The lead up to the inaugural North Manchester 10’s tournament was typical British summer weather, but the winds came and blew the rain clouds away, resulting in a near perfect day for running rugby. Meticulous planning by Chris Partington was only matched by the let-down by a cry off of one team at the last minute, but in the spirit of the tournament, like the spirit of Manchester after the terrorist atrocity, in which the tournament was planned as a fund raiser, the players got together and formed a tasty looking Baba’s team.
North kicked off the tournament and set out the stall for a fantastic afternoon of running rugby, Della and Tigers soon followed showing some well drilled moves, then the baba’s took to the field and in the tradition of their international namesakes produced some sparkling rugby that was set to upset the forum sheet. Trafford, Wythenshaw, withdrew from the competition after the league games, the rugby was fast and hard, anybody who though it would be an easy break from training was sadly mistaken, back to the training ground to prepare for the new season for those clubs. The games progressed with North winning all their games, easing into the semi-finals and on the other side Della and Tigers fought a hard campaign both progressing to the knock out stages.
Aldwinians also progress, but the rigors of the tournament saw them with draw after beating Burnage in the last of the group stage games. Burnage stepped up to the challenge and were worth opponents for Della but ultimate their tournament came to an end as the sun continued to beat down on the crowds that had gather in support of the cause. The game of the tournament was definitely North Manchester v Tigers in the first of the semi-finals. Tigers went ahead early, and the crowd went silent, but North bug deep, running over the white wash not once, twice but 3 times in succession to take a health lead into half time. Tigers won’t not lay down, coming back at North in the second half to tie the game. Golden score time, North had all the pressure, all the territory and most of the ball, except once when Tigers broke away to break the heart of the home players. The crowd felt it as well, but at least we could start breathing again and the tension was off. Party time. The final was played by Tigers and Della with Della running out winners on the inaugural 10’s tournament.
What a day, great tournament played in the spirit of Manchester. Thanks to all who came along, supported, volunteered their time, gazebo’s, skills and talent, especially to the player – see you all at the second annual 10’s tournament next year.
Updated 12:23 - 16 Aug 2017 by Ian Mac