Ilkeston U13s headed to Southwell on Sunday to take part in an NLD rugby sevens tournament - and returned as champions.
The squad overcame bitter rivals Melbourne 22-17 in the final of the event to crown their success, overseen by coaches Tama Keane, Mike Downes and Ash Saunders.
Ilkeston’s first game was a very tough encounter against Nottingham Corsairs.
The Elks were on top in the first-half but Corsairs came back in the second-half to narrowly win the game 24-15
Ilkeston’s tries came from Tom Briddon, Charlie Beer and Jacob Keane.
Ilkeston’s next game was a bye against Stamford but they then faced Newark and ended up losing 22-5 .
In another very tough game, the highlight for the Elks was a fine and well-worked try between Tom Downes, Briddon and scorer Beer.
Ilkeston final group match was against Ashfield.
Ilkeston had a lot of possession from the start and applied lots of pressure, eventually, running out 19-0 winners thanks to two tries from Keane and one from Beer.
Winning that tie meant Ilkeston qualified for the Shield semi-final where they came up against Kesteven, a side they’d never faced before.
The team were really fired up with a chance to progress to the final and won the game convincingly 24-7 with the highlight being a lung-busting individual try from Jack Sanders who ran the full length of the pitch.
Other tries came from Liam Gavin, Briddon and Keane.
This now meant Ilkeston had to face rivals Melbourne in the final.
Games between the sides are always close and hard-fought and this encounter was to be no exception.
Ilkeston took an early lead in the first-half with much of the possession, however, Melbourne started to fight back early in the second.
Another long run from Sanders saw him running the length of the pitch to score a try under the posts, whilst Beer added two more tries and Briddon one to ensure victory.
Melbourne pushed hard towards the final whistle but Ilkeston held firm to win the game 22-17.
Parent Stuart Boddice said: “All of the coaches and players were ecstatic to win the Shield Final and it showed how far the team has come on over the past few years.
“Massive thanks to all the coaching staff at Ilkeston Rugby Club for their hard work and effort.”
The full squad consisted of: Callum Harbon, Liam Fryer, Taylor Humphreys, Jack Sanders, Tom Briddon (captain), Liam Gavin, Tom Downes, Charlie Beer, Jacob Keane, Tom Connelly, Finn Boddice and James Dove.