Coming off their first tournament win, Drinkin Park traveled to the Chicago Blaze facility in Lemont, IL to compete in the annual Firehouse 7s tournament. Park brought a physical squad out, and welcomes some familiar faces back to round out this weekend’s roster.
The first match of the day was against Chiefs FC, UIC’s 7s squad for the summer. While the Chiefs came out fast with a physical style of play, Park finally broke loose with a long run up the middle by Timmy for the first try of the day. Liam and Smash both followed with scores to build a 21-0 lead heading into the half as Park’s defense started to impose its will on a shorthanded Chief’s side. Park’s youngest members were the next to get on the scoreboard with Tim and Owen both scoring on long runs. The forward’s would get back in on the scoring run as Togher punched in a try and Paul scored in his 2019 7s debut in what was described as the “slowest try of all time” as he jogged through a gap 50 meters for the final score of the match. While Park won the match with a final of 43-0, the blowout win was marred by losing Smash from the forwards for the day with a wrist injury.
Next up was the Milwaukee Barbarians B side. Expecting a challenge from an imposing Milwaukee team, Drinkin Park came out charging with some impressive hits on the initial kickoff and first defensive stand. After a steal, Jake Garwood broke through the line for the first score of the second match. Newcomer Jack, and Tim followed up with two more trys and Park found themselves in a familiar positon at the half. Park kept up the impressive defense as Liam, Owen, and Luke Mechling added long scores to blow the match open once again. Liam broke one last long run to close out the match and give Park a second 43-0 win on the day.
Drinkin Park’s final match of pool play turned out to be their toughest yet as the team found themselves in a dog fight with the Blaze B side. After trading blows, a Blaze forward thought he had broken through for a break away score, before Timmy chased him down for a steal to keep the scored tied at 0. Park flipped the field after the steal, and Baker was able to break through the line to score the first try of the match. Jack broke loose for a long score to the corner. The Blaze answered and cut the lead to 2 in the second half, but Liam broke loose for his fourth score of the day helping Park close out pool play with a 19-12 win.
Another challenge awaited Park in the tournament semifinals as the Blaze “Classic” team. While most would be expecting a group of slightly drunken old boys, this “classic” team was comprised of retired Blaze 7s players and were fast and formidable. The Blaze struck first, but Park was able to answer with a score off a broken tackle from Pasta. Park scored again off another long run from Jack, but the Blaze were able to answer themselves and took a 17-12 lead late in the second half. Park had one last chance to tie, or take the lead, with a scrum with just a minute left, but unfortunately the Blaze defense stepped up and closed out the game ending Drinkin Park’s run with a 17-12 loss. Drinkin Park finished 3rd in the tournament on a hard fought day.
Trys: Liam (4), Jack (3), Owen (2), Tim (2), Baker (1), Garwood (1), Luke M (1), Pasta (1), Paul (1), Timmy (1), Togher (1), Smash (1)
Conversions: Garwood (3), Liam (3), Jack (2), Togher (2), Luke M (1), Owen (1)