On Easter Sunday, Winchester Rugby Club hosted the first of 40 local Seven-a-Side rugby tournaments nationwide between now and the second weekend of June. The top men's and women's teams from these events will progress to four regional qualifier tournaments, and success in those will in turn lead to the national finals on the Bath Recreation Ground on the 28th July.
Six referees ran 38 games in separate Men's Cup, Men's Shield and Women's Round Robin competitions on the three North Walls Park pitches. Providentially, the rain stopped three hours before the 11 am kick-off, and only started again as tournament director Graeme Bennett was presenting the trophies at 6.30 pm.
The Women's Round Robin, with five teams all playing each other, was won in style by Wooden Spoons, beating Havant Ladies 36-5.
The Men's Shield was the social rugby event with nine teams in two pools, won by Tropics 7s and Roak Raiders. Tropics 7s took the title, beating Raiders 26-12. The Winchester team Sevets is celebrating the end of a day's rugby (of sorts) above.
The Men's Cup was fiercely contested by five teams, three of them Fijiian. First and second-placed at the end of the round-robin pool were Lomaiviti Marlborough 7s Green and Nakolo Spartans. The final between them was a real thriller, won in the dying seconds by Lomaiviti Green with a try and conversion that made in 21-19.
Updated 12:39 - 3 Apr 2018 by Tim Fell