Sedbergh create history with a truly remarkable finish to the season
posted on April 03, 2018 09:45
Coming off the back of an unbeaten 15-a-side season and a number one ranking in the Country there was a lot of excitement about Sedbergh’s National Sevens & Tens chances to finish the year.
For the National 7s at Rosslyn Park Sedbergh took a strong squad to compete in a brutal group which had three AASE colleges including current AASE champions Hartpury.
Straight from the first whistle Sedbergh looked determined and dominate as they swept a side Beechen Cliff 38-7 & Maidstone Grammar 45-5. Next up were Hartpury in what was being billed as the group decider. Both teams had won their respective 15-a-side competitions comfortably which added some extra motivation for the winners. In what was a very physical encounter Sedbergh pulled away with three late tries to secure a 22-10 victory.
In the last group match on day one Sedbergh finished off Truro & Penwith College in another polished performance 34-5. Our opposition simply had no answer to the speed, physicality & skill set of the Sedbergh squad.
Day two began with St Joseph’s Ipswich & Sherborne both being beaten comfortably 29-5 & 40-17. Harrow were next in what was an exciting match to watch. In a titanic back and forth struggle Harrow eventually kicked a penalty in the last play of the match to deservedly beat an underperforming Sedbergh in an upset on RE2. Frustrated and disappointed by a last play loss Sedbergh still advanced through to the National semi-finals with a big chip on their shoulder. Sedbergh drew Kirkham in a mouth-watering northern derby and proved once again too good for their local rivals. A strong 21 -12 win saw them progress through to the National final against a much fancied Cranleigh who were competing for their third cup win in a row at Rosslyn Park.
With huge crowds gathering and big support for both teams the final got underway on the famous RE1 pitch. Favourites Cranleigh had the better of the starts as they pounced on an early Sedbergh mistake to score in the corner & take a 5-0 lead. Straight from the next kick off Sedbergh attacked Cranleigh with everything they had. Great width & patience resulted in the inspirational Captain Cameron Redpath offloading to exciting player of the tournament Tom Walsh to run onto the ball at scintillating speed and score an outstanding try under the Cranleigh posts. With a 7-5 lead Sedbergh then won a pin point kick off through their incredible aerial threat Rob Farrar.
The elusive Charlie Graham then finished another superb attacking set when he broke two desperate opposition tackles to extend Sedbergh’s lead. With one last play remaining before half time Sedbergh landed a killer blow when Farrar again turned over Cranleigh from the kick off which led to Redpath dazzling defenders with footwork to slice through the heart of the midfield to score. Josh Hodge converted to give Sedbergh a much deserved 21-5 lead at the half. After the break Cranleigh came out firing with long passages of play against a very committed and organised Sedbergh defence. Sedbergh refused to give in as they dug deep under huge pressure. With a minute remining Cranleigh finally crossed the line with a converted try to reduce the Sedbergh lead to nine points. With now one play remaining Sedbergh caught the kick off which landed directly into Redpath’s hands in space, he then sprinted 70metres to the try line to secure a famous victory in a simply brilliant final. Sedbergh had won the Cup in an incredible team performance. They were now the best 15-a-side & 7-a-side team in the country.