Touch in England – not just the national tournaments!

The NTS, CTS and MWTC tournaments may be underway, but they are not the only competitions to give Touch clubs up and down the country the opportunity to test themselves.

There have been several development tournaments across England, which clubs are using as stepping stones to the various national series.

BOURNEMOUTH

Bournemouth’s O2 Touch and ETA Touch Centre, home of the Bournemouth Titans, hosted eight teams from across the south, south-west and south-east for an afternoon which developed both Touch teams but also referees, too, thanks to the referee buddy system used in all games.

Participating teams included Horsham, Basingstoke, Southampton University, GForce, Bournemouth Titans, JPM, Exeter and Thames Valley Vikings; each team playing a minimum of five matches each.

The Titans made home advantage count, beating the Vikings in a final that showcased the talents of two well organised teams.

WIDNES

ETA is supporting the development of touch at the Masters level through the development of regular national tournaments for teams from various regions. The Over-45s held their second national tournament on April 29th with four regional teams pitted against each other on sun-kissed fields at Widnes.

We added a 35s division this time and local teams also played during the day. The Northern Monkeys beat the Baabaa Warriors (Wessex) 6-1 in the final of the 45s tournament and the Cobras (England 35s) beat the Sorok squad (England 40s) 6-4 in the 35s division final.

Many thanks go to Piula Tuiono and his team for organising the day and thanks to all the referees. Our next objective is a Nationals masters event in Autumn, with regional teams at multiple age groups competing – watch this space!

NORWICH

Despite the slightly colder weather we’ve been having recently, the sun shone down on the first Norwich Development Touch Tournament on April 29th. The tournament, hosted by Norwich Rebels at Lakenham Hewett RFC, was aimed at promoting Touch in the region and gave clubs the chance to play in mixed competitive matches.

On the day six teams – Norwich Rebels, Wymondham O2, Norfolk Nomads, Norwich RFC, Wixams Warriors and a mixed Cambridge/Ipswich team – played a series of hotly contested matches throughout the afternoon. The results were very close, with only touchdown difference separating second, third and fourth places. The final, between Wymondham O2 and Norwich RFC, went to the wire before ending in the latter’s favour following a drop-off.

“I would like to congratulate Norwich Rebels on hosting a thoroughly enjoyable event, and Norfolk’s first regional Touch tournament,” said Soul Phoenix, ETA Development Officer (Eastern). “I’m sure everyone in attendance would agree with this sentiment and that it would be great if this could become a regular fixture in our regional Touch calendar. I’m sure the teams who entered, and others who hear about its success, will be back again next year. So much was gained by all from a standard that was certainly comparable to the DTS.”