A Hearts & Balls team featuring players from a number of clubs won the Orkney Sevens last weekend.

It was the 50th anniversary of the event and Bruce Ruthven, a member of the charity’s committee who was previously the Development Officer in Orkney for a number of years, decided to take a team to it.

Along with Hearts & Balls Associate Director Alex Hagart (Heriot’s) they got a decent squad together and Liam McArthur MSP – a Director of the charity who has a brother who was left paralysed after an accident on the rugby pitch – even put his boots on despite being a goalkeeper by trade!

The squad were billeted with members of the Orkney RFC committee and Hagart said: “Our goal was two fold, we wanted to win the tournament, but more importantly we wanted to raise awareness of the charity and the great work it does in helping those who suffer life changing injuries on the rugby field.

“We played West Orkney and Orkney Exiles in our group, then played Grangemouth in the semis and beat Orkney in the final.

“We auctioned off a strip which went for £500 after the tournament.

“The team selected by Bruce Ruthven was made up of youth and experience and also boys who would promote the charity in the right way.

Youngsters like Johnny McCorkindale, Thomas Klein and Craig Willis played key roles throughout the tournament. This was coupled with the class of Callum Marshall and the steel and pace of hometown boy Tom Croy.

“We were very conscious we were ambassadors for the charity and we were determined to do things right and do it properly so we had dinner with the locals on the Friday night and had a pre-event breakfast with our hosts.

“We were welcomed with open arms everywhere we went and we want to go back up in 12 months time to defend our title and to rekindle the relationships and ties we made whilst up there.

“I would like to thank Orkney RFC President Rodney Stephen for his hospitality and the people of Orkney for their warm and ever hospitable welcome wherever we went.”

Squad

Ben Docherty (Stewart’s Melville)

Craig Willis (Stewart’s Melville)

Callum Marshall (Heriot’s)

Stuart Edwards (Heriot’s)

Johnny McCorkindale (Ayr)

Gregor Porteous (Stewart’s Melville)

Alex Hagart (Heriot’s)

Thomas Klein (Melrose)

Tom Croy, (C) (Orkney/Stewart’s Melville)

Bruce Ruthven (Melrose/Stewart’s Melville)

Liam McArthur MSP Orkney (Liberal Democrats)

Steven Kemp (Orkney)

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