When Droitwich put the call out to the rugby family, could anyone support the inaugural James O’Mara 7s festival in memory of this junior player lost heartbreakingly young to Leukaemia there were no committee meetings required, we are going !
Evesham U15 sent a squad of 10, could have been 12 if Laurie hadn’t broken a thumb playing Quidditch and Aggy’s knees hadn’t fallen off. As it was Charlie, Jackson, Owen, George, Joe, Elliot, Max, Ben and new boys Charlie and Tolly for a first run out in Maroon and Blue all reported bright and early to support this important event, keen to see whether preseason has been worth it.
Torrential rain around Evesham the night before had Noah reaching for the Black and Decker, but the day itself was blessed with sunshine and only the briefest shower that would barely run the ink used to document it. Perfect conditions then. Rugby is a contact sport, there are risks involved, a proper warm-up is essential and some contact before the real contact is a wise precaution. Max had long been looking forward to his 7’s debut and was massively unfortunate to ding-a-wing in the warm-up to win yet another ride in an ambulance. Broken elbow, quick bit of surgery required to make it look like the other one again, lads and parents all wish Max a speedy recovery and rapid return to play.
Droitwich, Tewkesbury (Gold and Black), Stroud (Stroud and Ghosts) and Evesham all fielded sides for this festival, a 6 minutes each way, full pitch, conversions dropkicked from behind the posts 7 a-side tear up.
Evesham v Tewkesbury Black
Lads played some lovely rugby, spinning the ball, running support lines at pace and defending as a line when called upon. First try to Evesham, Charlie Cooper (debut – cheeky), converted by Ben 7:0. A second try with every fingerprint on it eventually scored by Owen and again converted by Ben 14:0 at the break.
Elliot and Jackson get stuck into the flapjacks and make way for Tolly and Joe in the second half. More of the same and a great try by Tolly (debut – cheeky), converted by Ben 21:0. Tolly again with a well balanced run and over, converted by Ben 28:0. Evesham playing advantage, ball out to George who slides in for a try only to be brought back for the original advantage, capitalised on by Mad-Dog Cockerton and converted by Ben.
Tewkesbury played better than the score line suggests, it is fair to say Evesham had packed some serious wheels, the pace and width just a little too much for the lads in yellow and black. 35:0 at Full Time.
Evesham v Tewkesbury Gold
Tails up, George and Charlie Cockerton have heard about the flapjacks and take a breather to investigate. Joe makes a break that would outrun a police dog, offloaded to Elliot to finish, converted by Ben 7:0 to the good. Ben then decides to chase his own grubber kick, nice bit of endeavour that results in a try but fluffs the conversion 12:0.
Second half Charlie Cooper makes way for George, Charlie Cockerton is still busy telling everyone his leg hurts so sits this one out too. Try for Action-Jackson who could outrun a police car never mind the dog and a beautifully balanced run by the twinkle toed (Billy) Elliot off an Evesham scrum, both converted by Ben. Tewkesbury scored one in return somewhere along the way, my notes look like they were written by a drunk doctor in the back of the police car chasing Jackson. 26:7 at the close.
Evesham v Stroud
Game was a blur, first half tries for Joe up the right wing, Mad Dog up the middle, Ben and Owen, 3 of the 4 converted so 26:0 at the break. Second half saw Elliot over twice, Tolly got another and Ben finished one off, conversions a mixed bag, ref made it 50:0 by the end and who am I to argue (I made it 54).
Evesham v Droitwich
Different proposition now, Droitwich had originally entered 2 sides and dropped one on the morning to make way for us after a scheduling re-jig. Lots of fresh legs and big strong players as one has grown to expect from Droitwich. Valiant display by the boys in Maroon and Blue but just too much Droitwich beef on the day. 14:0 at the close.
Evesham v Ghosts
Similar tale to Droitwich, powerful runners using the middle third of the pitch giving Evesham no shortage of defensive opportunities. 14:0 by the break but could easily have been much more without tireless shoulders from Eves. Recognizing the up the middle nature of what was going on, Eves mount a come back up the edges, try for Tolly of a Jackson break and a second in quick succession for Jackson off a Tolly break, one converted, one missed puts Eves within 2 points. Last minute try for Ghosts, up the middle again closes it 21:12 for a game that if played earlier in the day could easily have seen a draw.
Superb morning of rugby, enjoyed on either side of the whitewash in equal measure. Lads were a credit to parents and club, left everything on the pitch, new boys firmly part of the squad now and we all look forward to reuniting with the forwards for a great season of 15-a-side rugby ahead.
All at Droitwich for hosting a great morning of rugby
For half time oranges (from M&S no less), bringing a knife and chopping board on match day plus 4 buckets of flap jacks (also M&S) – there would have been napkins if I let her – Mrs Brett
Parents for transportation and touchline support, as per
Lisa for giving up her umbrella and standing in the rain to keep the lads dry during the brief shower. Alpha-mum.