The 58th John Smith’s Pock 7s was the biggest yet as the warmest day of the 2016 Easter weekend encouraged a crowd of over 3,000 to watch an afternoon of magnificent sevens that ended with a top quality final.
The Fowler Trophy eventually went back to Norfolk for a third year in succession, but not before Oxfam Crusaders, formed and run by father and son partnership, Frank and Will Affleck, were pushed all the way by tournament newcomers Leeds Beckett University. The advantage swung one way, then the other and Leeds hauled themselves back to 26-28 before Oxfam Crusaders broke away for their fifth try at the death to clinch it 35-26 and be presented with the cup by Heineken UK regional sales director, Duncan Barlow.
There was also a well contested Plate Final which saw Old Peterites beat Hull Ionians Academy 36-12, pulling away after the Ionians had a man sent to the sin bin. Paddy Stephen has been managing two teams at the Pock 7s for several years, but it was his first trophy success and he finished up a delighted figure, saying: “What a great way to cap another great tournament”.
The Pock 7s is an Easter homecoming for many former locals, and this year was no different as people flew and drove back from far and wide, including Market Weighton man, Andy Green, who jetted back specially from India, where he now works. But the 2016 event was truly global thanks to the inaugural live television coverage from Estuary TV. It was broadcast across the country on Freeview TV – England and Bath hooker, Rob Webber, tweeted a photograph of him viewing the action in his living room in Bath – and streamed world wide on the internet. This brought messages back to the club’s Twitter account, #pock7s, from people watching the tournament in Canada, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Portugal, Switzerland and Dubai.
Although invitation sevens teams came through to contest the later stages, there were plenty of good performances from local club sides, with Pocklington and Old Pocklingtonians both making it into the quarter finals.
Hull Ionians 12 Selby 15; Old Pocklingtonians 33 Old Peterites 7; Driffield 38 Yapham Badgers 12; Bridlington 38 Pilgrims 0; York 5 Stingers 7s 34; Goole 5 Brookfield 33; Woldgate OB 21 Hull Ionians Academy Ionians 5; Old Tridents 21 Three Feathers 20.
Leeds Beckett 53 Selby 0; Old Hymerians 19 Old Pocklingtonians 26; Newitts Centurians 38 Driffield 5; Pocklington 29 Bridlington 21; Oxfam Crusaders 49 Stingers 7s 0; Malton & Norton 12 Brookfield 26; Northern Exiles 29 Woldgate OB 12;
Doncaster Phoenix 0 Old Tridents 24.
Leeds Beckett 36 Old Pocklingtonians 12; Newitts Centurians 24 Pocklington 0; Oxfam Crusaders 38 Brookfield 19; Northern Exiles 29 Old Tridents 12.
Leeds Beckett 40 Newitts Centurians 7; Oxfam Crusaders 35 Northern Exiles 10.
Leeds Beckett 26 Oxfam Crusaders 35.
Hull Ionians 17 Old Peterites 27; Yapham Badgers 12 Old Hymerians 22; Hull Ionians Academy Ionians 26 Three Feathers 19; Malton & Norton 35 Doncaster Phoenix 7.
Plate Semi Finals:
Old Peterites 33 Old Hymerians 17; Hull Ionians Academy 41 Malton & Norton 19.
Old Peterites 36 Ionians Academy 12.