Strong Finish for Druids in Tennessee but Cup Still Elusive

The Druids started the summer 2012 season with a third consecutive top four finish at the Blue Plum sevens tournament in Johnson City, Tennessee, taking third place after losing only one match on the day to the tournament champions from Charlotte.

In the Druids’ first two tournaments over the past several months since being founded in 2011, the new team had notched a semifinal appearance and a final appearance, so hopes were high to continue the promising run in Tennessee. A tough pool draw led to a rocky start, though, as the Druids opened the day with a 43-0 loss to runaway favorites Charlotte. The Druids bounced back quickly, though, by jumping to a 21-0 lead in the first half of their second match against Knoxville on the back of tries from Martin Sexton, Matt Murray, and Craig Bucher and three conversions from Bucher. Blacksburg survived a late fightback from Knoxville in the second half, leveraging an unconverted try by Murrary to preserve a 26-19 win despite three second-half tries and two conversions from Knoxville. The Druids ran by Tusculum 34-0 in their last pool match, with Murry running in three tries, Daniel Germroth and Jason Gordon adding a try apiece, and coversion duties distributed across a few players in the side. A 2-1 finish in pool play earned the Druids second place in a strong pool behind the dominant Charlotte side.

The Blue Plum tournament included no semifinal matches, so despite a second-place finish in a strong pool the Druids had no opportunity to fight back into the grand final. Instead, they went straight to a bronze final against North Atlanta. The Druids ended the day strong to take third place by a 33-12 margin, with Bill Whalen nabbing a brace of tries and Sexton, Murray, and Bucher also crossing the whitewash to finish the tournament at 3-1. Meanwhile, Charlotte cruised past the other pool’s winners, Western Carolina, to win the grand final 48-0.

With a nice start to the summer 2012 season in hand, the Druids return to training at the Virginia Tech Drillfield Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. Depending on interest, the Druids may travel to Richmond for the Monk Vaughn Sevens on 9 June, and they are scheduled to attend the Triad sevens in Greensboro, North Carolina, on 23 June. All interested area players are welcome.

Druids Roster at Blue Plum Sevens
Craig Bucher (Druids)
Brett Fontaine (Druids)
Nick Funk (Virginia Tech)
Daniel Germroth (Virginia Tech)
Jason Gordon (Roanoke)
Matt Murray (Virginia Tech)
Joe Pallante (Blacksburg)
Martin Sexton (Druids)
Donny Tran (Virginia Tech)
Bill Whalen (Virginia Tech)

Coach: Perry Pence (Druids)