Marham Show Heart & Determination at Halton 7s
Marham were hoping to finish a Fantastic rugby union season with some good results at the RAF Halton 7’s tournament. The team arrived and quickly got changed in the referee changing room. Even though the team was initially taken aback by the size of the other teams there was a jovial spirit in evidence for the first game against the RAF Vets.
Straight from the kick off Marham asserted themselves onto the game with a scything run by Ben Blewitt, scoring a try and converting. Rangy Tom Windibank decided that scoring looked like fun and got two tries and conversions in short succession. After the half a few defensive errors let the vets back in the game but Marham regained control through converted tries from Graham Saunders and Andy Fincham. Tom Gelder also scored but let himself down with the conversion right in front of the posts. Marham finished 40 – 10 victors. Victory however took its toll as Andy Fincham broke his arm in a tackle.
34 Sqn were next in Marham’s sights. After an early chip and chase score by 34 Sqn, Marham got in the game. Tom Gelder found his kicking legs and scored two excellent tries and managed to convert them both. Ben Blewitt and Ben Seaber both followed suit, both converting. Marham finished the game with a comfortable 28 –12 victory.
The dreaded back-to-back game was next with Wittering and then Odiham. Wittering started strongly and put two quick fire tries on the scoreboard. Some stern words were exchanged and Marham played out the rest of the half tackling strongly conceding no further points. Unfortunately a dislocated knee for Ben Seaber left Marham with only eight men for the remainder of the tournament. Tom Windibank decided enough was enough and took the game by the scruff of the neck completing a well-taken hat trick in record time, converting two kicks. Windibank’s performance had awoken the Marham beast and big hits coupled with great running finished the game on a high 19 – 12.
Odiham played a hard skilful game which a tired Marham team struggled to keep up. But a good try from Tom Gelder set up by Ben Blewitt kept Marham in it at half time. Odiham were able to ring the changes and kept pouring on the pressure and eased ahead. The second half was lit up by an electric 60 metre run by Graham Saunders who calmly maintained a 100% record from behind the sticks converting his try. Despite a brave effort from Marham Odiham took the victory 31 – 12. Second place in the group was good enough to put Marham into the semi finals as the first runner up with the best points difference.
Marham were drawn against group three winners Benson. Marham defended well to begin pushing Benson back into their 22 from the kickoff and forcing a handling error but were unable to capitalise in possession. Benson then broke from deep in their own half to take the lead. From the restart Marham surged into the opponents half and got a try back through the Tom Gelder. Before half time Benson were able to increase their lead once more. Three more tries by Benson put the game out of reach despite another try from the prolific Tom Gelder who finished with six tries and Marham’s top scorer. Benson progressed to the final with a 29 – 12 win.
A strong effort from the whole team: Ben Blewitt (Capt), Ben Seaber, Tom Gelder, Tom Windibank, Graham Saunders, Dale Simms, Nathen Tiley, Sam Allsebrook, Marcus Coburn.