Minety RFC Annual Invitation Seven-a-Side Tournament
Well, that’s never happened before!
Final: Minety 27 pts – Sutton Benger 24 pts
For the first time in living memory, Minety have won their own Annual Invitation Seven-a-Side Tournament. In a nail-bitingly tense final, they came from behind to beat Sutton Benger 27-24.
Nine teams took part in this year’s tournament. Breaking with tradition, Minety decided not to assemble their teams by drawing lots but entered first, second (Dreamers) and Academy (under 18) sides into the competition.
The other teams taking part were from Dursley, Sutton Benger and Wootton Bassett rugby clubs, plus London-based sevens specialists Flying Piggies, and local teams One Direction and Daffodils.
The entrants were organised into two groups for the opening round and match results were as follows:
Minety 43 pts – Daffodils 7 pts
Flying Piggies 26 pts –Academy 10 pts
Flying Piggies 36 pts – Daffodils 14 pts
Academy 5 pts – Minety 31 pts
Daffodils 19 pts –Academy 26 pts
Minety 22 pts – Flying Piggies 15 pts
Sutton Benger 41 pts – Dreamers 0 pts
Dursley 21 pts – One Direction 5 pts
Wootton Bassett 7 pts – Sutton Benger 26 pts
Dursley 47 pts – Dreamers 12 pts
One Direction 31 pts – Wootton Bassett 14 pts
Sutton Benger 24 pts – Dursley 7 pts
Wootton Bassett 19 pts – Dursley 12 pts
Dreamers 5 pts – One Direction 24 pts
One Direction 12 pts – Sutton Benger 26 pts
Dreamers 7 pts – Wootton Bassett 22 pts
The semi-finals pitted the winner of each group against the runner-up in the other group. The scores were as follows:
Minety 25 pts – Dursley 15 pts
Sutton Benger 27 pts – Flying Piggies 12 pts
The final, therefore, was contested between Minety and Sutton Benger.
Looking fresh despite the blazing sunshine and the string of games which they had already played, Sutton Benger started briskly. The game had been going less then a minute when they got their hands on the ball inside their own 22 and promptly shipped it left, creating an overlap in the process. Their winger exploited this with alacrity, charging up the slope for the opening try with Minety left grasping at thin air behind him.
A similar move shortly afterwards from a penalty on their own 22 saw Sutton Benger gain the same reward.
With the benefit of the slope in the second half, Sutton Benger soon added to their tally, grabbing a runaway try down the left touch line.
But a break by Max Sparrow put Josh Jenson away for a try to the hosts, and when Dowling snatched an interception on halfway, he lost no time in sprinting in for another try to close the gap.
Quick hands and neat passing saw Benger outflank Minety on the right and pull away with another try, but a decisive break by Robin Greenway put Dowling through for his third try and once more closed the gap.
With the clock running down and still behind having kicked fewer conversions, Minety threw caution to the wind and clinched the game with a last second try by Jenson.