RUGBY: Ponty Butchers seal Swindon Sevens success
THE PONTY Butchers walked away with the top prize and the £1,000 cheque as they won a narrow victory in the final of the 2014 Swindon 7s Rugby Festival.
The all-Welsh final in the Cup between the Pontardawe side and the Public School Wanderers, a Welsh development team, saw the the lead constantly swap, with some fantastic individual scores. Neither side relented for the entirity of the game and the Wanderers almost nicked it at the end but the Butcher’s defence held firm.
Two supplementary competitions were also contested. The Plate, played out by the defeated quarter-finalists in the main competition and won by the the Godfathers over the Silverback Babaas 45-14. Then the Bowl, contested by the teams finsihing thrid and fourth in the pool stage, which saw 7 Bamboos RFC see off Black Mafia 38-12 in the final.
The bigs shock of the day came in the main draw semi-final where the previously untouchable Apacge Raiders were demolished by the Wanderers. Before that point the Raiders had only conceded 27 points on the way to scoring 122 of their own, including a 21-5 victory over eventually victorious Butchers.
In the other cup semi-final an organised Royal Navy Sharks could not match the sheer athleticism of the Butchers, conceding 22 unanswered points to see their challenge ended.
However the Sharks were victorious in one of the games of the tournament. Their pool match-up with eventual finalists the Schoolboys saw the Navy come out 34-27 victors. It was remarkable end-to-end sevens considering the pool games were only seven minutes each way Sadly no Swindon sides were able to get their hands on any silverware but Swindon RFC chairman Stuart Cock was delighted with how the day went: “This has been a fantastic event with the spectators being treated to some outstanding rugby, and the teams enjoying a very high standard of competition. Despite a wet start, the weather has generally been kind to us and it was fitting that such a great final was played in glorious sunshine. “The competition has been a triumph of organisation. One of the most important things in holding a sevens competition is the organisation, and its a credit to organising team that we have been able to attract top teams from all over the country. I’m already looking forward to next year.”
The event also included music and food, as well as family activities, and was financially supported by the RFU, Swindon and Wiltshire Sport (Wasp) and several local businesses.