It’s sevens heaven for Stags
It has been a fantastic second part to the season for Stevenage Town. Following a county cup final and third place in their league, Stags rounded off their season with silverware as winners of the Herts county sevens plate tournament. There was a frustrat
It has been a fantastic second part to the season for Stevenage Town.
Following a county cup final and third place in their league, Stags rounded off their season with silverware as winners of the Herts county sevens plate tournament.
There was a frustrated start with the tournament being reorganised after Letchworth failed to turn up.
After a long wait, Stags found some of the speed, handling and individual skills that have entertained spectators at North Road all season.
The pace and guile of Ian Crompton and Michael Wilson were augmented by the strength and power of Alex Willcox and Gareth Lewis and fed by the reliable Gareth Wall.
The forwards combination of skipper Adam Amos, Jordan Ross and Ben Tranter rampaged all day showing deft hands and astonishing endurance.
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Stags went on to beat Old Verulamians 43-3, St Albans 28-12 in the semi-final before an outstanding display in beating Bishop's Stortford 41-21 in the final, Wilson scoring a hat-trick of tries.
Datchworth head coach Mark Pittaccio gave youth its chance on Sunday.
They fielded four of this season's eldest youth team in the county sevens competition at Fullerians.
Two-thirds of the first team squad that secured the club's third promotion in four seasons are products of the vibrant youth set-up.
Matt Hankin, Tom Nesbitt Larkin, Patrick Gough and Tom Wilcox are among the most promising of the next generation.
Sevens captain Ben Gillett and team-mates Tom Ruffle, James Watt, Ian Reid, Henry Mountain, Olu Oleneye and Andy Tarsey were impressed with the contributions made by their new team-mates.
"After a few initial nerves, they settled down very well and when you consider that we sent Tring home we can only be pleased," said Gillett.
Youth coach Terry Hankin, who has been responsible for their development, was also there to see his lads take their first steps into senior rugby and to watch his son Matt open the scoring against Tring.
All their fixtures were against teams from higher leagues.
Gillett scored the only Datchworth try in a four scores to one loss against Old Albanians before fiercely contesting the first round of the plate against high-flyers Tring.
Hankin's opener, was followed by two tries from Tarsey including a beautifully timed chip and chase.
Determined tackling all round maintained the 19-12 lead to the end and a place in the semi final.
Datchworth were only seconds from progressing to the final when a last-gasp converted try resulted in a 24-22 loss to St Albans.
Tarsey's two scores and those from Mountain and Reid were not quite enough to win a thrilling encounter.
Pittaccio added: "It gave us an excellent opportunity to introduce new players to the senior squad and they showed themselves capable of making the step up.
"I am sure they will be playing some part in our league campaign next season after we return from touring South Africa in August.