Olney 7s 2015 - Saturday 4th July
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Olney 7s 2014
Olney 7s 2014, our 8th annual tournament, certainly lived up to expectations with some keenly contested pool games followed by some enthralling encounters in the later knockout stages. The Brakspear Open Tournament attracted teams who frequent the national 7s circuit including the 2012 winners CLIC Sargent Godfathers, Sherrards Assassins, The Seven Dwarves and the Welsh outfit Top She-Haggers. Club sides included Olney and local teams Bletchley, Northampton Mens Own, Bedford Athletic as well as National 2 sides Shelford RFC and Cambridge RFC (Blood & Sand 7s). Olney club players could also be seen playing for The Hammerheads and a number of the social tournament teams!
Sherrards Assassins won a convincing semi-final against CLIC Sargent Godfathers to take their place in the Olney 7s Trophy final. Their opponents Top She-Haggers had a narrow victory against Bedford Athletic in the quarter-final, winning 17 -14, and again against Shelford winning by one score, 24 – 17, in the semi-final. The final could have gone either way with two good early tries from the Assassins and Top She-Haggers coming back strongly in the second half. However, Sherrards Assassins held out well to win 17 – 14 and lift the Olney 7s Trophy for 2014.
Olney RFC, who had had both finalists in their pool, worked their way through the knockout stages to meet Zoti Guns 7s in the plate final, winning 26 -22. They were pleased to be presented with the Brakspear Bitter Plate by ex-Olney player, Duncan Taylor (Scotland and Saracens).
The Country & Stable Social tournament displayed a good standard of rugby and proved to be just as entertaining. Wrong Direction 7s won the Country & Stable Shield and Godfathers Cugines the President’s Bowl.
Olney 7s 2014 proved once again to be a excellent rugby day for all involved and post tournament celebrations, with a hog roast and live band, continued well into the night!
Garth Hannaford, from CLIC Sargent Godfathers who have been taking part for a number of years said, “Olney 7s provides one of the best organised tournaments and venue that they go to on the 7s circuit each year”. Congratulations and thank you to all the organisers, ground staff, ball boys, bar team, sponsors and the rest of the volunteers that make it all happen.
Olney 7s 2013
With fine weather booked and a convincing win by the British and Irish Lions everything was set up for another great day at Olney 7s. What followed proved to make the seventh annual tournament prove to be as good as any that have taken place at Olney over recent years. The gamesmanship and quality of play in both tournaments was second to none in spite of a long hot tiring day. The only mar on the day was the failure of a two teams to turn up leaving some pools short of games and resulting gaps in the schedule.
CLIC Sargent Godfathers, who had found themselves in a competitive pool, had an easy route through the quarters to make the semi final. Their opponents, The Lady Rohesia Boat Club, who had a close game against Sherrards Assassins in the quarters, eventually came out winners in a very high scoring game but only making headway in the last minutes of the game.
In the other half of the knockout draw The Qube made their quarter final game look easy to reach the semis where they met Hammerheads who had earlier had a hard fought game against The 7 Cardinals in the quarters. This semi final went into extra time with The Qube just edging it to make the final. The enthralling final saw The Lady Roheshia Boat Club win the Data-Re Trophy for 2013 and the £500 prize money.
The Data-Re plate was also keenly contested and was eventually won by Bletchley (H of E) with Olney RFC as runners up. The Hopping Mad Shield saw runners up NHBC Marauders in the final against winners The Engineers and the President’s Bowl won by Sheffield Bears and the runners up were The Weston Turks who also won The Wooden Spoon.
Measuring the success of a 7s tournament is an interesting challenge to come to terms with. Clearly for individuals the success and enjoyment is a personal one. Looking at the tournament as a whole it is about the quality of play and refereeing and the feedback from teams and supporters. Clearly the good weather, buzz and atmosphere all play their part. It is also about meeting old rugby friends and having a good rugby day out.
Drink the bar dry
Another measure of success for Olney 7s 2013 is that those attending not only managed to drink the bar dry but also drink well into the stocks of neighbouring clubs and bars. Prior to the tournament day the club cellar was stocked to capacity. No more barrels could have been fitted in. By late afternoon stocks of beer, and lager in particular, were running out. Additional barrels were borrowed from neighbouring drinking establishments. Later in the evening a taxi was sent out to one of the villages for further supplies. By the end of the night there was very little alcohol of any kind behind the bar with the exception of one barrel of Bulmers that somehow had become lost and buried in the back of the cellar.
