‘Crazy Horses’ had the necessary pedigree to emerge triumphant in the second Midland Sevens tournament staged at Dubarry Park in Athlone on Saturday. Played in ideal conditions – firm sod, fine day but not too hot – an entertaining and competitive competition ensued.
Encouragingly, there was a marked increase in team numbers participating in this year’s Midland Sevens, with a cross-country spread supporting the event.
Clubs from Dublin to counties Galway and Clare on the western seaboard were among those represented in this pre-season tournament which provides them with an ideal opportunity to get some competitive game-time under their collective belts, as well as some bonding before the main season kicks off.
Full credit to Buccaneers player Alex Hayman on instigating and driving this event on.
First into the action included Crazy Horses and Lansdowne Barbarians in their respective pools, with both immediately showing free-scoring form that quickly confirmed their passages to the knockout stages.
Quin and All-Sorts joined them in the semi-finals, while Tuam made it to the Plate decider where they faced a youthful Springbuccs. The County Galway club possessed the necessary guile to prevail 31-10 in that final.
Crazy Horses accounted for the Banner standard bearers 31-12, while Lansdowne proved too slick for All-Sorts winning comfortably by 45-12 to set up a mouth-watering pairing between the two best outfits in the final.
This proved a pretty competitive affair with Crazy Horses, backboned by a bevy of South Sea islanders such as Leo Auva’a and Carl de Chenu, building an early lead.
This proved crucial for as Lansdowne’s challenge gathered momentum, one ‘horse’ was a bit too ‘crazy’ in his tackling and a sin-binning left them hanging on for dear life.
But Lansdowne, despite the endeavours of the Meagher brothers and William Wallace – all ex-Buccaneers, had left themselves too much to do and Crazy Horses had the composure and nous to record a 34-19 final win.
Buccaneers President Pat Hynes presented the awards to the various winners and he thanked all involved in the successful running of the Midland Sevens, particularly noting the contribution of the match referees.
He believes it is an event that will go from strength to strength as it is well run and it provides timely and appropriate pre-season fare for players and mentors alike.
After the action, all players were treated to a BBQ at the Bounty (included in the nominal entry fee for each team) and the post-match analysis continued long into the night!
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