Bedford edge Epsom in thrilling U18s Schools Champions Trophy Final

Bedford School were crowned winners of the Champions Cup on Wednesday, as they beat Epsom College 28-21 at Allianz Park.

A battle of the boot between Bedford’s Oliver Burgess and Epsom’s Niall Saunders made for a tight game, with both fly-halves in fine form from the tee.

Despite going behind early on in the game, Epsom were resilient and gave Bedford a fright, coming close to taking the lead on several occasions.

However ill-discipline from Epsom gave Oliver Burgess plenty of chances to kick at goal, demonstrating his pin point accuracy from range on a number of occasions.

It was Burgess who put his side ahead, kicking well from 30 metres in the opening five minutes of the game.

Bedford then took the lead to eight points after a bursting run from Faysal Olabooye saw him touch the ball down in the corner, leaving Burgess unable to convert for the only time in the game.

He soon redeemed himself however, taking aim from fifty metres, and his effort saw the ball soar just over the crossbar, adding another three points for his side.

Epsom’s Niall Saunders wasn’t going down without a fight though, as the fly-half demonstrated his ability from the tee bringing the score to 11-3.

Burgess went for goal from range again, adding another three points from 45 metres out.

A second Saunders penalty was followed by Epsom’s James Gulliver quickly tapping a penalty in front of the posts, catching out a sleepy Bedford defence as he carried the ball home.

The conversion was knocked over with ease, and the sides went in at half time with Bedford leading by a point, at 14-13.

Following a line-out early in the second half, Burgess had the chance to add a try to his name, and took it superbly as he saw off a number of tackles before reaching for the line, before taking the opportunity to convert his own try.

A near-perfect day for Bedford was dented slightly as Tunde Adewale saw himself sent to the sin bin, after being judged to have deliberately knocked the ball on.

A third Saunders penalty was followed by a turn in fortunes for Epsom, as Bedford claimed the ball at the restart, before shipping it out to the left wing to see Shay Boyd race home just one minute after Saunders’ penalty.

Burgess rounded his incredible kicking display off with a fine conversion from wide on the left, taking his team’s total to 28 points.

Gulliver’s second try of the match wasn’t enough to inspire a late Epsom comeback, as he dived in to the corner with just one minute remaining.

As Saunders smacks the post from the touchline, the referee’s final whistle rang out around Allianz Park, crowning Bedford School champions with a final score of 28-21.