STOWMARKET emerged winners of the under-17s tournament at the Touchline Suffolk Sevens, held at Royal Hospital School.

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The team won three of their four games, defeating Colchester, Woodbridge and Bury and only losing once, to Ipswich.

The champions finished top of the pile ahead of Bury, scoring 105 points overall, while Bury scored 98 points.

Ipswich finished third, Colchester were fourth and Woodbridge were fifth.

Elsewhere, Colchester A took the honours in the under-16s competition with Ipswich Rangers – the touring team from Brisbane, Australia – finishing as runners-up.

Plate winners in the under-16s were Ipswich YM while the Shield winners were Colchester B.

Tournament director Ross Cowie said: “What was so evident was the willingness and the spirit of co-operation between everyone (from different clubs, and different parts of the game), in order that around 700 boys could enjoy a day’s rugby.

“It was almost perfect weather for rugby, and the rain in the earlier part of the week made for excellent well-grassed pitches.

“The pitch marshals, and the referees did a fabulous job in ensuring the group games ran to time, or earlier.

“The support of the tournament’s 21 referees was much appreciated and it was really good to see four young referees, with 15-year-old Max Ellis taking the under-13s final and Ieuan Davies and Andrew Rhys-Jones, both 17, managing the U15 and U14 finals.

“I would also like to comment on the sheer quality of the under-16 final, between Colchester A and Ipswich Rangers – what a game of skilled sevens rugby.”

Cowie also thanked Kevin Rixon, the unheralded “gofor”, who did all those unseen tasks – even pumping up all the balls, Huw Edwards in the score caravan, Ipswich YM for managing the car park, Penny Chapman and Mavis Winders who kept all informed and the chairman of Eastern Counties Rugby, Bob Cranna, for making the journey to present the trophies.

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