MP7 10 vs British Army (Germany) 0
Real rugby fans would have had to appreciate the impenetrable Mowden
defence that simply proved too good for a classy offensive unit. The
army side (based in Germany, but entirely Fijian in composition)
battered the Mowden defence the entirety of the first half, but to no
avail. Mowden's starting seven stood up and were counted with Andy Pugh
and Gav Painter both outstanding in their defensive duties.
At the turnaround BA(G) began to tire and MP7 started to get some ball
in hand. Young blood Josh Woodhouse crossed for a brilliant solo effort
with 3 minutes to play after a prolonged spell of Mowden possession that
BA(G) were too tired to repel. In the dying seconds a hack through from
Todd Harrison was grounded by Rob Eatough and the win was assured.
With BA(G) having beaten KS Crusaders in the first game of the
tournament MP7 knew they were favourites to progress to the cup finals.
After a greasy game with some 11 scrummages Mowden were delighted with
their defence, but would Coach Newton be able to yield more from the
side's offensive tank?
MP7 24 vs KS Welsh Crusaders 0
The Crusaders had clearly travelled up the M6 from south Wales with the
intention of bagging the winner's pay check, but after losing in their
first game to BA(G) their bubble had already burst and Mowden had no
trouble in continuing their lengthy demise. Although the Welsh boys had
an abundance of skill they lacked the pace to capitalise on any clean
breaks with Matty Lister and Ben Snook snaffling any breakaway runners.
Mowden were faster and fitter and it told when Lister crossed for a
touchdown after some early forays. Before oranges the Crusader's
defensive line was looking stretched and a simply dummy and dart by
Eatough was enough to make it 12-0 at the break.
Coach Newton rang the changes at the half and early in the second a
break by nippy hooker Alan Jones gave him a 70 metre run in. The Welsh
began to give chase but soon realised they did not have the pace to
match Jones. The demolition job was complete when provider turned
finisher, Richie Young, strolled nonchalantly through a gap in the Welsh
defence. The Crusaders left the field broken men after Graham Seddon
had proceeded to
tackle anything and everything in reach over the game's final minutes.
With the group stage complete Mowden were looking good, very good, but
had they peaked too soon?
Game 3 - Cup Semi-final
MP7 30 odd vs Stockton 5
MP7 progressed as winners of group A (the group of death) and faced
relative minnows in the form of Stockton in the first of the cup
semi-finals. Mowden, who were big favourites, went two tries up within
3 minutes as Eatough clocked up a quick brace on the back of some classy
play from respective pivots Painter and Snook. Stockton, complete with
a few ringers in their ranks, couldn't contain the pace of Matty Lister
and Dave Foggarty and the contest soon became shuttle runs between the
try line and halfway.
In the second half Mowden continued the onslaught. As Stockton faded
Clegg and Harrison were the beneficiaries of some delightful interplay.
Mowden wrapped up the win well short of the final whistle and had
certainly given Morpeth (their likely opponents in the cup final)
something to ponder between games.
Game 4 - Cup final
MP7 29 - Morpeth 5
As prophesised at the start of the day by Coach Newton; Morpeth did
indeed turn out to be MP7's final hurdle after overcoming the 'Help 4
Heroes' outfit in the other semi. After a tough encounter that had gone
to sudden death Morpeth looked off the pace in the early exchanges and
Mowden took advantage racing into a 12-0 lead. With a minute or so on
the clock Todd Harrison took a quick tap in the centre of the paddock
and raced away up the middle. Deceptively fast for a short man the Peth
defence reacted too late to chase him down. 7-0 Mowden.
From the restart Gav Painter hoisted a bomb and the Peth forwards
bottled it, leaving their scrummy to mop up the danger. As soon has he
had gathered it however, he was met by prop duet Eatough and Clegg and
the sheer weight of the front row brothers propelled the scrummy over
his own goal line. Under the tackle the Peth ringer spilled the oval
and Eatough pounced for an easy score. 12-0.
Peth rallied and after some keep-ball finally broke the Mowden defence
and raced away for their score, reminding Mowden they had the pace
to go the distance, unlike some of the other teams. Mowden struck next
with characteristic run from Clegg. Put into a half gap by hinge man
Young the prop barrelled over the Peth line. The Ref blew for half time, Mowden 17 - Morpeth 5.
From the kick off Mowden immediately went 90 metres to stretch their
lead to 24 - 5. Some blocking on the Peth midfield from Eatough went
unseen by the Ref and created a gap which Harrison duly accepted. A
classy draw and pass on halfway saw Eatough race in from 50 metres.
Painter added the conversion, continuing his excellent record with the
boot. Morpeth dominated a 4 or 5 minute passage of play early in the second.
Working the Mowden defence from side to side they created a mismatch on the left but excellent cover defence thwarted the attack.
In a minute that could have cost them, Mowden had a superb solo effort
from John wiped off the score sheet for having 8 players on the
pitch during a substitution. It was a shame as John would later be
bundled into touch just short of the Peth line denying him the try he so
deserved on his senior sevens debut. Mowden however, kept their focus
and exchanged brutal blows in the centre of the paddock, Seddon weighing
in on 'Peth's front row. With Snook forced to the sideline with a calf
strain Young and Jones manned up in centerfield and kept the Peth
forwards shy of the gain line.
Some sharp Mowden hands in the final minute made a half gap for Painter
and he powered some would-be tacklers to seal Mowden's glory. The Ref
blew up after a short period of keep-ball from Mowden and the
formalities were over. Deserved champs!