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The main season may well be over, but a squad of senior and aspiring players have been playing in sevens competitions north of the Border.
On the 8th May off they went to Walkerburn where they played some fine rugby before being kicked out in the semi final by Edinburgh University who, until that point were the favourites to take the trophy. The student certainly didn’t get it all their own way in the semie final, and it was only in the dying minutes of the game that they stretched away.
The university were beaten in the final by Melrose.
Despite losing out in the idyllic surroundings on the banks of the Tweed, the squad were not downhearted and resolved to do better the following week (15th) at Newton Stewart.
Coach Lewis Boyd worked hard to get the team into good form and it paid off!
The squad visiting the Stewartry was: Lewsi Boyd (coach), Ben Blain (captain), Chris Harrisa, Ollie Barker, Lee Brumpton, Grant Connon, James Clark, George Graham, Tom Graham and Kyle Fisher.
Carlisle won their opening group game against Cumnock with relative ease scoring ten tries to one. The second match was against a very tough Kelso side in which we fought very hard to win late on in the game. Final score in that game 24 pts to 14 pts.
Next was a comfortable game against Wigtownshire scoring eight tries to one against. Then came the toughest game, against Hamilton. Starting poorly, we went two tries behind before pulling it back and creating a two scores lead ourselves. Despite conceding a last gasp try we went through as group winners., and Kelso progressed as the best runners up, highlighting the strength of our group.
In the semi final we met Melrose (who won the Walkerburn event the previous week) and despite trailing at the break we went on and won the contest 21 pts to 12 pts.
The final was between Carlisle and the current title holders, Dumfries who had only conceded three tries on the route to the final and had touched down fifty times themselves! We started full of confidence after our semi final win and scored the opening two tries and then have one pegged back. Another Dumfries score closed the gap but in the closing embers of the first half we added three more tried to pull clear to consolidate at the break.
In the second half, Dumfries started well but the Carlisle defence remained resolute under pressure for long periods, and in the end were deserved winners at 40 pts 17 pts. Every player made an excellent contribution throughout the afternoon and were a credit to the club.
A visit to Kilmarnock on 22nd May is next on the agenda.
There are those who don’t have a lot of time for sevens rugby, but the reality is that, it is an excellent experience, especially for the younger lads, and it is an excelent medium for improving handling and passing skills’ and not something we should scoff at!
Well done so far lads.