A FANTASTIC day of Sevens rugby was enjoyed when the 2016 Kings Norton Colts Challenge took place at Hopwood Park and it was Henley College who emerged victorious.
The group games got off to a lightning start as Old Swinford Hospital recorded a bonus point win over Great Barr in Pool B.
Meanwhile, Pool A began with the two tournament favorites playing against each other and it was Henley College who claimed a 17-12 victory over Bournville College.
Pool A continued with some competitive games between St Thomas Aquinas, Kings Norton Boys and Archbishop Ilsley, but it was Henley and Bournville who amassed enough wins to romp to the top two spots in the pool.
Pool B saw some exciting matches too, as South & City College narrowly lost to St George’s by two tries in a thriller in which South & City took the lead in the first minute but two late tries by Oli Obee and one from Ryan Cunningham-Amos secured the win for St George’s.
Old Swinford, led by playmaker and team captain Oliver Mann, powered to the top of Pool B with bonus points in all of their games, leaving a crucial match between Great Barr and St George’s to decide who would progress to the next round alongside them.
Great Barr got off to a fine start and took an early lead and, despite St George’s starting to mount a comeback, Great Barr managed to hold firm defensively and progressed to the semi-finals.
In the semi-finals Henley College recorded a convincing victory over Great Barr, although Great Barr did manage to score a try with a great run from their own try-line in the second half.
Old Swinford and Bournville played a thrilling semi-final which saw OSH progress to the final thanks to some stunning handling and footwork from their backs.
Bournville kept right in the game by powering the ball down the middle before spreading it out to the wings in a game that had all the makings of a Sevens classic.
Great Barr conceded the third place game to Bournviile College, so last year’s winners finished with bronze medals this time around.
In the final, a tired Old Swinford side fell to a strong and imposing Henley College led by captain Isaac McNulty. OSH’s impressive spirit and handling just did not prove enough to take down Henley’s strength and speed.
The trophy presentations took place in the clubhouse and all nine teams enjoyed the hospitality and food put on by Kings Norton RFC.
Oliver Mann from Old Swinford was named as the Kings Norton Colts Challenge Player of the Year.
Thanks go to Alex Jordan, Simon Snell, Jeff Ford, Richard Brookes, Chris Cooksey, Kelly Harrington, Tracey Titley and Mark Pearson for their help on the day as well as sponsors Vino Kings Norton, The Premier Kings Norton and Kings Norton Rugby Club.