WSM Charity Rugby Sevens and Netball

June 18, 2015

2015 marked a record year for the charity tournament, with the greatest number of rugby teams involved to date, and with the introduction of a netball tournament, the day was set to be one of our biggest fundraisers yet.

The 2015 tournament was in aid of the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability. The hospital is a national medical charity, independent from the NHS, which works to improve the lives of adults affected by severe neurological disability.

As always, the days before the tournament involved furious refreshing of every weather website known to man in order to possibly predict what we had in store for us at the weekend.

The arrival of 24 mens rugby teams and 10 ladies netball teams started the days festivities and the day got off to a prompt start at 11am, the sky slightly over clouded and grey. With 4 rugby pitches and 2 netball courts in use, teams set up base camp close to their designated places of play as pool game after pool game set up their chances to compete in the knockout rounds. A brief spell of rain around mid day was to be the only water we would see from the skies, helping soften the ground for some of the impacts in the pool stages of the rugby.

Despite some unfortunate set backs to the netball tournament due to umpires who were unable to attend the tournament, teams clubbed together to ensure that the games remained fair and the tournament remained in the spirit of the day.

The sun soon started to shine, and by mid afternoon it was out in full force as spectators gathered around the two remaining pitches to watch the finals for the cup, plate and bowl competitions. Two familiar faces from the cup quarter finals stood out, the King Prawns and the Wimbledon Thundercats, who clashed in the previous years cup final, with the King Prawns the victors. Could we be heading for a re-match in the final?

Wimbledon Rugby club ensured that spectators and team members were satisfied alike, with the seemingly never ending barbecue that started early morning with bacon sandwiches, and ran right until the final games. The outside bar close to the main pitch also went down a treat, serving spectators a selection of beers, as one happy player quoted the beer as, 'the cheapest beer in London'.

Old Wimbledonian Bowcats powered their way through to the bowl final, beating SOGO to take the title and trophy. Reeds Weybridge muscled their way to victory in the plate final, delighted to be taking silverware away in their first attendance at the tournament.

Meanwhile, over in the netball courts, the plate final and cup final were underway. KCLA emerged victors of the plate, while  the Roaring Tigers dominated the cup final, having played incredibly well throughout the entire tournament.

Only one game left in the day, the cup final. But who made it to the final? We were in for a treat. Back to strike vengeance on their previous year loss were the Wimbledon Thundercats, against non other than the King Prawns. A try to the Thundercats straight after kick off made it look like they were going to have their way this year, but persistence from the Prawns saw them come back with a few tries before half time. In the second half, Thundercats narrowed the lead, but another couple of tries from the Prawns sealed their victory for the second year running.

Following the presentations at the clubhouse, band the A-listers had set up on the patio outside the clubhouse, with an outstanding live performance consisting of two sets, keeping everybody entertained as the social side of the tournament carried into the evening.

Donations are still coming in for the tournament, and it looks like we are set to have raised over £4,000 for the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability.

If you were unable to make the tournament but would like to donate to the cause, please follow the following link:

Below are some photos from the day, but for more photos of the rugby and netball in action, and for a brief video of the day, please go to our facebook page:

The George's Ballers stop for a team photo

Cobham Coyotes take on Old Ruts

Long shot at goal in the netball

Spectators watching the Final

Old Wimbledonian Bowcats, winners of bowl competition

Reeds Weybridge, winners of plate competition

King Prawns, winners of cup competition for second year

Roaring Tigers collecting their trophy

KCLA collecting their plate