Farnham’s under-16 A side won a thriller 27-26 in a competitive encounter against London Irish to finish third in the Surrey RFU Waterfall Cup.

Charlie ‘wings on his feet’ Hughes went over the line after a dash from halfway in the dying minutes to clinch it – but not before the pack had put in a proper shift up front against the big lads in green.

The midfield showed tremendous control in attack and aggression on the press, and the wide men covered and finished like pros – and all the lads learned what it takes to hold it together when refereeing decisions seem to be going against you.

Only once, in a spell at the end of the first half, were they guilty of poor judgement in attacking too narrow for too long when they had the beating of these boys on the outside, Sam Padley’s brace of tries a reflection of that.

That five minutes aside, the boys delivered good shape in attack, moved the ball well to width seeing the easier early pass, and showed real aggression up front on and off the ball.

It was a great and well-deserved win for these lads and they now at last have the full set of competition – sevens, B and A team – victories over London Irish at the age grade level before they head to the Academy next year.

The under-16 B side faced a different challenge in the final of the third tier, ultimately going down 33-23 to Haslemere – but not before the boys had shown some terrific fight and let their quality opposition know they had been in a proper match.

Haslemere are an A team side on the rise, with a sprinkling of county development players.

They led 33-10 lead with 15 to go and the signs looked ominous – but then the Farnham lads showed their mettle.

Playing with a renewed energy and animation that simply took the opposition by surprise, Farnham went to work, carving out two tries under the posts in a marvellous spell. They may have lost on the scoreboard but had much to celebrate in simply making the final.

Mark Weeks