Dubai English Speaking College (DESC) had to make room for more silverware in their trophy cabinet as they and JESS Jumeirah were among the winners at the Dubai College 10s rugby tournament.
Both sides made the short trip across the emirate in confident mood after putting in weeks of preparation for the annual competition, which atttracted sides from across the UAE.
With strong sides in the mix for the titles, DESC showed their winning mentality by taking home four trophies.
Their Under-12s, led by Matty Young, got the first one in the bag by defeating JESS 42-10, before the U-13s added to the tally.
Their team comfortably beat Kings Al Barsha 50-0.
That result saw them complete a remarkable feat as they scored a mammoth 198 points for no loss, and also maintained their unbeaten run in all formats over two seasons.
DESC were back on the podium thanks to their U-14s side, captained by Marcus Kruger, who overcame hosts Dubai College 31-12.
Their most remarkable triumph came in the U-19 clash, when DESC came from 12-0 down with just a minute to go, to beat Dubai College 14-12. After Mitch Kennedy levelled the scores with a try, captain Max Johnson, who had earlier scored the first points, kept his cool to nail the conversion for a memorable triumph. It was a fitting end for DESC after their U-12s and U-14s were crowned league champions earlier in the season.
Director of rugby Robin Giles had nothing but praise. “The success is down to the players’ hard work and their dedication. As a coaching team, we are there to support them but on the field it’s up to them,” he said. “As a school, we’re absolutely delighted with the results we achieved this season.”
For JESS Jumeirah, skipper Nicholas Roberts led from the front to guide the team to U-11 glory after a 48-7 victory over Kings Al Barsha.
The captain was among the stand-out performers, including scoring a hat-trick.
Niall Statham, head of PE at JESS, lauded the efforts of his team.
“This is another trophy for us this season which is a fantastic achievement,” said the UAE captain.
“They are a resilient bunch of kids and have got a great style of playing together as a team.”
NAS Dubai were crowned football champions thanks to an extra-time winner from Sasha Haddid against Foremarke. In netball, Zara Davies and Georgia Winter scored five each as JESS Ranches took the top honours with a comfortable 10-0 win over Foremarke again.
For their efforts, they were presented with their medals by former West Ham and Sevilla striker Frederic Kanoute.
It was the second straight year NAS Dubai has hosted the tournament, with eight schools and 16 teams battling for glory. Tournament organiser, Danny Thomas, was delighted with the performances from the 180 pupils.
“I’m delighted with the way the event ran today,” he said. “There’s been a lot of late nights that went into the planning phase of the event, so I’m glad it’s gone well and all pupils involved have had such a positive experience. We look forward to hosting the NAS Dubai Cup again next academic year.”
The schools who competed were NAS Dubai, Foremarke, JESS Ranches, Dubai English Speaking School, Kings Al Barsha, GEMS Wellington International School, GEMS Wellington Primary School, and DBS Jumeirah Park.
The capital outfit made the short trip to the Nursery Ovals aiming for redemption having lost to Abu Dhabi Indian School and Emirates Future International in the U-19 and U-16 finals.
But there was no hiccup this time round as they defeated ADIS by 22 runs for the top honour.
Electing to bat first, Pakistan School were given a fine start by openers Obaid Khan (34) and Atif Khan (16).
The pair put on 57 in the first nine overs of the 20-over game before an unbeaten 60-run stand for the fifth wicket between Anwar Khan and Mohammed Samir took their total to 142-4.
Anwar blasted an unbeaten 47 off 28 balls, including four boundaries as well as a couple of sixes. Samir’s 17-ball 18 not out contained two straights hits over the ropes.
Chasing, ADIS lost a wicket in the very first over but recovered through a 39-run partnership for the second wicket between Nathan D’Mello (20) and Arthik Bhatt (17).
After that stand was broken, ADIS lost wickets at regular intervals and were all out for 120 despite Rohin Bajaj’s 11-ball knock of 20.
Nabeegh Ahmed (2-9), Noor (2-14) and Anwar (2-22) were the standout bowlers for Pakistan School with two wickets.
There was more reason to celebrate for the winners after a clean sweep in the individual awards.
Anwar won both the Player of the Final and Player of the Tournament trophies while Haji-Ur-Rehman and Noor claimed the Best Batsman and Best Bowler awards respectively.
For, ADIS, they took the Dilawar Mani Spirit of Cricket award.
Pakistan School’s success meant that four teams won each of the age groups in the tournament with Bright Riders crowned the U-12 champions.
The competition was organised by the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council.