As Leicester Tigers ground out a crucial Gallagher Premiership win over Worcester Warriors, there was another tight tussle on the Welford Road pitch – in the Ultimate Big Boot.
Young players from East Bergholt High School in Essex faced a group from London Porterhouse in testing conditions on Saturday, and there was nothing to separate the two teams after 10 balls flung high into the Leicester sky, both having made three catches.
But, in front of more than 18,000 supporters at the home of the Tigers, the contest went to a nerve-wracking three rounds of sudden death – with Luke Scott claiming the final catch laying on the Tigers turf to claim victory for the Colchester school.
“I could see the ball coming towards me and I thought … I’ve just got to catch this,” Luke said.
“The nerves must have got to me because my legs buckled and I fell on to my back, but I still managed to catch it!
“What an amazing feeling. And it feels even nicer to do it and get the £100 for the boys. This is definitely the highlight of our season. Especially for me!”
“What an amazing feeling.”
The Ultimate Big Boot is sponsored by De Montfort University and pits two teams against each other on each home matchday for a £100 prize. Any team that can claim all 10 balls will scoop the £2,000 jackpot.
Ben McCartney was part of the London Porterhouse group and, despite the tense finish, told LeicesterTigers.com how his team had ‘a brilliant time’.
“Some of these guys have done it before, but I hadn’t,” he said. “I’m a football guy at heart, but thought I’d give it a go.
“Three catches? Easy, really. Just another day at the office. We’d seen the young lads get three first up and thought we might be in with a chance … but this wind makes it much harder than it looks!
“Credit to the other team, they did really well. The whole experience seems to go so quickly – but we’ve had a brilliant time.”
The Ultimate Big Boot is available for group bookings and all competitors receive a Big Boot T-shirt as a souvenir. All participants must be aged 14 or over.
For more information on how to get involved, call the group sales team on 0116 2171 216.