Carrick 7s: Official Report: Large Crowds!!!!!!!!!!! Carnival Atmosphere Sevens Heaven! Surrey Colts ARE The U19 CHAMPIONS: CIYMS Take The JNR Clubs Tourno, Ulster Exiles Do The DOUBLE as OPEN CHAMPS, QUEENS RFC TAKE THE SNR Clubs Championship & Queens Ladies WIN THE Women’s Comp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The 40th Carrick Sevens took place at Tom Simms Memorial Park over the week-end of the 4-6 of May. Despite the lowish temperatures(but, thankfully, little rain), there were large crowds on both the Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, the entry was down again, no doubt reflecting the continued economic pressures individuals and Clubs are under. More than forty teams competed over the week-end, including four from Scotland, two from England and four from the Ulster Fijian community. Harris from Dundee and St Brendans from Bristol were debutants this year. A new competition, sponsored by Quigg Golden, and for Qualifying League players , was added to the Saturday programme this year. A new trophy, introduced for this competition was named the Price Trophy in honour of Richard Price to mark his fortieth year of involvement in running the Sevens. PICTURES CLICK HERE
The Sevens simply would not take place without the generosity of sponsors and Club President, Gerry Simms, on a number of occasions over the week-end acknowledged the Club’s indebtedness to Guinness, Samurai,Manvik, Quigg Golden, Abbey,NK Fencing, CP Hire and Carrickfergus Borough Council.
The event started on Friday evening with the Samurai Under 19s competition in which Queen’s University, Surrey Colts, Ballymena and Scottish visitors Telford College reached the semi-finals. Surrey edged a close semi-final with Ballymena while Queen’s outscored Telford by four tries to one in their match. Despite a strong fight-back by Queen’s in the second half of the final, Surrey grabbed a late score to take the Everest Cup for the second time, having previously won it in 2009. As well as the Cup and the winners’ cheque, the team were presented with a set of playing strip by Samurai. Newsletter Player of the tournament was Surrey’s Will Radford who performed consistently well throughout the evening. Instonians won the Plate, beating Larne Vikings in the final, and Ards beat the President’s team to win the Bowl.
On a cold but sunny afternoon, the large crowd was treated to some entertaining rugby in the Saturday competitions. In the Guinness open competition, the Ulster Exiles, Telford College,local side HCO BOSS and The Reapers from Carrick reached the semi-finals. The Exiles over-came the Reapers with some scintillating rugby while HCO BOSS beat Telford in the other semi-final after a long interruption and a pitch change at half-time to allow an ambulance into the playing area to treat a player injured in an earlier game. In the final, after an even first half, the Exiles out-scored their opponents by four tries to one in the second half to win the Holmes Salver. Newsletter Player of the Tournament was Michael Kirkwood of the Ulster Exiles. Fijian side Down Exiles beat their compatriots, the Panthers, to win the Willis Plate while another Fijian side, Veivanua, over-came the Carrick Warriors to take the Woodlawn Bowl.
In the Quigg Golden Qualifying competition, the semi-finalists were Cooke, Ballyclare, Academy and CIYMS. The latter won their semi-final convincingly against Academy while Ballyclare came back from two tries down to edge out Cooke. Unfortunately they came up against a CI side in top form in the final and were, in the end over-run, the Belfast side scoring eight tries to Ballyclare’s one. Newsletter Player of the Tournament was CI’s Duncan Gleadhill. Academy beat Cooke in the Plate final and Larne beat Omagh to win the Bowl.
Because of a number of withdrawals, the Manvik AIL 7s on Sunday was not the spectacle that the organisers had hoped for after last year’s outstanding ccompetition. In the end an outstanding Queen’s University side had a convincing win over Malone in the final, running in eight tries to two to retain the title they won in 2011. The Newsletter Player of the Tournament award went to Christopher Quinn of Queen’s. The Bowl was won by Banbridge who over-came a spirited Down Exiles side. The tournament organisers were extremely grateful to the Exiles who stepped in when a number of AIL sides withdrew.
The Abbey Ladies 10s event was more competitive, with Queen’s, Enniskillen, Harlequins and City of Derry contesting the semi-finals. Queen’s scored four tries in eventually over-coming a spirited Enniskillen side while Harlequins had to wait until the second half to get on the score-board and beat a stubborn City of Derry side . In the final, Queen’s ran in five unanswered tries in beating Harlequins to make it a clean sweep for the student teams. Newsletter Player of the Tournament was Kathy Craig of Queen’s who put in a series of excellent performances.Enniskillen, having lost to City of Derry in the pool stages, turned things around and out-scored them by five tries to one to win the Plate. Ballymoney beat Carrick in the Bowl final.
At the end of the tournament, there was the usual presentation of a cheque to rugby charity, Wooden Spoon.
On Saturday morning, the Carrick Under 15s won their Cup Final at Ravenhill, getting revenge over Virginia for their defeat in the League the previous week. On Sunday morning their was the traditional Carrick versus Forrester charity match. Rumour has it that Carrick won this year but, as always, it has proved difficult to find anyone who would admit to having been there let alone give details of what went on!
While there was some disapointment over the entry, this was another entertaining week-end of sevens and ladies 10s rugby and President Gerry Simms and the tournament committee are to be congratulated for putting together a tournament which was again a credit to Carrickfergus RFC and brought a large number of visitors to the Borough over the week-end.

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