Bedford continued their brilliant start to the 2017 school 7s season as they claimed the Cracknell Cup at the Shiplake 7s.
Last week the men in red claimed the first big title of the season, the Seaford College 7s, and they continued just where they left off last week with a magnificent day of rugby at Shiplake College.
They topped a group containing the hosts, Shiplake College, as well as Caterham and St Paul’s, securing their semi final place in the process. Only the top side from each of the four groups qualified for the Cup semi finals, and Bedford made their way past Cheltenham College in the semi finals.
Cheltenham themselves had done extraordinarily well, topping arguably the toughest pool in the competition, featuring Tonbridge, Emanuel, and Abingdon too. Unsurprisingly that went down to points difference, with Cheltenham coming out on top.
That effort took its toll a little as Bedford beat them 26-10 to secure their place in the Cracknell Cup final, named after former Shiplake College pupil and ex England 7s star, Chris Cracknell.
On the other side of the draw Group D winners Eastbourne College beat St John’s Leatherhead, who topped Group A, 26-21. Eastbourne were the surprise package of the tournament, but in the end there was nothing that they could do about the sheer quality of this Bedford outfit as they claimed the Cracknell Cup, their second in eight days, with a 33-21 victory.
St John’s got some consolation after their semi final exit, winning the Plate final with a 35-0 win over Cheltenham College, the losers of the semi finals of the Cup and Shield played in the Plate and Bowl finals.
Tonbridge, who finished second in that incredibly tight Group C, won the Shield after beating Haileybury 33-19 in the semi final and looking even more impressive in the final with a 33-7 win over Hurstpierpoint College.
Hurstpierpoint had beaten St Paul’s in the Shield semi, but St Paul’s bounced back in the Bowl final to beat Haileybury 24-10.
Third place finishers competed in the Trophy, with Abingdon, another of the sides to finish level on points in Group C, beating Seaford College 33-7 in the final after beating Worth in the semi finals.
The Vase, for fourth place group finishers, was meanwhile won by Radley College, who beat Emanuel 26-7 in the final having beaten the hosts, Shiplake College, in the semi finals.
In the end though the day was about Bedford, whose trophy collection is already impressive and so far has been done without the assistance of a number of their players as a result of U18 Academy League commitments. It is a magnificent early season record, and they look set only to get better.
Shiplake 7s Results:
Cracknell Cup Final
Bedford 33-21 Eastbourne College
Cheltenham College 0-35 St John’s Leatherhead
Cheltenham College 10-26 Bedford
St John’s Leatherhead 21-26 Eastbourne College
Tonbridge 33-7 Hurstpierpoint College
Haileybury 10-24 St Paul’s
Haileybury 19-33 Tonbridge
Hurstpierpoint College 26-24 St Paul’s
Seaford College 7-33 Abingdon
Caterham 19-38 Seaford College
Worth 12-19 Abingdon
Radey College 26-7 Emanuel
Radley College19-10 Shiplake College
Emanuel 22-21 New Hall
|Final Group Standings|
|Pos||Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|4||New Hall||Shiplake College||Emanuel||Radley College|