The 41st Guinness Carrick Sevens Official Organisers Report: Samurai U19, Quigg Open, Qualifying Open & Ladies 10s & 400+ NEW Team, Action & Winner Pictures LIVE HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The 41st Guinness Carrick Sevens took place over the week-end of 3rd – 5th May at Tom Simms Memorial Park with, as last year, over forty teams competing. While the cross-channel entry was again smaller than in earlier years, there were four Scottish and two English teams and the Ulster Fijian community again entered three teams. The quality of Sevens and Ladies 10s rugby was high and the weather was, apart from Friday evening, dry if a little on the cold and windy side. A tournament of this sort relies very heavily on the generosity of sponsors and Club President John Strange on a number of occasions over the week-end paid tribute to Guinness, Samurai, Quigg Golden, Abbey Insurance, Manvik and Carrickfergus Borough Council for their continuing support.
CLICK HERE for new shots from the Fri U19s
CLICK HERE for new shots from the Sat Quigg Open
CLICK HERE for new shots from the Sun Manvik 7s & Abbey Ladies 10s
The tournament began on Friday 3rd May with the now traditional Under 19s competition sponsored by Samurai. In the semi-finals of the Cup competition, defending champions Surrey Colts overcame Queen’s Barbarians while, in a somewhat tighter contest, EdinburghCollege beat BRA Big Dogs, out-scoring their opponents by three tries to one. The final shaped up to be a close contest but, with play held up for a lengthy spell for a serious injury to one of the Scottish visitors, Surrey Colts adapted better after the interruption and came back from two tries to one down to win the title , and the Everest Cup, for the third time with three unanswered tries in the second half. Newsletter player of the competition was Henry Cheeseman of Surrey Colts. The Plate competition was won by Larne Vikings who beat Cookie Monsters from Portadown in the final. Malone took the Bowl with victory over Rainey’s Rejects from Belfast High School.
The Quigg Golden Open on Saturday 4th May was dominated from start to finish by the NGN 7s team organised to honour the memories of Noel, Graham and Nevin Spence. The team, based around Ballynahinch RFC for which Graham and Nevin played, ran in a feast of tries in poll victories over Hawick Linden, Jack Wills and Newcastle Exiles. They then swept aside Thunder Ducks (Malone) in the semi-final before comprehensively beating Queen’s Pirates in the final. Queen’s had themselves had a convincing victory over the Eagles( a mainly Fijian side) in the other semi-final. The Newsletter player of the competition award went to Aaron Cairns of NGN 7s. Mrs Marlene Holmes presented the Holmes Salver to the winning Captain at the end of proceedings. As a result of the efforts of the NGN team and their organisers the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children and the Oscar Knox Appeal will both benefit.
On Saturday, the Plate competition was won by defending Open champions Ulster Exiles who beat Akuna Pink Panthers in the final. The Willis Bowl was won by Edinburgh College with victory over Carrick Warriors in their final.
On Sunday 5th May, the Manvik Qualifying Sevens and the Abbey Insurance Ladies 10’s were both keenly contested affairs. In the Ladies competition, the semi-finals brought victory for defending Champions Queen’s and five times winners Cooke. In the final, Cooke started well and scored the first try but, as the game wore on, Queen’s gained the upper hand and ran out winners by three tries to one. The Newsletter player of the competition award went to Stacey Lee of Cooke for strong performances throughout the tournament.
The Manvik Qualifying competition was dominated by defending champions CIYMS and Bangor in the pool stages although hosts Carrick, after a poor start against Bangor in their pool game came within one converted try of causing an upset and, had their handling and ball retention been better in the closing stages, they might well have done so. As it was Carrick went on to meet CIYMS in the Cup semi-final and, again, made a poor start but fought back to put themselves into a position were they could have won the tie. However,they could not free up the ball on a number of occasions when a try was on and in the end went down by three tries to two. In the other semi-final Bangor beat PSNI, running away with the game in the second half. The final was a hard fought affair but CIYMS took a grip on the game in the first half, out-scoring Bangor by three tries to one, and then matched their opponents two tries in the second half with two of their own to run out deserved winners. Newsletter player of the competition went to Paddy Dornan of Bangor who was prominent in both attack and defence in all of Bangor’s games.
The Plate final was contested between the losing semi-finalists and Carrick, in running in seven tries to win comfortably against PSNI, showed what might have been had their concentration just been a bit better against Bangor and CIYMS earlier in the competition. The Carrick try scorers were Kyle Jordan(three), Aaron McKinney, Glen Picken, Johnny Sheriff and Steve Irwin. The Bowl competition was won by Ballyclare who beat Larne in the final.
This was another very successful Sevens for Carrickfergus RFC and their sponsors. The attendances were good on the Saturday and Sunday and, although the rain did undoubtedly affect numbers for the Under 19s competition on Friday evening, the social activities were by all accounts well supported.Hopefully, if economic circumstances change, we will in the near future return to larger entries, particularly from “across the water”.

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