The rain let up for a day for the Lions second 7s run-out of the summer at the Greenwich 7s. After climbing the tallest hill in Europe* the Lions arrived at Greenwich RFC’s ground on Plumstead Common as definite underdogs in a competition featuring Streatham-Croydon (Surrey Bowl winners and Surrey 3 champions), Southwark Lancers (runners up in Kent 2), Greenwich (Kent Spitfire League champions) and Sodam, who featured a certain Gregos Traitorelli a.k.a. Paul Doherty among their numbers.

After the opener between Greenwich and Southwark provided a bit of mild cabaret, the Lions took to the field against Streatham-Croydon. Despite conceding two tries in a tough opening few minutes which included the biggest hit of the day on Mike Davies (last seen tunnelling his way back from Australia), the Lions scrapped back bravely and after shipping the ball through almost every pair of hands on the field we concluded a mighty march up the pitch with a sterling try from Rob Johnson.

Next up were the Lancers, who also dished out some pretty massive hits, in particular one on Mr Magnus Kauders which apparently measured about 4 on the Richter scale back in Whitton. A second noble defeat followed in fairly short order and we were onto the third game of the day against Greenwich. Before that  Streatham and Southwark treated us to a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s little-known masterpiece “Handbags at Dawn” - don't you love a social sevens tourney?

Clear-eyed and full-hearted, the Lions rolled out against our admirably friendly and banterous** hosts for the third game with the smell of potential victory in our twitchy noses and high hopes of our first sevens win. But sadly it was not to be, as Greenwich came out of the blocks and bashed us pretty severely in the first half. Things looked up somewhat in the second 7 as the boys released Paul Doherty up the right wing for a breakaway try, but after a great performance from the Greenwich lads we were 0 from 3 and staring the Wooden Log in the face.

We wrapped up the day with a hard-fought game against Sodam. Some very tired bodies made a lot of tackles, hit a lot of rucks and made the opposition work very hard for their points, and although we may have lost the game we came out with a decent dose of pride having scrapped hard right to the final whistle.

Overall then – a great day out, plenty of beers and banter and a huge load of positives to take forward in training over the next few weeks. Thanks a lot to Greenwich for having us, Paul and Aidan for organising the entry and everyone who turned out to chuck on a Lions shirt and play some rugby (or just to cheer enthusiastically). There's a few pics over on Facebook, so take a look.

Whitton Lions Squad:

6.Aidan Potts, 7.Mike Davies, 9.Gareth Elliott, 11.Magnus Kauders, 12.Mark Taylor, 13.Rich Lennon, 16.Rob Johnson, 17.Luke Bellamy, 18.Matt Salmon, 19.Dan Saxby, 21.Paul Doherty, 22.Russell Elliott

*although apparently Mont Blanc is pretty high too.
** it’s not a real word. But I don’t know the real word. Leave me alone.

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