Yorkshire's oldest and biggest sevens tournament was back at its best with a record crowd including hundreds of OPs and OP families basking in the sunshine and enjoying a full day of high-speed rugby action.
The tournament started at 10.30am with a women’s sevens curtain raiser competition. The men followed on at 1.00pm. Aside from the Old Pocklingtonians and OP Dragons teams, OPs had a healthy presence elsewhere on the field with several teams featuring at least one OP player amongst their ranks. The rugby ebbed and flowed right through to 7.00pm in the evening when the day's two best sides provided an entertaining finale. It was a triumphant home coming for former Pocklington School and Pocklington RUFC junior, OP Elliot Adamson (12-17), as his Jungle 7s Tropics invitation side overcame the International Penguins, the world's most travelled rugby team, 17-14.
The Tropics, a team of mates from London, Leeds and Newcastle who are running their own sevens tournament in Leeds in June, were making their Pock 7s debut, and their reward was to be presented with the Fowler Trophy by the Rugby Football Union's CEO, Bill Sweeney.
Though the Tropics and Penguins deserved to meet in the final, they were both pushed all the way in their respective semis – the Penguins having to pull out all the stops to beat Malton & Norton, the top club side in the tournament, 21-12, and the Tropics having a similar battle in overcoming Northern Exiles, a team of former Newcastle students lead by OP James Thompson (03-14) and featuring fellow OPs George Wagstaff (06-12) and Jack Garvin (10-17). Northern Exiles stalwart, Sami Eggleston (99-07) supported in a coaching role from the touchline this year through injury.
Both OP teams fared well in this year’s tournament. Old Pocklingtonians led by Josh Papa (96-03) and James Tyson (02-10) started off on the back pitch making it comfortably through their preliminary round match against Hull Ionians to go into the main competition along with Joe Laudage’s (04-15) OP Dragons who got a bye. Both sides then went on to win their respective first round matches by similar margins to reach the quarter finals. At this stage, the level of play went up a notch and both OP teams found themselves on the back foot against much stronger opponents with Old Pocklingtonians losing to Northern Exiles 47-7 and OP Dragons overpowered 61-0 by eventual winners, Jungle 7s Tropics.
Despite being knocked out of the competition, both OP teams thoroughly enjoyed their day and were more than ready to hit the beer tent at the end of their matches.
In the Plate Competition, Hull Ionians beat York Saints 45-0 whilst the women's competition saw Wetherby beat Malton & Norton 25-5 to lift the cup.
Thank you to all OPs who came back to play for the Old Pocklingtonians and OP Dragons and for Patrick Dare for coaching and supporting the teams on the day. For any OPs considering playing or getting an OP team together for next year’s tournament, please do get in touch with the OP office who can help with your team entry, player recruitment, kit sponsorship/design/ordering as well as support on the day.
Goole 17 Pocklington Porkers 12; Wot-a-Pullet 0 Woldgate OB 24; Malton & Norton 24 York Saints 22; Hull Ionians 7 Old Pocklingtonians 17.
Penguins International 19 Goole 12; RG Heidelberg 28 Woldgate 12; Leeds Beckett 36 Selby 17; Lowground Lions 0 Malton & Norton 36; Jungle 7s Tropics 55 Pilgrims 0; Pocklington 12 OP Dragons 31; Driffield 14 Old Pocklingtonians 31; Northern Exiles 31 Old Peterites 12.
Penguins International 27 RG Heidelberg 17; Leeds Beckett 14 Malton & Norton 36; Jungle 7s Tropics 61 OP Dragons 0; Old Pocklingtonians 7 Northern Exiles 47.
Penguins International 21 Malton & Norton 12; Jungle 7s Tropics 26 Northern Exiles 14.
Penguins International 14 Jungle 7s Tropics 17.
Pocklington Porkers 35 Wot-a-Pullet 5; Hull Ionians 22 Pocklington 14; Driffield 10 Old Peterites 22; York Saints 24 Selby 22.
Plate Semi Finals
Pocklington Porkers 17 York Saints 22 (aet); Hull Ionians 31 Old Peterites 14.
Hull Ionians 45 York Saints 0
Wetherby 25 Malton & Norton 5
Josh Papa (96-03), Charlie Thompson (99-10), James Tyson (02-10), Jacob Sherwood (05-12), Josh Wagstaff (06-14), Ben Pettifer (08-18), Oli Rayner (14-18), Kieran Wilde (07-18), Harry Matthews (15-20), Lucas Powell (18-20), Ben Maycock (14-21), Danny Ratcliffe (11-21), Lewis Papa (Coach, 96-03)
Jim Hanley (08-15), Joe Laudage (04-15), Charlie Sleigh (08-15), Will Stephenson (05-15), Will Wraith (08-16), Ed Wraith (08-18), Sam May (12-19) (not pictured). Guest players (due to late availability): Eddie Dixon, Tom Stevens, James Rial
OP KIT SPONSORS
APEX Mortgage & Protection UK Ltd, Mirror Doors Direct, Michael Readman Lawnmower Services Ltd
Yorkshire Rhubarb, Wicstun Veterinary Group, T Soanes Farming, SID Ltd
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