A bumper crowd of almost 3,000 basked in the bank holiday sunshine and enjoyed six hours of non-stop sevens rugby at the annual Pock 7s tournament on Good Friday, 18 April 2014. It included numerous OPs who had travelled back to the town to watch the rugby and get together with friends for an Easter reunion. A number of OPs joined team manager Sean Houltham (i/c rugby at Pocklington School) to play for the Old Pocklingtonians team whilst others played for one of several other teams entered in the competition.
Sean commented: “We are getting several regular players and some new younger players coming back to play for OPs which is pleasing given the number of other teams that OPs are involved with in the tournament. We have been trying to build the OP team in the last few years and the OPA has made sure we are well looked after providing new style shirts, energy drinks and a beer fund. There is always good camaraderie amongst the players and it is an enjoyable event.”
OPs were drawn against Helmsley Three Feathers in the preliminary round match. Hopes were high after last year’s performance when the OP team made it to the plate final against eventual winners Pocklington. Unfortunately the game did not go the OPs way against their stronger opponents who outplayed them from the off. There was no let-up in the second half either and the OPs could not get into their stride. An injury to player-manager Sean Houltham was the final blow and OPs bowed out in a crushing 47-0 defeat.
Despite disappointment for the OP team, the Northern Exiles, a team which also included a number of OPs and captained by OP Charlie Thompson, got through to the final against Oxfam Crusaders. The match was a real end to end, high-scoring encounter between two well matched young sides that went right to the last play of the day. Oxfam Crusaders had their noses in front, but Northern Exiles broke clear to score a last gasp try only to miss the conversion attempt that would have taken the game to sudden death extra time. It left Oxfam Crusaders breathless winners by 36-34. The plate competition also had an entertaining finale as Driffield beat Hull Ionians Hawks 34-19.
Heworth RLFC 24 The Pilgrims 0; Goole 7 Newcastle Brookfield 20; Old Pocklingtonians 0 The Feathers 47.
Catterick Fijians 12 Yapham Badgers 7; Oxford Crusaders 31 Selby 0; Junior’s Flying Coconuts 27 Driffield 17; Malton & Norton 34 Heworth 0; Pocklington 31 Ionians Hawks 19; PFC Olympiakos 0 Northern Exiles 41; Hull Ionians 12 Brookfield 44; York 5 The Feathers 19.
Catterick 12 Oxfam Crusaders 27; Junior’s FC 28 Malton & Norton 17; Pocklington 0 Northern Exiles 20; Brookfield 26 The Feathers 7.
Oxfam Crusaders 35 Junior’s FC 5; Northern Exiles 21 Brookfield 12.
Oxfam Crusaders 36 Northern Exiles 34.
Yapham Badgers 12 Selby 26; Driffield 44 Pilgrims 5; Ionians Hawks 29 Goole 12; York 22 Hull Ionians 28.
Selby 5 Driffield 34, Ionians Hawks 29 Hull Ionians 15.
Driffield 34, Ionians Hawks 19.