The 2012 Guinness Pock 7s provided another feast of rugby, packing a big bank holiday crowd into Percy Road for six hours of high speed rugby.
Sedbergh Rogue Traders retained the title, beating Malton & Norton 24-0 in the final at the end of a day of excellent sevens rugby to complete the 54th Pock Sevens – Yorkshire’s oldest seven-a-side tournament.
The intermittent rain, a couple of last minute call-offs, and a couple more teams delayed by the Bank Holiday traffic, meant the event got off to something of a stuttering start. But it soon started to warm up and produced a number of thrilling games for the appreciative crowd, with Hull Ionians setting the standard by grabbing a sudden death winner in extra time after they had been locked at 22-22 at full time against former students, Edinburgh TMC.
In the quarters, the Rogue Traders were pushed hard by Bishop Burton College before pulling clear to win, while Hymerians won 14-10 against Yorkshire Hogs, a side of York-based players from the Otley academy. The Scots Guards, composed of army Fijians based at Catterick, had a hard-earned 24-17 quarter-final win over Hull Ionians, while Malton beat hosts Pocklington 28-14. Pocklington had showed good sevens form in their first game, and they fought back to be 14-14 at half time against Malton before succumbing to two late scores.
Malton then sneaked past The Scots Guards in the semi-finals by one score, while Rogue Traders looked the day’s best all-round footballers as they beat a useful Old Hymerians more comfortably.
In the Plate competition, Driffield went through to the final against Scunthorpe Fallen Heroes, with the Scunthorpe side lifting the trophy thanks to a 29-17 success.
But the Pock 7s is also about an Easter reunion of old friends and exiles. Former Pocklington people came from across Britain and from all corners of the globe especially for the day.
They included former Pocklington player, Roger Tinson, who has lived in Devon for many years, but who was back home for the Pock Sevens after guarding the Queen the previous day. Roger went on from Pocklington to skipper Combined Services at rugby and become the Regimental Sergeant Major of The Royal Marines. Now retired from the Marines he is a part-time member of The Yeoman of the Guard, and had been on duty in ceremonial ‘Beefeater’ uniform for the Queen’s visit to York on Thursday.
Other ex-Pocklingtonians were back from Scandanavia, the Gulf, France, America and the Far East, including another former Pocklington player, John Aikman, who is currently playing professionally in Hong Kong.