The Hertfordshire/Middlesex Merit Tables were created in 2002 to provide all those rugby sides from the Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Buckinghamshire County Unions, which were not playing in the Rugby Football Union National Leagues or other merit tables, an opportunity to play in a competitive structured competition. The clubs are generally located in an area within 20 miles of the triangle formed by the A1/M1/A505.
The teams participating are normally the 2nd, 3rd and 4th XVs of clubs, although several smaller clubs have entered their 1st XVs. The Merit Tables are also used as a starting point for newly formed clubs to demonstrate their playing and administrative abilities before being accepted into the RFU League Structure. In 2014-15, the tables will have grown to accommodate in excess of 80 sides, a far cry from the 12 sides that took the plunge in 2002.
FINALS DAY - April 26th 2014 The lottery with the weather each season seemed to be going our way again this year, even though the forecast was rain, there was plenty of sun in evidence at Harrow, Welwyn and The Mount rugby grounds, where the finals were being held.
Eight games took place at Harrow, the first time we have had to expand the competition to this size to fit in the matches from the increased number of merit tables, seven were held at Welwyn and one game was played at The Mount. At each location the games were supported by either Hertfordshire or London Referees Society, operating in teams of three. In addition, County Officials were on hand to award all the plaques for winning the seasons merit tables, knock-out trophies, knock-out plate trophies and momentos to the referees. At Harrow, Middlesex Rugby Secretary, Steve Rac was on duty, Mark Elliott, the Hertfordshire RFU President enjoyed being at home, at Welwyn, while the Hertfordshire RFU Chairman, Richard Milnes, was in charge at The Mount.
Foggy and Bryony kept control of events at Welwyn, while I enjoyed a great day at Harrow, meeting all those players and officials from the many teams that make up the Hertfordshire/Middlesex Merit Tables.
Looks like a clean heel for Hemel Hempstead
Old Albanians and Stevenage Town at full stretch
Hitchin receiving Plate Trophy, but get those shorts!
Foggy surrounded by referees at Welwyn
Tring 2nds, who won the double in Table 1 this season, in action against Hertford
Chesham 2nd, one of our Buckinghamshire teams, collect the Merit Table 7 Trophy
Home Club Harrow take on OMTs to complete double in Table 5
Hampstead stand tight for their team talk
While most of the Cheshunt squad do it kneeling down