Wellington College took their fifteen-a-side form to the sevens field on Sunday as they claimed the Cracknell Cup at the Shiplake 7s.
Shiplake College hosted a seriously strong group of schools, as demonstrated by the list of semi finalists that saw reigning champions, albeit form 2018, Cheltenham College, the ever strong Dulwich College, and one of last term’s very best teams in the country, Clifton College, lining up with Wellington.
Wellington College’s tournament began in a really tough group which saw them earn victories over Hurstpierpoint College and Emanuel, as well as a seriously strong Tonbridge side, who were unfortunate to have such a tough opponent blocking their route to the main Cup semi finals, a point they demonstrated as they dominated the Shield competition.
Wellington’s reward for winning that group was a place in the semi finals alongside the rest of the group winners, where the winners of those semi finals would meet in the Cup final, the losers in the Plate final.
Wellington won their semi final with a good 28-14 victory over Group 2 winners Cheltenham College, who had overcome Bedford, Eastbourne College, and Haileybury, three sides that were in a real tussle in that group, finishing level on points and only separated on points difference.
That victory sent Wellington to the final, where they would face the outstanding Clifton College. Clifton had topped Group 1 over Downside, Marlborough College, and Seaford College, and had beaten Dulwich College 12-5 in their semi final. Dulwich had some through a tricky Group 3 over St Paul’s, Seaford College, and Worth, with St Paul’s and Seaford only separated on points difference after they had each beaten Worth, lost to Dulwich, and drawn with each other.
In the final Wellington College, as so often in previous years, simply remained irrepressible, taking on a very good Clifton side and finishing up relatively comfortable 33-12 victors to claim the Cup and kick off their 7s season in real style.
Cheltenham College meanwhile baked up 2018’s title win by claiming the 2020 Plate thanks to a 24-12 victory over Dulwich College in that game.
Elsewhere Tonbridge claimed the Shield, contested by those finishing second in the groups. They beat Group 1’s Downside 48-0 in the semi final and Group 2’s Bedford 38-0 in the final in a dominant display having come to close to a Cup semi final place. The Bowl saw the two losing Shield semi finalists go head to head with St Paul’s beating Downside 24-12 to claim that title.
Those that finished third in the groups competed for the Trophy and the Vase. Eastbourne College sealed that one, breezing straight to the final with Marlborough dropping out and facing Seaford College in that final after they beat rivals Hurstpierpoint College 31-7. It was a strong performance from Easbourne in the final, winning 35-10. Hurstpierpoint College meanwhile claimed the Plate. The sides that had finished bottom of the groups went straight to placings play offs, Haileybury finishing 13th with a 14-12 victory over hosts Shiplake College and Emanuel finishing 15th after a 50-10 defeat of Worth.
The Cup competition will be what most on the outside reflect on though, and a display from Wellington College that will surely have thoughts turning to the idea of what achievements on the 7s field they could add to their fifteen-a-side achievements earlier in the season. Another superb days work from an outstanding group of players and coaches.
Shiplake 7s Results:
Wellington College 33-12 Clifton College
Cheltenham College 24-12 Dulwich College
Wellington College 28-14 Cheltenham College
Clifton College 12-5 Dulwich College
Tonbridge 38-0 Bedford
St Paul’s 24-12 Downside
Tonbridge 48-0 Downside
Bedford 12-7 St Paul’s
Eastbourne College 35-10 Seaford College
Eastbourne College w/o Marlborough College
Seaford College 31-7 Hurstpierpoint College
13/14th and 15th/16th Play Offs
Haileybury 14-12 Shiplake College
Emanuel 50-10 Worth
Final Group Standings
|Pos||Group 1||Group 2||Group 3||Group 4|
|1||Clifton College||Cheltenham College||Dulwich College||Wellington College|
|2||Downside||Bedford||St Paul’s||Tonbridge School|
|3||Marlborough College||Eastbourne College||Seaford College||Hurstpierpoint College|
|4||Shiplake College||Haileybury||Worth||The Emanuel School|