The 1st VII played their first sevens tournament of the term at Shiplake College against Hurstpierpoint, Seaford, Abingdon and finally Radley to win the Bowl. Director of Rugby, Mr Olly Morgan said, “With twelve schools present and four guaranteed games it was a great way to start the sevens season and the players should be confident going into the Brecon Sevens over the Half Term period.”
As always in the first game, College took a while to get going but a score from Joe Warner (U6, S), who ran the length, and Zeno Burchi-Khairy (5th, Xt) meant we started with a sound win.
The second game against Seaford however was a different challenge. Strong in contact and with some powerful runners, College was on the back foot immediately. Some nice touches by Dan Ward (5th, NH) and Zeno Burchi-Khairy (5th, Xt) freed up space down the left hand side and a try brought us back in the game. It was too little to late though and Seaford moved into Cup semi-final.
College continued in the tournament and moved into the Bowl semi-final against Abingdon. Two tries either side of the half gave College a comfortable lead. Olly Hill (5th, L) and Ethan Dowling (U6, L) pulled the strings in the middle and Joe Warner (U6, S) finished off out wide. The game finished 12-7 and College moved into the final against Radley.
With a lot of history between the schools in the XVs calendar, it was set for a mouthwatering contest and it did not disappoint. An early try by Matt Ward (U6, L) gave College the perfect start however a lapse in concentration from the restart allowed Radley back in the game. College started the second half poorly, the fatigue was clearly setting in, but a fantastic break from Zeno Burchi-Khariy (5th, Xt) down the left hand side with Ethan Dowling (U6, L) in support meant College went into the lead with three minutes to play. This was short-lived as a miss tackle in midfield gave Radley the chance to level the score and we went into sudden death/golden try.
Immediately College had a scrum in their 22 and with no sweeper in behind, Joe Warner (U6, S) kicked deep and a great chase and tackle from Matt Ward (U6, L) resulted in a turnover. Olly Hill (5th, L) cut back down the short side and fed Josh Pimlott (5th, L) who brushed off two tacklers to score the winner and Cheltenham returned home with some silverware.