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Midlands win Under 20 Divisional Festival

10 April 2012

  • North beaten in final
  • Midlands claim Tony Gaite & Mike Waldron memorial Trophy after London victory

The Midlands won the inaugural Under 20 Divisional Festival which was held at Welbeck College in Leicestershire over the Easter weekend.

The Midlands beat London & SE 28-21 in their opening match to win the Tony Gaite and Mike Waldron Memorial Trophy for the first time since its inception in 2006.

The Midlands then beat the North 24-7 in the final to win the divisional competition.

Throughout the weekend players were assessed by the England Counties Under 20s selectors who will now pick a squad to face Scotland Under 20s at St Andrews University on May 4.

Against London & SE, the Midlands opened up an early six points lead through two penalties from flay-half James Stokes (Leicester Lions and NLD).

London rallied and went 21-6 up with three tries in a 12 minutes purple patch but wing Jim Wigglesworth (Hull and NLD) brought the Midlands back into contention with the first of his three tries on the half hour.

Number eight Sam Heygate crossed three minutes into the second half to reduce the deficit to five points and Wigglesworth equalised with his second try 16 minutes into the second period.

Wigglesworth completed his hat-trick three minutes from time to complete a memorable comeback and Stokes added the conversion for good measure.

In the final the Midlands led from start to finish with lock Dan Brotherton (Coventry and East Midlands) crossing for the opening try after five minutes.

Stokes converted and the fly-half also improved the second try from left wing DeLaRey Veenendaal midway through the half.

Stokes extended the Midlands’ lead with a penalty 17 minutes into the second half which was soon followed by their third try from prop Gino Belmonte (Bromsgrove and North Midlands).

Stokes’s conversion proved to be the last score from the Midlands but the North rounded off the scoring with a consolation converted try four minutes later.