Quite clearly much alcohol was consumed at Olney 7s 2013. The bar takings at Olney 7s 2013 were over 60% up on the 2012 event. A good day was had and a good day for the club!
If you can find a drink a toast is now due to celebrate the success of Olney 7s 2013!
Olney 7s 2012
Another great rugby 7s day out in spite of the weather
The quality of rugby at Olney 7s 2012 held up well despite some heavy downpours in the middle of the day. With the pitches in good condition the challenge was more about mastering handling skills with a wet ball. However, it was some of the pedestrian areas off the pitch that by the end of the day looked more like Glastonbury at its best!
The knockout stages of the Data-Re open tournament saw Pool 1 winners, POD, and runners up Crispin Rhodes Crusaders both making it through to the semi finals. Hammerheads were clear winners of Pool 2 but were edged out in the quarter finals. Carmarthen Warriors, Pool 3 winners, and CLIC Sargent Godfathers, Pool 4 winners, took the remaining semi final positions.
Tim Stanbridge’s team POD, winners of the tournament in 2010, met Carmarthen Warriors in the semis losing out to the welsh boys 21 -14. CLIC Sargent Godfathers ran away with their semi against Crispin Rhodes Crusaders 31 – 7. Taking on their friendly rivals Carmarthen Warriors in the final, looking a tad stronger at the end of a long day, they won 28 -12 to take home the Data-Re Trophy for 2012.
The Data-Re plate was also keenly contested and was eventually won by The Qube with FTD Black Sheep as runners up. The Hopping Mad Shield saw runners up The Engineers in the final against winners St Paul’s Catholic School and the President’s Bowl won by Hopping Mad and the runners up, for the second year in a row, NHBC. The player of the tournament was awarded to Masse Cevali of CLIC Sargent Godfathers.
Olney 7s now has a well established reputation amongst teams and spectators alike and is firmly fixed in the club’s annual calendar of events. A big thank you to all the volunteers and the organising team for another very successful tournament.
Olney 7s 2011
Olney 7s 2011 turned up many enthralling encounters that kept spectators and players engaged all day. Conditions were ideal for 7s with thee pitches in good condition and the weather warm and sunny with just one quick shower to freshen things up!
‘Thank you for organising such an excellent event. Olney was our 7th tournament of the year, and by far the best run. The pool sizes were spot on and there was not too much waiting between games. PA’s and ball boys also good and pitch quality top notch. We hope to be back next year with a strong team to challenge again,’ said Garth from CLIC Sargent Godfathers.
The knockout stages of the Data-Re open tournament saw last year’s winners, POD, coasting through against the 2010 runners up, Crispin Rhodes Crusaders. The Carmarthen Warriors against CLIC Sargent Godfathers was much closer with Godfathers progressing to the semi finals.
In the other half of the draw Westcombe Park 7s just gained the upper hand beating The White Hart Development side 10 – 5. In the last quarter final it was the two midland based sides Qube and Hammer Heads who came up against each other with Hammer Heads taking the semi final spot to meet Westcombe Park. The experience of the Westcombe side was too much for the youthful Hammer Heads who lost their game 7 - 17.
The POD and CLIC Sargent Godfathers semi final was all square at the end of full time with POD just edging them out with a golden try to make the final. However, it was to be Westcombe Park 7s who took the honours to win the Data-Re Trophy 26 -12.
Local teams Olney, Leighton Buzzard and The Heart of England (Bletchley) all qualified for the Data-Re Plate which was won by Sabre 7s who beat BRM in the final. The Wooden Spoon, competed for by the last placed team in each pool, was won by Treforest Titans.
This year’s new Hopping Mad social tournament was as keenly competitive as the main tournament with the Shield being won by Banana 7s who took on Amlin 7s in the final. The Presidents Bowl was won by Sheffield Bears, which was a fitting end to their ’on tour’ weekend to the home of Olney 7s.
The quality of play on the pitches was supported by some serious socialising in and around the clubhouse. This was in no small way helped by the Hopping Mad beer tent, a range of good food and a Caribbean disco. This was later followed up with a hog roast and live band and continued well into the next day.
‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank Olney for having us for the weekend. The club were fantastic hosts and the event seemed to be exceptionally well received across both tournaments. Hopefully we'll be able to return next year!’ said Phil Tomlinson of Sheffield Bears