A TOTAL of 32 schools took part in the 26th annual running of the North Of England Schools Sevens at Birkenhead Park.

Kukri Sports Ltd and The Army were the main sponsors, supported by local outlets and with the weather fair it was another terrific occasion.

The RFU Referees Academy provided sixteen officials for the event. Birkenhead School and St Anselm's College allowed their pitches to be used to help out for the round robin stages.

The knock-outs were at the Upper Park and a close final for the main Bowring Trophy saw Woodhouse Grove edge out Denstone 24-19.

Manchester Grammar and Ellesmere were the losing semi-finalists.

The Plate final for the Boodle and Dunthorne Trophy was claimed by Sedbergh who comfortably saw off guest side Loretto from Edinburgh by a 22-0 margin.


Bowring Trophy quarter finals:- Manchester Grammar 22, Lymm HS 19; Woodhouse Grove 12, RGS Newcastle 7; Barnard Castle 5, Ellesmere 29; Denstone 26, Princethorpe 7.

Semi-finals:- Manchester Grammar 0, Woodhouse Grove 40; Ellesmere 17, Denstone 19.

Final:- Woodhouse Grove 24, Denstone 19.

Boodle and Dunthorne Plate semi-finals:- Sandbach 7, Lorretto Edinburgh 24; Giggleswick 14, Sedburgh 21. Final:- Lorretto 0, Sedburgh 22.

Paton Field, Caldy is one of the venues chosen by Cheshire for their County Championship campaign in May.

Northumberland will provide the opposition on May 17.

The first game for Cheshire will be against Yorkshire at Heywood Road, Sale on May 10. The away clash with Lancashire will be on May 24 with the venue still to be finalised.

The Northern group champions will play the Southern Group winners for the Championship at Twickenham on Sunday, June 1.

Meanwhile it was a good league Saturday for the majority of Wirral clubs. The top six all recorded victories.

Caldy romped home 66-15 against struggling Dudley Kingwinsford in National Two North.

Wirral crushed lowly Altrincham Kersal 64-0 in North West One with Birkenhead Park seeing off Wilmslow 50-27.

New Brighton got home 27-23 at Winnington Park in South Lancashire/Cheshire One.

Anselmians despatched Sefton 50- 20 and there was an important success for Hoylake 39-13 at bottom of the table Ashton on Mersey.

Wallasey’s losing run continued in Division Two with a 5-52 finish against Oswestry at Cross Lane.

Port Sunlight fell 3-38 against Collegiate.

Oldershaw took the Division Three derby at Oxton Parkonians 33-7. Prenton accounted for Trentham 23-12 and Ellesmere Port came away 26-9 to the good from Buxton.

Caldy produced a ten try show for their eleventh success of the campaign.

It was just as easy for Wirral who breached the Kersal rearguard on ten occasions.

Birkenhead Park responded to a wake up call after finding themselves 12-0 down in the opening minutes against Wilmslow.

Stu Brown (2), Sam Chidley, Peter Doolan, Billy Wooff, Lewis Williams and Rob Doolan touched down. Dave Hall hit a penalty and six conversions.

Table toppers New Brighton were given a real scare at Winnington Park before making promotion a near certainty.

The majority of local clubs were due to have this coming weekend free but there will now be plenty of action due to re-arranged matches.