ATLANTIC BEACH, NC – Last weekend, the Clayton Rugby Football Club sent two teams to participate in the annual Blackbeard 7s Beach Tournament. The club came away with the tournament championship, which served as the club’s first title in their short existence. The Bootleggers A-side defeated Camp Lejeune 29-0 in the title match in a physical battle between the two teams. The Clayton B-side were winless in the tournament, but gathered valuable experience.
“The guys played great today,” said Team Captain Ted Hardy. “It was a long day and the weather wasn’t cooperating, but the guys dug deep and played extremely physical rugby. I’m proud of everyone, both A and B, for their play today. It is exciting to bring back our first hardware to Clayton.”
The Bootleggers got their tournament off to a good start with a 24-0 win over Duke. Gareth Davies scored three tries for Clayton in the win. The squad followed with their only loss of the day as they fell to Camp Lejeune 12-10 in a torrential downpour. The Bootleggers took a late 10-7 lead on a try from Stuart McKenzie only to see Lejeune bounce back and win at the death.
Needing to win their final two matches to get into the championship match, the Bootleggers rolled 25-5 over Cherry Point and then roughed up their Bootlegger teammates 37-5 to finish off pool play with a 3-1 record.
The rematch against Lejeune was more physical than the first match as both sides pounded each other. Clayton took a 10-0 lead into halftime on the backs of tries from Brendan Fitzpatrick and Davies. Sensing their first title, the Bootleggers ramped up the pressure in the second half and pulled away down the stretch. Davies added a second try while Jared Thomas and Chris Crumity also got in on the scoring to give the Bootleggers a 29-0 win.
Gareth Davies came away with Clayton Player of the Tournament honors after scoring nine tries for the Bootleggers.
The Clayton B’s didn’t fare as well, going 0-5 in the tournament. The side, made up almost entirely of new players, hung in against all of their opponents for long periods of their games, but struggled in the final minutes of each match. They started their day with a 20-0 loss to Camp Lejeune, followed by identical 20-5 losses to Cherry Point and Duke. The squad then lost to Clayton A in their final pool match. In the consolation match against Duke, Clayton came out strong but ultimately fell 25-5. Jared Warren, playing in his second tournament ever, scored three tries to lead the B’s on the day.
Clayton A: Ted Hardy, Jared Thomas, Gareth Davies, Brendan Fitzpatrick, Simon Potter, Stuart McKenzie, Anthony Crumity, Chris Crumity
Clayton B: Matthew Warren, Blake Cowan, Philip Liverman, Jared Warren, Luke Haskins, Anthony Bevelacqua, Kevin Ellis, Walter Webster, Jon Rogers, Manosh Premachandra
Clayton A 24 Duke 0
Tries: Davies (2), A. Crumity; Conversions: Davies (2)
Clayton A 10 Camp Lejeune 12
Tries: Davies, McKenzie
Clayton A 25 Cherry Point 5
Tries: C. Crumity, A. Crumity, McKenzie, Davies (2)
Clayton A 37 Clayton B 5
Tries: Hardy, A. Crumity, C. Crumity (3), Potter, McKenzie; Conversions: Potter
Clayton A 29 Camp Lejeune 0
Tries: Fitzpatrick, Davies (2), Thomas, C. Crumity; Conversions: Potter (2)
Clayton B 0 Camp Lejeune 20
Clayton B 5 Cherry Point 20
Tries: J. Warren
Clayton B 5 Duke 20
Tries: J. Warren
Clayton B 5 Clayton A 37
Tries: J. Warren
Clayton B 5 Duke 25