Yesterday saw Squire Patton Boggs lawyers compete in the first combined Law Society rugby sevens and netball tournament, sponsored by Marston Holdings, in the glorious sunshine at the Richmond Athletic Ground.
With the sevens team completing the grand slam of City Sevens and Law Society Sevens titles in 2016, hopes were high for another strong performance whilst the netball team entered their tournament after a series of strong performances in their league.
In the sevens, and despite only having 6 players for the first game, the boys won each of their group games against Burges Salmon, CMS Cameron McKenna and Watson Farley & Williams to advance to the knockout stages of the main draw as group winners. A quarter final victory over Berwin Leighton Paisner was followed by a convincing semi-final win against a strong team from La Fosse Associates, setting up a showpiece showdown with Goldman Sachs.
In the final, Goldman Sachs scored three unanswered tries in the first half to take a 19 point lead into the break. But with rugby sevens nothing is certain until the final whistle has blown and with Squire Patton Boggs taking the upper hand against a Goldman Sachs team (which had received a bye straight into the knockout stages of the Cup) it looked like an upset was on the cards. Ultimately, two converted tries were not enough for Squire Patton Boggs who ended up runners-up on the day after losing 19-14.
This year also saw the inaugural Law Society Netball Tournament in which total of 15 firms, plus the Law Society, entered teams. Following group stage wins against Mishcon de Reya and Burges Salmon, but a 10-6 loss to Simmons & Simmons, Squire Patton Boggs finished second in their group and progressed to the plate play-offs. The afternoon brought a hard-fought semi-final against Addleshaw Goddard, which Squire Patton Boggs won 9-6, closely followed by a second semi-final (thanks to a mathematical error at the group stage which meant Squire Patton Boggs had been pitted against the wrong team in the semis) against Baker McKenzie, which Squire Patton Boggs won 11-9.
Finally, Squire Patton Boggs found themselves facing Freshfields in the plate final. A shaky first half left the half-time score at 8-3 to Freshfields, with the result looking like a foregone conclusion. However, the team returned to the court for the second half with a renewed determination and calmly netted 8 goals in quick succession whilst turning over almost every ball that reached Freshfields’ attacking end. This made for an exciting second half, which ultimately saw Squire Patton Boggs come out on top with an 11-10 win to take home the plate.
Both teams will look forward to returning next year with their eyes on the cup!