Warlingham RFC staged their inaugural “Sevens Heaven” Seven-a-Side Tournament at their Hamsey Green home on the first Bank Holiday Saturday and teams from Suffolk through to Sussex attended, as well as local neighbours in the shape of Old Midwhitgiftians, Old Caterhamians and Croydon Crusaders.
With the event sponsored by local business Days Garages Group, sixteen teams were scheduled to attend. Despite the showers and cold wind the Dorking Cocks, Saxons 7, Soy Galacticos and Elektrik 7 went through to the semi-finals of the Tim Osborne Cup, presented in memory of the Warlingham Wizards’ captain’s father who died earlier in the year.
Saxons 7, formed three years ago to give players, overlooked by their own clubs, an opportunity to get together and show their flare in Sevens rugby, had overcome Daydreamers (48-0), Old Leysians (48-5) and Croydon Crusaders (27-14) in the Group stages and Warlingham Wizards (22-5) in the Quarters. They then cruised past Soy Galacticos (21-7) in the semis.
Dorking Cocks, allegedly a mixture of youth and experience, beat Elektrik 7 (24-19) and Old Mids (19-12) in the abbreviated Group stage, then a strong Voyagers side (35-29) in the quarters to meet up with Elektrik 7 in the Semis. Another tight game saw them pip Elektrik 7 by 26pts to 19pts to face Saxons 7 in the Final, having won all of their games by just the one score.
In the Plate competitions Old Leysians FC, formed in 1877 by former pupils of The Leys School Cambridge beat Old Mids by 29pts to 19pts and scoop the £250 cash prize. Old Leysians were ‘advised’ by the England’s Six Nations’ full back, Alex Goode, who was on hand to make substitutions and direct tactics. Goode is also a former pupil of The Leys School, as is Jamie Murray the 2007 Wimbledon doubles’ champion.
In the last game of the day, the Tim Osborne Cup Final proved to be a fitting end to a well fought competition. The lead changed hands frequently but a mistake by Saxons, by kicking the ball directly to a Dorking player, gave a clear run in under the posts on the last play of the game and Dorking ran out 42pts to 36pts winners and claimed the £750 prize money.
After the event, Wa
rlingham’s Director of Rugby, Peter Upton, said, “We have excellent facilities at the Club and for some years have considered this new venture. An opportunity in the Sevens Calendar arose so we went for it. The objective of today was not to make money but to do something more – to gather together as many like-minded teams and have a really enjoyable day. I think we achieved that objective and hope the teams enjoyed it too and will come again next year.”
Warlingham’s associate sport is Hillcrest Ladies Netball Club, who also held a Sevens Tournament on the same day. Their Champagne Cup was won by Crystal Palace NC and the runners up were Hillcrest 1’s.
Next year’s Warlingham “Sevens Heaven” tournament will be on Saturday 3rd May 2014.