As if conquering Hertfordshire at fifteen-a-side was not enough, Haileybury yesterday conquered the county at seven-a-side, too.
The men in purple beat Bishop’s Stortford High School, St Albans, and Queen Elizabeth’s, Barnet in the Group stages.
That set them up for a semi final against arguably the pre-tournament favourites, Oaklands College, who compete in the AASE League. Oaklands had been stung in the group by St Columba’s College though, meaning that they finished second, therefore facing Haileybury in the semis.
They had beaten Haileybury in last year’s final, but this year Haileybury exacted their revenge with a hard fought 21-19 victory, a brilliant and tough game of 7s, with Iwan Dawes, Ollie Heazel, and Spencer Owen starring and scoring Haileybury’s three tries. Dawes added the crucial 3 conversions, which sealed the win.
That set Haileybury up for a final against St Columba’s College, the shock team of the day.
Unfortunately for St Columba’s it was perhaps a case of a game too far, as Haileybury kept their outstanding level of play right at the highest level. Leading 12-7 at the break through Spencer Owe and Jamie Hoyes, Haileybury accelerated as St Columba’s tired after the break, with skipper Spencer Owen scoring a superb individual try with a chip ahead and football style dribble to the line to take the game away from St Columba’s.
With Charlie Harrington superb and showing how important kick offs can be in the shortened form of the game Haileybury got several quick scores and the man of the tournament Iwan Dawes scored a couple of fine tries to finish with a 16 point haul in the final, handing his side a 36-12 victory and the Hertfordshire 7s title.
It was a superb day and credit must go to Johnny Morgan of Tring for running an excellent tournament, Haileybury will come away feeling very confident as they head towards the two huge tournaments of the year, the Gullivers Sports Travel Surrey U18 7s and the HSBC Rosslyn Park National School 7s, particularly having also finished second at the Seaford 7s, while St Columba’s will also be feeling very positive about the remainder of their 7s season to come.
Hertfordshire U18 7s Champions – Haileybury