In bitterly cold conditions eight teams from Gloucestershire and Worcestershire participated in the first Churchdown Sevens tournament at Churchdown School Academy.
On the day of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and just a few miles away from the famous racecourse, the teams competed for a Cup and Plate trophy in two pools of four teams each. Despite uncomfortable weather conditions, the youngsters still showed great 7s skills during the 18 matches.
In Pool A, Chosen Hill qualified without a loss for the first of four Cup semi-final spots. Dene Magna became second in the pool and secured the other spot in the semi-final. Event hosts Churchdown landed third in the group with four points in order to book a Plate semi-final ticket against Prince Henry’s. In an entertaining encounter against Churchdown School which ended in a 24-24 draw, Archway showed great courage and fantastic 7s. Both teams ended with seven points each after the pool stage however Churchdown eventually had a slightly better scoring record.
In Pool B, Severn Vale gained the top-spot after three out of three wins followed by St. Peter’s who only just lost 7-12 against Severn Vale. Both teams qualified for the remaining two Cup semi-final spots. In the competition for the Plate semi-final Prince Henry’s from Evesham just came fourth behind Millbrook Academy which ended up with five points after three matches.
During the knock-out stages all teams improved their performances once more. First off were the Cup semi-finals between Chosen Hill and St. Peter’s as well as Dene Magna against Severn Vale. In both matches the teams from pool A, Chosen Hill and Dene Magna managed to get away with a win and consequently met once more in the Cup final.
In the Plate semi-finals Churchdown faced Prince Henry’s and Archway played against Millbrook. This time around the teams from pool B, Prince Henry’s and Millbrook came away with a victory and tickets for the final.
The two finals of the day were both kicked-off at the same time and they couldn’t be any more entertaining. In the Plate final it was Prince Henry’s who won the trophy in a hard-fought match, finishing 26-18. In the Cup final, the spectators witnessed a breath taking match all the way to the last minute, which Chosen Hill just won 24-22 against a courageous team from Dene Magna.
At the end of the day the tournament was a fantastic promotion for junior 7s in the regions and we liked to thank all teams for their participations.
A big thank you to the tournament referees Cedric Pollard, Paul Cripps and Grantley Brown, event photographer James Hart and John Oliver from Churchdown School for all the great support.