Durham County Sevens Winners receive silverware and a ticket through to National Final
Billingham Men and Sunderland Ladies represented Durham County in the Regional RFU Sevens competition at West Park Leeds RFC.
After topping their groups and winning their finals at the Durham County 7s tournament at Billingham, the hosts Men and Sunderland Ladies were invited down to the regional competition.
In the Ladies competition there were a number of drop outs leaving the Flames to play Preston Grasshoppers, Harrogate Ladies and West Park Leeds in a round robin event.
Across on the other pitch, the Billingham Men took to the field against Mighty Peth, Northern Assassins, Ilkley and International Gents.
Both the Billingham Men and the Sunderland Ladies came away winners on the day.
The ladies won the Regional Plate final 34-14 against Preston Grasshoppers, while Billingham Men won two out of three pool games to face International Gents in the cup Final. Despite a 29-17 defeat to International Gents, as Cup runners up, Billingham will travel to the England Rugby 24/7 National Final at Bath at the end of the month.
Scorers across the day came from a number of players within the Flames including; Becky Robson, Clarissa Murphy, Jenny Cox, Karen Donkin, Kirsty Paterson, Olivia Davison and Steph Maddison, while all of the Billingham Men players picked up a try too.
Peter Evans, Billingham Men’s Coach, said: “Everyone scored on the day, but a special mention goes out the youngsters, 18 year old Alfie Lawson and 17 year old Joe Ross.
“They both stood up well on the senior stage and performed for the benefit of the team.”
In the Ladies competition, last year’s champions West Park Leeds went on to win the cup final against Harrogate.
Evans added; “It is a fantastic achievement for a young bunch.
“We played against regular 7s squads who are put together from far and wide, with much more experience in the shorter game than us.
In our cup final we were down to nine men, due to injuries and anyone who has played 7s will know it is a squad game and it was hard work out in the heat.
“Fortunately as we all play regularly together and have a tight squad we managed to get up to speed quickly and turn things around.
“The trip will give some of the lads who have not played on a bigger stage the experience and exposure which will benefit them in the long run.”
The National Final will be played via an online stream, with a total of eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams competing to be named the best amateur Sevens side in the Country.
Durham County RFU would like to wish the best of luck to Billingham in the final event.
View the pictures from the Durham County Sevens qualifier by Sally Evans, here.
By Clarissa Murphy