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Eccleshall rugby have to settle for second best

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: June 08, 2014

By Dave McLean

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ECCLESHALL Rugby Club had to settle for second best after reaching the final of this week’s annual Rugeley Sevens.

A total of 12 teams took part in the tournament which, for the third successive year, was sponsored by law firm Ansons LLP.

The Cannock Chase area was well represented with two host teams taking part, along with two from Burntwood and one from Cannock.

They were joined by teams from Stafford, Barton-under-Needwood and Telford, as well as those from further afield including eventual winners the Stunts (Birmingham) and Beeches (Jersey).

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In the main event, Cannock, Burntwood B and Barton were among the early winners, but it was the Stunts who looked impressive with a 47-5 victory over a young Telford side.

In the second round, Burntwood A and Eccleshall made their entrance and won comfortably, while Barton chalked up a second victory over Beeches.

It was make or break time in round three and Rugeley recalled Michael Wilkes at their time of need to ensure progress to the quarter finals.

The matches at this stage were tight affairs as Burntwood A defeated Rugeley, while the former’s second string side ran the Stunts close, but not close enough. Eccleshall triumphed over Telford and Barton also progressed.

In the last four, Stunts faced the tough defending Barton, the Birmingham side taking an early advantage.

However the village side struck back and Barton looked to have sealed victory in the second half only for an unconverted try from the Stunts levelling the scores late on. It was in sudden death extra time that the Stunts secured the win.

The other semi-final was equally entertaining and Eccleshall clinched an excellent victory with a try from the last play of the game.

In the final, Stunts swept aside a tired looking Eccleshall team and lifted the trophy after a well earned 33-0 win.

Rugeley went on to contest the plate competition and emerged winners against Cannock.

“I’m delighted with the success of the tournament which has grown to be the blue ribbon competition in the Staffordshire Sevens series,” said Rugeley chairman Carl Johnson.”We hope the participants enjoyed themselves and will be back next year.”

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