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‘Divers’ Sink Opposition At Athlone Sevens

‘Divers’ Sink Opposition At Athlone Sevens

‘Divers’, comprised of Connacht Under-19 squad members, captured the Smith’s Supervalu Men’s Cup at the fourth Athlone Rugby Sevens tournament staged at Dubarry Park last Saturday.

Meanwhile, ‘Green Lightning’, featuring Emerging Ireland Sevens players, triumphed in the Colm Quinn Mini Women’s Cup.

Apart from a couple of downpours early in the tournament, an afternoon of action was favoured with balmy weather conditions for the August Bank Holiday weekend.

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With most matches taking place on the main pitch at the home of Buccaneers RFC, there was a good atmosphere with much pre-tournament amusement focusing on the battle to get the pig on the spit roasting in earnest. Here Paul Hamilton produced an unorthodox bellows to solve the problem for chef Tony Hanevy!

Right on schedule, Duckers and Springbuccs kicked off the action in Group A of the Smith’s Supervalu Men’s competition.

Duckers emerged the strongest unit in this section where Wedding Smashers almost crashed this party. The Tullamore-backboned Hardy Ruckers set the early tempo in Group B and they later prevailed over the eventual winners ‘Divers’ in a very tight pool contest.

In the semi-finals, Divers proved much too clinical for their fellow Connacht U-19 colleagues, Duckers, to win 26-0 while Hardy Ruckers overcame Wedding Smashers 27-10.

However, Adrian Hanley and his team-mates just could not match the tempo of Divers, who made excellent starts to both halves in the Cup final.

Sean Tobin opened the scoring for the winners but their half-time lead was only 7-5, Odran McIntyre finishing off some patient build-up by Hardy Ruckers to leave the Men’s final finely balanced at the interval.

Divers made a lively restart with a David McDermott try and, this time, Hardy Ruckers just did not have the ‘legs’ any more to match Divers for whom Anthony McGivney completed the 22-5 winning margin with a brace of tries.

Springbuccs availed of the face-painting mid-tournament and this helped them to win the Plate, comprehensively defeating AIT 42-7 in that final. Cardiac Arrest, meanwhile, won the award for the ‘Most Sporting’ team of the tournament.

Green Lightning, featuring Emerging Ireland Sevens players, were the big attraction in the Colm Quinn Mini Women’s competition and they promptly laid down a marker as the team to beat in the pool section.

Here Red Deer Titans, all the way from Alberta in Canada, lent the event an international flavour. While not too familiar with the Sevens format, they quickly adapted and emerged as winners of the Plate event where they overcame a host Buccaneers outfit, who had won this section last year, in that decider.

Meanwhile, Green Lightning progressed smoothly to the Women’s Cup final, although perhaps not always as clearcut as anticipated even though they romped through their semi-final against H-Angry Birds 40-0.

Sligo had looked very lively in their pool matches and their semi-final against Garda was one of the games of the tournament. They edged a thriller 22-15, the decisive try coming in the final move of this contest.

Sligo gave it their all in the final too being still very much in the decider when trailing narrowly 10-5 at the interval.

However, Green Lightning – including Buccaneers duo Niamh Ni Dhroma and Sinead Taylor – proved stronger and more cohesive in the second half and emerged worthy champions on a 22-5 scoreline.

The pacey Claire Bergin led the way with two tries with Claire Ryan and Sene Naoupu adding the other touchdowns, while Jacqui Mulligan replied for the spirited north westerners.

Mulligan received some consolation for her side’s endeavours when the Sligo captain was named Women’s Player of the tournament, while McGivney from the Divers squad was her men’s counterpart.

At the presentation ceremony, Buccaneers President Frank Sheeran thanked everyone who had participated, especially the teams who had travelled quite a distance – notably the Red Deer Titans. A Buccs jersey was presented to their captain Amy Hawkings as a memento of their visit.

Sheeran was highly grateful to the main sponsors of the Athlone Rugby Sevens, Smith’s Supervalu (who sponsored the Men’s event) and Colm Quinn Mini (who supported the Women’s competition).

The Bounty, Oliver Carty Meats and Panther Sports were other sponsors to be lauded as were BLK, Hennessy Buses, Dubarry, Karma Nightclub, Cunningham’s Pharmacy and Kennedy Meats.

He also thanked the organisers and volunteers, primarily Geoff Kenny, Mele Kiripati and Alex Hayman and he was particularly indebted to the team of referees who committed to the event on a Bank Holiday weekend.

Tim Dolan, on behalf of Smith’s Supervalu, presented the awards in the Men’s competition and Tina McNabola represented Colm Quinn Mini for the Women’s tournament.

Smith’s Supervalu Athlone Rugby Sevens Men’s Cup winners – Divers

Smith’s Supervalu Athlone Rugby Sevens Men’s Plate winners – Springbuccs

Smith’s Supervalu Athlone Rugby Sevens Men’s Player of the tournament – Anthony McGivney (Divers)

Colm Quinn Mini Athlone Rugby Sevens Women’s Cup winners – Green Lightning

Colm Quinn Mini Athlone Rugby Sevens Women’s Plate winners – Red Deer Titans

Colm Quinn Mini Athlone Rugby Sevens Women’s Player of the tournament – Jacqueline Mulligan (Sligo)

Most Sporting Team of the tournament – Cardiac Arrest

Related Links –

Athlone Rugby Sevens

Buccaneers RFC