07 July 2022 / Club News

Report of 2022 Sevens Tournament

At the third time of asking, the 71st Old Penarthians RFC Seven-a Side tournament eventually took place on Saturday 11th June 2022. It is remarkable to think that the last time the Club were able to hold this prestigious tournament was three years ago in 2019. Little did we know then what was around the corner!

After the disappointment of planning and then having to shelve the tournament last year because of restrictions that were still in place, we were delighted to welcome both some regular and new attendees on the day. However, it was very disappointing and a great shame that the holders of the men’s title, The Voyagers, had to cry off at the 11th hour due to player unavailability. Neither were the women’s title holders from 2019 in attendance. Ponty Butchers Ladies have recently reformed, but unfortunately not in time to take part on this occasion.

On a day when the weather gods were kind, the tournament welcomed nine men’s teams who were split into two pools with the winners of each pool meeting in the final. In Pool A were the host Club, Old Penarthians, Ponty Butchers, Wales Deaf, Llandaff RFC and Illtydian Saints. The teams comprising Pool B were St Josephs RFC, Glantaf Goats, Cardiff Met and Penarth RFC.

The second holding of the Ladies competition attracted teams from Llandaff North Ladies, Pontyclun Falcons, Wales Deaf and newcomers Dursley RFC Ladies from Gloucestershire who entered into a round-robin competition with the top two teams progressing to the final.

The attraction of seven-a-side rugby was also testament to the many hundreds of spectators who turned up to support an event that is an integral part of the Old Penarthians season.  The spectators were entertained throughout the afternoon with some excellent Sevens rugby played at great pace with tremendous skill.

To accommodate both the men’s and women’s events, which were integrated throughout the afternoon across two pitches, the tournament started at the earlier time of 12.30pm and everything was smoothly managed by official announcer Jeff Norman and his assistants Darran Harris and Emma White. With indebted thanks to Ken Shaw on Pitch 2 for his record keeping of match results and scorers that ensured the big crowd were aware of the ongoing progress of the tournament from the pitch away from the main hospitality area.

Of course, an event like this cannot be undertaken without considerable help from the many club volunteers and local sponsors and the Old Penarthians organisers are indebted to everyone who was able to contribute to the success of the day

The Pool A action was somewhat one-sided with Ponty Butchers the runaway winners scoring 187 points including 34 tries.  Illtydian Saints, returning to the tournament in a new guise after a highly successful history in the event as Old Illtydians when they appeared in nine previous finals, winning five times, finished second

Pool B was also dominated by the unbeaten Glantaf Goats, who have also had prodigious success in recent years contesting seven finals since 2006, winning on four occasions. Second in the Pool were newcomers Cardiff Met.

Llandaff North were unbeaten in the Ladies competition but with Pontyclun Falcons and Wales Deaf both winning one game, losing one game and drawing the match between themselves it came down to points difference to decide that the Falcons would play in the final.

The two teams contested a high-quality final and Llandaff North Ladies secured a hard-earned 26-15 victory to raise the Helen Norman Cup, leaving Pontyclun Falcons as runners-up for the second tournament in a row.

The men’s Jubilee Plate competition saw the runners-up from each pool, Illtydian Saints and Cardiff Met contest the final which resulted in a narrow 26-19 victory for Cardiff Met.

The last match of the day, played for the Roy Churchill Cup, was a gripping men’s final between Ponty Butchers and Glantaf Goats that was shaded by Ponty Butchers 24-17 in a spectacle most worthy of its billing with some outstanding sevens rugby from both teams, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the spectators.

The tournament champion trophies were then presented by Old Penarthians Club Chairman, Stephen Clarke, as were the ‘Players of the Tournament’ trophies. The Women’s award went to Cerys Ballet of Llandaff North whilst James Roberts from Ponty Butchers took the Men’s accolade.

The results of all the matches are shown below

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