Battersea Ironsides skipper Colin O’Keeffe may have started the Surrey Division One season with only the league in mind, but now he is thinking of lifting silverware at Twickenham.
And he has a taste for lifting trophies after the Ironsides triumphed in the London final of the RFU Junior Vase last weekend, beating Seaford 29-9 at Garratt Green.
Ironsides will now face Longlevens of Gloucester One at home on April 19 in the south of England final, with the victors stepping out at Twickenham for the national final on May 4.
Longlevens are unbeaten in six league games, and, lying in fourth, they still have an outside chance of promotion.
O’Keeffe said: “Our initial focus this season was the league after we won promotion last time round.
“But as we progressed in the Vase, that slowly became our focus.
“We’ve never been this far in the competition, and I know how massive it is for everyone at the club because players from as long back as when the club formed in 1943 are sending good luck messages.
Proud: Colin O'Keeffe with the winners' plaque
“I got to the final of a similar competition in Ireland and played at the old Lansdowne Road. Unfortunately I lost, so this time I want to play in a national stadium and win.”
He added: “Before the Seaford game, we were talking about how great it would be to play at Twickenham, but now we’re talking about how great it would be to win at Twickenham.”
Against Seaford, a penalty try and five points from Ash Hallett, plus 19 points off Ben Mott’s boot, were enough to overturn an early deficit.
O’Keeffe, pictured right, said: “The Seaford match was much closer than the scoreline suggests, and we had to come back from 9-0 down.
“But once we managed to get some territory, we kept them back and took control, although Seaford always kept it competitive and they were always a threat.”
He added: “We have four league games between now and the regional final, all of which will be competitive.
“We’re not completely out of trouble, so we need to be on our game until the end of the season.
“But that’s the build-up we need, there is no point treading water between now and the final.”
Dodgy geezer: Ian Dodge evades a Seaford challenge
Try man: Ash Hallett gets away to seal Battersea Ironsides historic win
Pacy: Tyson Peters makes tracks against the Seaford defences
One for the future: Paul Dodge tries to get in on his dad's moment in the limelight