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.