2014 Rugby 7s.
Over a few glasses of wine at the RAC Club last November Colin Mortimore and Jamie Jemmeson thought it would be a good idea to pull together an OH rugby 7’s team and enter a couple of competitions! Fast forward six months and with the help of Tim Huxtable and Seb Warner the squad was formed and the Sidmouth 7’s was chosen as the first event. This was the first time that an OH rugby side had taken to the pitch since December 1
New shirts were produced and with OH recruits from the 97-99 vintages we entered the Sidmouth 7’s with a little bit of trepidation. We arrived early and spent the warm up recounting old school tales and working out how we were going to survive the day!
The first match was against Inky’s Land Sharks, who were actually a selection of Honiton’s best 1st XV players. They couldn’t understand how they were playing against the Old Honitonians! However, this didn’t seem to distract them for too long as they began the game at a ferocious pace scoring a handful of tries in the first few minutes, despite some very physical defending by Huxtable and Warner. The second half was a more even affair but the damage had already been done and when the final whistle blew after just 14 minutes of breathless rugby the score line was 42-7 to them.
We knew that if we lost the second game against the Risca Golden Oldies our day would be over, so we reorganised, discussed some much needed tactics and threw the kitchen sink in, eventually winning 16-14. Yolland and Beaves rolled back the years of their scrum half / fly half partnership from school and set up Mortimore for a fine try in the corner, Yolland continued with a deft chip through the defensive line to send Beaves scuttling over the line with seconds to spare. A semi-final now awaited against the Sidmouth colts.
The semi-final was quickly upon us and was once again played at express speed with Sidmouth scoring a couple of breakaway tries in the first few minutes. We came back strongly and with the combination of some bullocking charges from Ant Hall and the fresh legs of Fisher, Graves-Morris, Davis and Carter we scored before half time to keep us in the game. Sidmouth struck again mid-way through the second half to snatch victory 15-7.
We left the pitch with our heads held high and with a huge amount of satisfaction and pride at having achieved what so many thought was extremely unlikely.
A big thank you must go to the Roddy & Sheila, Giles & Gru and Derek Blooman for supporting us on the day and the committee for backing us.
We are planning the next tournament for August.