The Carrick Sevens started life in 1973 with Instonians winning the first 3 years, obviously over the decades the event has grown and skills levels improved as Sevens rugby took hold in Ulster and with this the Carrick Rugby Club improved the event making different classes to compete in but the Pinnacle event is the Open Tournament which the event started with back in 1973.
This year the Ulster Exiles maybe failed in their bid to be outright winners 3 years in a row but this year won the “Willis Plate” competition making them the first side since 1975 to have won silverware in the main tournament three years in a row.
This years event saw the Exiles lose their first game in three years in the first match of this years event. They had problems from kick off as a flight from England had been delayed and players just arriving prior to kick off and one stuck in traffic. However not to take away from their opponents an English based side, Thunder Ducks the game was well run by them eventually running out winners at 17-10.
A break of 45 minutes between the next game gave the Exiles Coach time to run through some plays and drills, this refocused the side who went on to win their other games putting them up against Fijian side “Down Exiles ” in the plate semi final.
The Ulster Exiles showed their skill against this mobile and physical side and went on to win 32 -10 setting them up with a final against former UE player Paul Pritchard’s side “Akuna Pink Panthers” the first Ulster side the Exiles had played against this tournament.
The Exiles went on to win this 45 – 15 and to lift the “Willis Plate”.
Again another very enjoyable day for all at Carrick and probably the better outcome for the day as the Charity side NGN7s had made it to the Holmes Trophy final and the day was about them and the work they had put in for the Spence’s chosen charity.
Congratulations to Carrick Rugby Club and their Sevens committee for again running a great 3 day event