Carnival atmosphere as thousands enjoy Dardan Sevens and Beer Festival at North Walsham
- Credit: Archant
There was a carnival atmosphere at Scottow on Sunday as the curtain finally fell on North Walsham's season.
Around 2,500 piled into the ground for the Dardan Security Rugby Sevens and Beer Festival to be treated to a feast of exciting rugby and excellent refreshments spanning over seven sunshine filled hours.
There was a distinct Norfolk flavour to the day with Norfolk clubs well represented and an abundance of local ales, cider and food.
Wymondham and Lakenham both entered sides into the Ladies Cup with Norwich, Wymondham and two North Walsham teams in the men's competitions. They joined specialist Sevens sides such as Gotham City Goats, Sydney Knights, Wise Monkeys and Moet Medics, some of whom had players from Norfolk clubs in their ranks. From further afield came Newmarket and Harwich & Dovercourt, the latter entering both ladies and men's teams.
In the Ladies competition Wymondham Wasps beat last year's winners Harwich Hooters in the final to win the George Campbell Shield, with Norwich winning the Men's Plate final by defeating local rivals North Walsham Raiders. As winners of the Men's Cup The Dardanites were awarded the Jill Hambling Cup, with Oxfam 7s runners up. The Dardanites now go forward to the regional play-offs of the England Rugby Secure Trading 24/Seven series in Birmingham on July 7, which is a qualifying event for the national finals being held on July 29 at the Recreation Ground, the home of Premiership side Bath.
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This year's tournament was its tenth in its current format, and the third year that Dardan Security have sponsored it. 'Everyone – players and spectators alike – looked as if they were enjoying the day,' said Peter Treglown, one of the many volunteers who organised the event. 'Nearly all the teams said they expected to enter again next year; the Sevens and Beer Festival at North Walsham is now firmly entrenched into the rugby calendar.'
The tournament was a fitting finale to another successful and enjoyable season at North Walsham. Thoughts are already now though turning to the next one; pre-season training starts in just five weeks on Tuesday, July 3.
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