Rugby Union: Blacksheep escape foiled: Rosslyn Park Schools Sevens

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AFTER the pasting in Dublin English rugby, which frequently takes itself far too seriously, could do with a spot of light relief. Enter Feltham Blacksheep, who came up smiling yesterday at the start of the National Schools Sevens and nearly provided the shock of this or any other year since Rosslyn Park started the ball rolling in 1939.

Competing in the Festival Tournament (which is restricted to those playing the game in one term only), the boys from the institution for young offenders had a shock in store for the establishment.

Eton (fees pounds 12,000 per annum) found themselves facing the most embarrassing of defeats. Sean Greenaway, the Blacksheep's stand-off and captain, had escaped for an early try and with thirty seconds remaining all Eton had to show for their efforts was a penalty from Oliver Clayton. It was Clayton, though, who spoilt the story with a try for Eton's 8-5 win. However, Blacksheep, who have been coming to Roehampton for the past three years, at least did not depart empty handed.

At the 12th time of asking in a mammoth tournament - which this year features 600 matches spread over four days - the Blacksheep recorded their first victory, when beating Sutton Valence 14-10 in their last group match, Greenaway converting tries from Tony Bellot and Tyrone Lawless.

Lawless, the scrum-half, is not an inmate but has been in attendance at Feltham as part of his studies in sports management.