in 5, 6, 11 & 12. As these teams enjoyed a rest, the wildcard card rounds took place to see who would head into the semi’s of the Shield or Plate for the afternoon.

The end of the group signalled the ideal time to have a break in play for lunch with a trip down to the food village on show to tucker down on some fine BBQ, Mexican, Thai and pizza whist eyeing up the ice cream and crapes as a fine reward at the end of the day.

Before we progressed to the knock out rounds, a moment was taken to remember there wasn’t just a huge festival of Rugby with Touch taking Sunday centre stage this weekend in Warwick at our Rugby4Heroes event.

The main reason we do this massive weekend of rugby is to remember our armed forces, the job and sacrifice they give, and importantly all those lost or injured who are local to the area and clubs. Our goal to raise £100,000 to help the specific charities and affected family’s alike.

We’d like to thank all teams for taking part and respecting the service by the British Legion. Here in Warwickshire we don’t just remember and celebrate these heroes lightly. Once the service was observed impeccably by all it was then time to sign it off in style. Out of the tree line appeared a WW2 Dakota Bomber swooping in close proximity to the pitches where players lined up side by side in continuation of respect as the fly bys progressed.

Back into the touch frame of mind and ready to focus on winning some silverware!!

First up at the Wildcard Round restart of play was in the Shield, Coys v Guildfordians, Lincoln v Thames Valley and in the Plate Notts Sheriffs v Rugby and Notts Legends v CSSC. Progress was made by Coys, Lincoln, bagging a stylish win by 8 to bagle) and both Notts teams to progress in the quest for a trophy in the semis.

2 games to win for all teams now to get some take home cabinet fillers and straight into it was the Shield and Plate semis. The Sheild had top seed Halton take on Lincoln the lowest wining seed but seeding was proven to be nothing as they ended up being pushed all the way but managed to hold enthralling 4-3 win with the winner coming in a drop off.

In the other semi, Warwick Knights looked to make home field advantage pay and delivered with a 3-1 encounter with Coys. Time to make the best of the break and prep for the Final between Knights and Halton.

The Plate semis again saw the Warwick Jesters make home field advantage work in their favour by totting up a cool 5-2 win after a difficult start whist Notts Legends edged a tight encounter 4-3 against Sillihians in the 2nd drop off of the day to set up the final of the Plate.

Chester took on Orrell whist the other semi matched Bournemouth Titans against Crewe and Nantwich. The break caught Orrell cold and Chester managed a comfortable 3-0 to take good momentum heading into the final whistle despite a tight first 10 mins C&N couldn’t  match the Titans skill and fell to a 3-1 loss and thus setting up a Cheeters v Titans final for the big one.

The shield final was upon us. Could the home favourite Knights do their club proud and continue building on a successful season for them so far.

As much as the home crowd and sponsors yoga tent tried to get the team to the finishing line, Haltons master class of skill with Fijian/England flare just proved too much as they took a 4-2 victory and with it the Shield crown.

Whist that was going on one of the game of the day took place as another home field team the Warwick Jesters had the Notts Legends in their way to try and cause another upset in the backyard. Both teams tried great drives and touchdowns as Notts took the lead 3 times, 1-0, 2-1, 3-2. With the clock ticking down the Jesters dug out a 4-3 win and with it a well-deserved Plate to pop on the mantel. Another match played in great spirits and celebrated together by both teams at the end. Great to see the sportsmanship of touch progressing to further highs.

The grand event was upon us. All teams watching along with the spectators to see the Cheeters take on the Titans to see who will take home the DTS Warwick Cup. The game started with both teams showing why they made it to the final with some strong plays but after taking the lead it was never looking back for the Titans and Bournemouth showed their class by scoring some great tries on their way to a 4-1 win topping off a great day for them and a perfect days touch for all to enjoy.

Thanks to the support of Old Leamingtonians Club for their help during the day.

Congratulations to the Warwick Jesters, Halton Storm and Bournemouth Titians on their respective tournament trophy wins.

Thanks to all the teams for making it to and performing on a hugely successful DTS competition. A bigger turn out on last year but you all made it run smoothly and well on time. Top marks on your playing spirit and sportsmanship.

A huge thanks for helping us take another step closer in reaching our goal of making £100,000 for the armed forces. 3 cheers to you all.

Top work by all that supported me during the day from the orange support crew (go Dom with the horn skills!), team and main refs for doing a great job in all the games, Akuma for fitting out the main pitch and of course Mike Vallance with the Old Leamingtions gang in helping us to run such an awesome event by piggy backing onto your festival.

Good luck for the rest of the season and Warwick DTS/R4H Festival 2017???….. Watch this space.