We caught up with the Guinness Carrick 7’s on Sunday to cover the Manvik Premier 7’s featuring sides from the Ulster Senior League and the Abbey Insurance 10’s featuring the best of Women’s Rugby in Ulster.
The Manvik Premier 7’s featured eight sides from the Senior League split into two groups as follows: –
|Group A||Group B|
City of Derry
Queens looked to be the team to beat in Group A with Ulster’s David McIlwaine catching the eye. However Quins soon put their hand up for contention with Mark Kettle scoring the try of the tournament in the first round as his mystifying sleight of hand and audacious body swerve bamboozled the Ards defence as he worked his way out of a tight corner to cross the line!
Quins continued their impressive run beating Queens by the odd try in a surprise result in round two but with both sides winning their final pool matches they both Queens and Quins went through to the semi-finals.
They were joined in the knock out stages by a well organised City of Derry and Dungannon who both went through their pool games unbeaten having drawn their own group match.
Derry were drawn against Harlequins and Dungannon faced Queens in the semi-finals with the winners to compete in the Manvick Premier Cup Final and the losers in the Bowl.
Queens saw off Dungannon, with David McIlwaine outstanding as he bagged an early brace and in the second semi-final Derry had too much in the tank for Quins.
Harlequins managed to pick themselves up for the Bowl Final where they beat a tiring Dungannon, whose small squad were starting to show the effects of their Ulster Senior League win on Saturday against Hinch.
The Premier 7’s Final between Queens and Derry was a tight contest but it was the Queens youngsters who were able to find that extra power and pace, at the end of a long day, to pull clear for the win.
FRONT ROW UNION Player of the Tournament: David McIlwaine, Queens.
The Abbey Insurance 10’s saw strong representation from across the Province with Belfast Harlequins Ladies to be congratulated for fielding two teams in this years competition. The teams were placed in groups as follows: –
|Group A||Group B|
|City of Derry
Defending champions Cooke proceeded sedately through the group stages where they were joined by Harlequins Barbarians from Group A.
However the match of the pool games was the Group B opener where Quins and City of Derry continued their fierce rivalry which has been a feature of the Women’s game in Ulster this season. This time it was Quins that came out on top, winning by the odd try, with the Belfast side having too much pace for Derry. Both sides won their remaining fixtures to go through to the semi-finals.
Qualification brought the interesting line ups of Cooke v Derry and Quins v Quins Barbarians. The format was the same as the mens competition with the winners going through to the Cup Final and the losers competing for the Bowl.
Quins managed to overcome their club mates, after an early scare, a late rally seeing them clear. In the second semi-final Cooke were too strong for Derry.
The North West side did have the consolation of picking up the Bowl, getting off to a flyer, with two early tries, in their match against Quins Barbarians.
The final between Cooke and Quins lived up to it’s billing with Quins pushing Cooke all the way in a great advertisement for the women’s game. However Cooke side were able to draw on their experience and managed to pull clear in the dying moments of the game for a deserved, if slightly controversial, win!
FRONT ROW UNION Player of the Tournament: Nikki Caughey, Quins.
Click on the Galleries below to view some action shots from the day!