RAIDERS from across the Malvern Hills returned home with the top prize from this year’s Marches Sevens competition.

The powerful squad from King’s School in Worcester produced some excellent rugby through the day and proved far too strong for their near neighbours from the Royal Grammar School in the final, winning comfortably by 52-0.

King’s were worthy winners after having seen off Millfield in the semi-final but by the narrow margin of 17-12.

And at the last eight stage, they had seen off a brave challenge from the hosts Hereford Cathedral School who had progressed to the quarter-finals by winning all of their group matches against Cwm Rhymni, Solihull and Bristol Grammar.

The Cathedral School ‘B’ squad also perfomed creditably and, although losing all of their group matches, had taken Bro Morgannwg all the way before suffering a narrow 7-5 reverse.

Millfield had needed extra-time before beating Llandovery 19-14 in their quarter-final tie while Sir Thomas Riches earned a semi-final place by beating Worth who had caused an upset in the group stages by beating the defending champions Coleg Sir Gar 33-22. The Welshmen still returned to Carmarthen with some silverware, however, edging out Colston’s in the final of the plate by 24-21.

The Bowl also went across the border with Monmouth gaining a narrow win over Hartpury 24-21.

The day provided an impressive standard of rugby on a dry but cold day with the ground in excellent condition considering that much of it had been under water the previous week.

“The day was a fantastic reward for all the planning, hard work and effort from the committee,” said Hereford Cathedral School’s director of sport and Marches chairman Richard Skyrme.

“The marquee was a success and the feedback from guests has all been very positive.

“I would like to thank the pupils and staff from the visiting schools, the Headmaster, the Marches committee, Rob Goode, HCS staff, Garin Jenkins, the referees and the PTA for all their support and hard work.”