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The Chosen ones conquer Longlevens Sevens

CHOSEN Hill secured Gloucestershire bragging rights with a last-gasp try in the final of the Longlevens Cider and Rugby 7s Festival on Saturday.

Trailing to Cheltenham-side Smiths Rugby, the eventual champions left it extremely late to stake their claim for the silverware – running home the decisive score in the dying seconds of a closely-fought encounter.

Unfortunately for Smiths, the day’s surprise package, the final passage of play saw the ball find its way into the hands of fleet-footed Scott Claridge, who powered across the line to clinch a dramatic 15-12 victory.

The high-octane final was a fitting climax to a hotly-contested tournament, which was arranged by Wooden Spoon partner club Longlevens RFC to raise funds for projects in Gloucestershire.

Wearing the children’s charity of rugby’s distinctive colours, the hosts got off to a bruising start, losing Joe Weatherley and Kai Phillips to injury after the pair clashed heads and broke a nose and cheekbone respectively.

Event organiser Chris Yorke said he was delighted that so many local clubs had entered teams into the tournament.

“The physicality and skill on show did Gloucestershire rugby proud,” he added. “I’m chuffed for Chosen Hill. They stuck with us after last year’s much smaller event to help make for a great tournament this year.

The feedback from the teams has been brilliant, so we look forward to welcoming everyone back next year.”

Richard Rudge, Longlevens chairman, said: “I would like to thank our sponsors The Property Centre and Dee & Griffin Solicitors, who helped us put on this event and provide the finalists with well-deserved jugs!

“It was great to support Wooden Spoon – the children’s charity of rugby.”

Longlevens are one of more than 60 clubs to have joined Wooden Spoon’s Partner Club Programme. Open to all union, league, wheelchair, tag and touch teams in the UK and Ireland, the scheme promotes rugby as a force for good and raises funds to support projects for children with a disability or facing disadvantage within the member club’s community.

To find out more about how your rugby club can become an official partner of Wooden Spoon, email rugby@woodenspoon.org.uk