9th Annual Old Priorian 7-a-side Tournament 2006
Report by : Philip Hopley
Perivale, Sunday 17th September: yet another glorious day’s weather for the Old Boys’ 7s. Great news for the hundred or so spectators, not so good for the contestant’s sporting their traditional hangovers. (When is the ‘Red Back’ going to sponsor the event…..?)
This year saw only 5 teams teams entered, we hope due to the University term dates and not a new wave of malaise in the OP ranks. But despite a last minute change of format, the standard of rugby was rather tasty. And the late donation of 2 cases of Magners Irish Cider and a tour of Fuller’s Griffin Brewery, Chiswick raised the stakes nicely.
Last year’s winners led by the outrageous goose-stepping Joe Foley and re-invented as the ‘Old Farts’ set their stall out early doors. Champagne ideas on a Blue Nun budget, long of invention but short on gas. Clearly the responsibility of looking after the trophy for another year was beyond them.
2004 winners and last year’s runners-up the Super Heroes started strongly. Nick Farren and co bolstered by the odd Ealing ringer were always likely to be contenders.
The recent leavers ‘Pinks’ cut the best dandy dash in the style stakes and showed us all that youth remains a great antidote for late night carousing.
Peter O’Neil’s Jet Set were, as ever, the crowd’s pick. The sharp-eyed will have noticed that their mantle of favourites is usually guaranteed as they supply most of the crowd.
Michael George’s ‘Vintage 1984’ showed invention in selection, comprising a few lads who left the school in that year, but more importantly a string of players born in ’84. Clever boy.
In between matches Mary Keal & co did a splendid job on the BBQ/snack stall, while Messrs Toolan & Hopley did their bit on the bar.
After a tough round robin, Vintage 1984 met Super Heroes in one semi-final match, whilst Jet Set came up against the Pinks in the other. Both were tough fought matches with the balance being tipped by the bigger squad sizes of the wining teams.
In a cracking final, ‘Vintage 1984’ met ‘Jet Set’. Evenly matched for the first 3 or 4 minutes, the ‘84s then scored 3 quick tries to give them a cushion. Despite full commitment Jet Set could only pull back 2 scores which was not enough and Vintage 1984 won the Bill Twist Trophy for the first time. Pictured above.
Both sides received a case of Magners Irish Cider from our sponsors presented by the Old Priorian Rugby Club’s most successful (?only) coach Peter Halsall.
The Champagne moment (and winner of the Fuller’s brewery tour) went to Martin Borthwick of Jet Set for his incredible cover tackle in the final.
Our gratitude was expressed to the School for use of the excellent facilities, to the groundsman John for his sterling work and to our 2 referees Pete and Marek from Ealing Trailfinders RFC. Thanks also to Alex Pereira-Inacio for kindly securing sponsorship for the prizes.