Under-Eighteen’s Natwest Schools Cup – Divisional Finals part 1

A tough game for the brave Portsmouth Grammar School
A tough game for the brave Portsmouth Grammar School
©Chris Dossett

With Round Five taking place just before the Christmas break, we’re now in to the final stages of the Area Knockouts in the Under-18s Natwest School Cup.

In two weeks’ time the final two schools from each regional division will go head to head to secure a spot in the quarter-finals.

London & SE A
On the 10th of December, Whitgift School played host to King’s College School, who travelled from Wimbledon, in round five of this year’s tournament. Despite a resilient performance from the away team, it was Whitgift who saw the game out, winning by 27 points to 12, to go through to the final round of the division.

On the same day, Skinners’ School travelled to St Joseph’s College in Ipswich, but failed to return home with the glory. The Suffolk side sailed through to the sixth round, beating their opponents by a score of 31-12.

Whitgift School and St Joseph’s College will go head-to-head on the 27th of January, playing at Whitgift’s home ground in South Croydon.

London & SE B
Prior to Christmas, the Simon Langton Grammar School emerged victorious from a tough match against the John Fisher School. The Grammar School saw off their opponents 31-15 on home soil, and will have the same advantage in the next round.

Also in round five, Trinity School travelled from Croydon to face Hampton School but were unable to return with the spoils. Hampton scored three tries to see the match out, winning the tie by 24 points to seven.

Simon Langton Grammar School will host Hampton School in the final divisional round on the 27th of January.

Midlands A
The fifth round of the division saw Bedford Modern School face up against Bishop’s Stortford High School. Despite the travelling team putting in several dominating performances throughout the competition, it was Bedford who edged the game by 17 points to 8.

In the highest scoring game of the round, Abingdon hosted Bromsgrove School, but were unable to halt the attacking force of the away side. Although the home side managed to register 17 points, Bromsgrove ran away with the game, scoring 47 points.

Bedford Modern School will face Bromsgrove on the 27th of January, but the venue is yet to be decided.

Midlands B
Oundle School eased through in to the sixth round of the tournament in Term One, having travelled to Langley School in Norfolk from Peterborough. They ran away with the victory by 50 points to nil, securing a spot in the divisional final.

King’s School, in Worcester, hosted Warwick School who had dominated each of their games in the competition so far – and this was no different. They defeated the Worcester side by 40 points to three having made the journey west.

Warwick School will host the sixth round encounter against Oundle School on the 27th of January.

North A
St Peter’s School of York made the journey north to face Newcastle’s Royal Grammar School, and were able to make the journey home victorious. They edged past the Tyneside team by 28 points to 20 before the Christmas break, ensuring that they’d host the divisional final.

Lancashire’s Royal Grammar School hosted their fifth round match, but failed to see themselves in to the next stage of the tournament. They were defeated by Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, who had travelled from Wakefield, by a score of 20 points to nil.

The tie between Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School and St Peter’s School will take place in York on the 27th of January.

North B
It was a great day for both away sides in the fifth round of the tournament, starting with Wilmslow High School returning from Calday Grange Grammar School with a win. The High School saw off the opponents by 38 points to 14 away from home.

Woodhouse Grove School also secured themselves a place in the divisional final away from home, having travelled to Mount St Mary’s College before Christmas. They returned to Bradford having won 32-5.

Wilmslow will have the home advantage in the sixth round, hosting Woodhouse Grove School on the 27th of January.

Southwest A
Royal Grammar School High Wycombe edged in to the divisional final before Christmas, seeing off Bishop Wordsworth’s School by an amazingly low score of three points to nil. The grammar school had been the travelling side and were able to return home with a spot in the sixth round.

In a re-arranged fixture, Portsmouth Grammar School travelled to the London Irish Academy training ground to face Stowe School on Friday evening, but were unable to continue their impressive form in the tournament. Stowe won the tie 34-7 to progress to the divisional final.

The Royal Grammar School will face Stowe School in High Wycombe on the 27th of January.

Southwest B
In a Cornwall vs Devon tie, Truro School dominated Exeter College on home soil to see them through to the next round. Having made the journey across the county border, Exeter returned home having been drubbed 33-0.

St Peter’s Royal Catholic High School were able to seal the second spot in the divisional final by defeating a resilient Dauntsey’s School in a close match. It finished with just a ten point margin, with the home side winning by 22 points to 12.

Truro School will host St Peter’s in round six, with the tie also taking place on the 27th of January.

All results and score lines and fixture information are taken from the Schools Rugby website, http://www.schoolssports.com/CompetitionMicrosite/CompetitionIntro.asp?TID=NatWest-Schools-Cup.