Sevens tournament set for big kick-off

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The annual Ophir Rugby Sevens tournament, established in 1974, will kick off at the Valley Park this weekend.

The popular two-day event begins on Friday (August 10) with an under-19s competition (6.30pm) when clubs will be vying to get their hands on the Ken Bonar Memorial trophy.

The main tournament begins the following day at 1pm with 12 sides - including Antrim, Ards, Ballyclare, Belfast High School FP, Carrickfergus, Malone, Queen’s, Randalstown - expected to battle it out for the Will Totten Memorial trophy, presented by the Mayor of Newtownabbey. Saturday’s final is scheduled for 5.30pm.

Club president Martin Morrison said: “I have been involved in every one of our Sevens competitions since the inaugural tournament and the sparkle is still there. I am particularly pleased that we have been able to continue last year’s extra evening of entertainment on the Friday. The high quality and strength of the entrants, for both the youth and senior events, will make the games extremely competitive. Club officials have worked very hard to provide a weekend of great entertainment and I hope their efforts are rewarded by a good turnout.”

The event will again have Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Sports Development deparment as the principal sponsor and the club is also appreciative of the continued support from their main sponsors, MCW Properties and Biffa.

As well as the rugby, Ophir will have entertainment for younger children, including face-painting, and refreshments will also be available, making it a great fun occasion for all the family.

Entry is free for spectators.