Exeter edge past Loughborough to go top

Exeter, who lost to Leeds Beckett at the start of the month, have now won their last three matches
©BUCS Super Rugby

Exeter returned to the top of BUCS Super Rugby following a narrow in over Loughborough at Epinal Way.

Keith Fleming's side are back at the summit after their seventh win of the campaign, but also because Northumbria were beaten by Leeds Beckett.

The northeast outfit suffered their first loss since the start of October while Bath clinched victory for the first ever time against a struggling Hartpury College and Durham beat 14-men Nottingham Trent.

Elsewhere, there were comfortable wins for the two leading women's sides in BUCS Super Rugby and it was also cup week for some of our featured men's teams as you can see in the BUCSSuperRugby table:

A full round-up of BUCS action is below:

BUCS Super Rugby

Loughborough 15-17 Exeter

Exeter moved to the top of BUCS Super Rugby as they held on to overcome Loughborough in the Midlands.

Max Hill’s try was cancelled out by a Sam Laitey score to make the game 7-7 at half-time.

Exeter then went in front as James McRae sniped over from close range to touchdown, but Loughborough matched them as they too powered across the line.

Callum Young restored Exeter’s five point lead just after the hour and despite Tom Ffitch landing a penalty and some strong pressure by the home side, the visitors held on to move back to the summit.

Northumbria 17-27 Leeds Beckett

Northumbria are now two points behind Exeter in BUCS Super Rugby as they suffered a defeat at home to Leeds Beckett.

Darren Fearn’s men had won their last five matches prior to this one, but it was once again another strong showing on the road from Beckett.

The visitors led this contest 14-10 at the break thanks to a penalty try and a Jonny Teague score, with Will Muir adding to Josh Bragman’s five points for Northumbria.

Kieron Davies extended Beckett’s lead after the interval with two penalties but a simple finish for Suva Maasi cut Leeds’ lead to just three points.

However, Harry Robinson’s score confirmed Beckett’s win which now leaves them just two points adrift of Northumbria.

Bath 24-22 Hartpury College

Bath produced a superb late comeback at Infield to stun Hartpury College and condemn the champions to their sixth defeat of the campaign.

The hosts trailed 22-19 as the clock ticked towards red, but England U19 winger Levi Davies bundled over to snatch the victory.

Scores from Austin Hay and Scott Russell had given Bath a 12-10 half-time advantage, Tom Heard responding with a try for Hartpury.

Russell extended Bath’s advantage after the break but tries from Maliq Holden and Toby Hill looked to have won it for College before the late drama.

Durham 23-7 Nottingham Trent

Mike Ozdili was sent off for Nottingham Trent has Durham produced a commanding performance to claim their first win in three matches.

Durham took a 6-0 lead through two Tom Catterick penalties before the Trent flanker was sent off. Charlie Wilson crossed before half-time and the hosts went over twice more after the break.

Intelligent play by Harry Graham saw Trent grab a consolation, but the Midlands side remain rooted to the foot of the BUCS Super Rugby table.

Elsewhere across BUCS

Newcastle moved four points clear at the top of North A after a 36-5 win over second placed Leeds. The northeast side have won six of their eight matches this term and they could find themselves in an even stronger position next week when they travel to third placed Nottingham. Elsewhere in the division, bottom of the table Edinburgh picked up a crucial win as they beat Durham 2nds 18-11 and it leaves the Scottish side level on points with seventh placed Birmingham who lost 19-8 at home against Loughborough 2nds.

Bristol remain at the summit of South A following a comprehensive 33-0 win over Bath 2nds. Cardiff are still a point behind last year’s play-off finalists as they edged out Exeter 2nds 36-29. Third placed USW picked up their fourth win on the spin thanks to a 30-10 victory over Hartpury 2nds while Swansea came away from UWE with a 31-21 win.

In the Women’s top divisions, champions Edinburgh maintained their 100 per cent record for this season in Premier North as they eased to an 84-7 win against Newcastle while second placed Northumbria beat Loughborough 31-25 and Durham thrashed Birmingham 107-0.

In Premier South, Hartpury responded to their defeat against Exeter last week as they produced an excellent display to beat Cardiff Met 41-0. Oxford are now six points behind College after a 39-7 home win against Gloucestershire while Exeter sealed a convincing 60-5 victory over Bristol.

Men’s BUCS Trophy

North B league leaders Leeds Beckett 2nds are through to the last 16 of the BUCS trophy after a 37-10 win over Newcastle 2nds. There was also a handsome 81-13 victory for Manchester against Sheffield Hallam while Loughborough 3rds suffered a surprising 24-8 defeat to St Andrews.

Elsewhere in the competition, Durham 3rds lost 33-7 away at Sheffield, Exeter 3rds beat Hartpury 3rds 22-19 and St Mary’s clinched a 34-7 win over Portsmouth. Also, Cardiff Met 2nds edged out Leicester 18-17 and Southampton were thrashed 60-0 by Gloucestershire.

Men's Northern Conference Cup

Northern 2A side Northumbria 2nds are through to the quarter-finals of the Northern Conference Cup following a 33-26 win over Leeds 2nds while fellow 2A side Leeds Beckett 3rds also advanced to the last eight after a 57-19 victory against Liverpool 3rds. However, there wasn’t positive news for Sheffield 2nds who were defeated 19-12 by Newcastle 4ths and also York lost to a walkover result against Edge Hill. Meanwhile, Northern 3A side Chester suffered a 22-17 defeat to York St John.

Midlands Conference Cup

Midlands 2A league leaders Harper Adams are out of the Midlands Conference Cup following a 10-9 defeat to holders De Montfort. There was a better result for 2A as Nottingham Trent 3rds beat Warwick 3rds 29-10 while Oxford Brookes 2nds secured a 20-18 win over Nottingham 4ths.

Elsewhere, there were victories for Northampton, Oxford Brookes 1sts, Nottingham 2nds, Harper Adams 2nds and Aston.

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