Magnificent First Surrey 7s Victory for Epsom
The Senior VIIs squad won their third tournament of the season, winning the prestigious Surrey 7s, beating last year’s winners Cranleigh in the final 26-15. Regarded to be one of the toughest tournaments to win on the circuit, this is the first time Epsom has ever won this cup, highlighting what a magnificent achievement this is.
The day started promisingly with impressive wins in the group against St. George’s College, Weybridge 45-5, Hayes School 44-0 and Oaklands College 21-19.
This set up a last 16 match against Brighton College, who also topped their group. Having beaten Brighton to win the Reigate 7s the previous week, this game was going to be tight and it proved to be so. Epsom’s first half performance was clinical and with tries by Makeen Alikhan (Rn), George Addington (Rn) and Bertie Bamber (Fa), Epsom raced into a 19-0 lead. An error from the kick off at the start of the second half gave Brighton the field position they required and they took full advantage, scoring a try that got them back into the game. A second Brighton score made for a nervy finish, with Epsom eventually holding out to win 19-10.
A quick turnaround set up a quarter final match with St Paul’s Catholic College, who had beaten Hartpury College in their last 16 match. Another impressive start, with tries from Jack Jesty (G), Tom Allen (Fa) x2 and Tom Williams (P) x2 steered Epsom to a comprehensive 27-7 win and set up a semi-final match with Dulwich College, the only team to have beaten Epsom so far this season.
Having despatched Millfield in their quarter final match, Dulwich came up against an inspired Epsom side. Tries from Theo Alexis (P) and two from Tom Williams gave Epsom an unassailable 21-0 lead and despite conceding a couple of late scores, Epsom held on to win 21-14.
In the final, Epsom were to face Cranleigh the reigning Surrey School 7s champions, who had beaten Harrow 17-14 in their semi final. What a final it turned out to be. Epsom could not have scripted a more perfect start, Jack Jesty racing in right from the kick off, after some good work from Makeen Alikhan. This was followed shortly afterwards by a try from Tom Allen, who outpaced the Cranleigh defence to score under the posts, taking Epsom into a 12-0 lead. Cranleigh struck back to make it 12-5 and with the last play of the first half, Tom Williams sliced through the Cranleigh defence from deep in his own half to finish off what was a magnificent individual score. Leading 19-5 and with Cranleigh noticeably tiring, Epsom took full control and Jack Jesty’s try midway through the second half pushed the score out to 26-10. A late score by Cranleigh was not enough and Epsom held on to win 26-15 and be crowned the Surrey School 7s Champions for the first time ever.
A magnificent effort by the entire squad; winning 7 matches in one day is an outstanding achievement especially when you consider the quality of the schools competing. It all bodes well for the Nationals later this month.
vs St George’s College, Weybridge WON 45-5
vs Hayes School WON 44-0
vs Oaklands College WON 21-19
vs Brighton College WON 19-10
vs St Paul’s Catholic College WON 27-7
vs Dulwich College WON 21-14
vs Cranleigh School WON 26-15