Despite wet weather, the North Dorset 7s tournament in Gillingham lived up to its status as one of the largest sevens tournaments of its kind in the region with a great day of rugby and entertainment on 22 July.
The Men’s Open Cup final saw the RAF Spitfires and Nomads competing for the newly-named Worthington Cup in honour of David Worthington, a much loved member of North Dorset RFC and local community, who tragically lost his life in September last year. With both teams having gone undefeated throughout the day, a closely contested game eventually saw the RAF Spitfires run out worthy 29-7 winners.
In all 40 teams descended upon North Dorset RFC to compete across a variety of competitions as the event marked its fifth anniversary in style. Unlike previous years when teams have had to cope with scorching temperatures, they were instead met with more testing conditions with sides having to deal with regular rainy showers. However, this failed to dampen spirits and spectators turned out in large numbers.
They were treated to a number of exciting final matches with Puddletown RFC overcoming Stinking Bishop RFC in the Men’s Social Barrel with local side Sherborne RFC walking away with the Men’s Social Bowl defeating Salisbury Old Boys in the process.
Ellingham and Ringwood Ladies RFC were crowned winners of the Women’s Social competition and debutants Cats 7s secured silverware at the first attempt after beating Cancer Research Wolves in the Men’s Open Plate final.
There is no doubt that North Dorset 7s is growing in both size and popularity. With teams travelling further to compete and each year more spectators buying tickets, it is hoped that the 2018 event can continue the trend. Early indications also show that the 2017 tournament has raised in excess of £3,000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
The event was created in 2013 to raise money and awareness for CRY after losing club captain, Max Biles, in 2009 at the age of 29. So far it has raised in excess of £7,000.
You can keep up to date with all things North Dorset 7s by visiting nd7s.co.uk.