Guinness Carrick Sevens 2024: drama and joy of three-day rugby fest in 36 photos

The Guinness Carrick Sevens served up a three-day festival (May 3 – 5) of excellent rugby including some very keenly contested finals.

Among the highlights, was the encounter between two long-time supporters of the event, Forrester, from Edinburgh - with some support from host club Carrick - and Fijian side NI Kaviti. Forrester Former Pupils did manage to score a try but despite some innovative tactics they could did not prevent the opposition from running up 50 points.

The Novos Ladies from Newcastle-upon-Tyne once again entered two teams - one of which reached the cup final. Dundee Valkyries made a welcome return to the Ladies' competition and went home with the bowl prize. Carrick was also delighted to welcome to the Ladies competition ‘Yer Ma's 7s’, a team set up to encourage former players who have had children to return to the game.

The tournament started on Friday evening with the Sewing Solutions Under 18s competition. The cup was won by Instonians (RBAI) who edged out City of Armagh in a hard-fought encounter while Carrick beat local rivals Ballyclare in another closely contested match in the plate final. The bowl was won by Portadown who beat Belfast (Met) Wolves in their final while Cavan overcame Ophir in the wooden spoon play-off. J C Motors Player of the Tournament was Ben McCausland of Instonians. At the conclusion of the tournament, the Everest Cup was presented to the winning captain by the daughter of the late Johnson (Jonty) Everest.

The Quigg Golden Open on Saturday, May 4, saw composite side Warriors beat NI Kaviti to take the Holmes Salver in a hard-fought final, scoring the only two tries of the game. Clogher Valley had a comfortable win against Carrick in the plate final while Lisburn just edged out Grosvenor in the Willis Bowl final. Forrester Former Pupils took home the wooden spoon. The Circles Bicycles & Coffee Player of the Tournament was Scott McLean of Warriors. The prizes were presented by Eddie Quigg of Quigg Golden and the Holmes Salver was handed over to the captain of Warriors by Roger Holmes.

Sunday produced the best weather of the week-end and some excellent rugby. The Mid and East Antrim Borough Council-sponsored Lynda Waring Memorial Cup was won by a Queens's University side who beat Newcastle visitors in the final while City of Derry took the Plate, beating representatives of Belfast Harlequins in their final. The bowl was won by Dundee Valkyries who overcame Carrick in their final and the wooden spoon went to Novos from Newcastle who faced Yer Ma's 7s in the play-off.

The Clanrye PRH sponsored Player of the Tournament was Stacey Sloan of City of Derry. The Girls' competition was a best of three affair between Carrick and Clogher Valley with the Co Tyrone side winning all three matches. The Clanrye PRH sponsored Player of the Tournament was Victoria Bothwell of Clogher Valley.

At the conclusion of the tournament, the Mayor, Alderman Geradine Mulvenna, presented the prizes for the Ladies’ and Girls’ competitions. Club president Rab Hawkins thanked the Sevens Committee and volunteers for their work and all those who had participated before adding a special thanks to the sponsors without whom it would not be possible to stage the event which included a programme of non-rugby entertainment.

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