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East Grinstead and Harrow through to Twickenham cup finals

13 April 2012

  • G-Force to face Ilkley on Intermediate Cup final
  • Yorkshire opposition for Harrow in Junior Vase too

East Grinstead from Sussex and Harrow from Middlesex will play in national cup finals at Twickenham Stadium in May after winning their respective semi finals in the RFU’s Intermediate Cup and Junior Vase.

In the Intermediate Cup for clubs at Level Seven of the RFU’s national league structure, East Grinstead scored eight tries in a 58-3 victory over North Bristol.

The self-styled G-Force had a magnificent day all round, with around 1500 spectators in attendance as their junior section enjoyed a two-hour coaching session with London Irish head coach Toby Booth (a former East Grinstead player-coach), fellow Exiles coach and Sussex man Justin Bishop and players Delon Armitage, Paul Hodgson and Kieran Roche.

North Bristol tackled bravely but East Grinstead, according to team manager Rex Whittaker, gave "a superb performance of pace, power, precision and creativity."

Fly half Rick McKenna, a former New Zealand Under 20 international, scored two tries, six conversions and a penalty for a personal haul of 25 points.

East Grinstead will face Ilkley from Yorkshire One in the Intermediate Cup final on May 5 as they chase a treble having already sealed the London Two South East title, with a Sussex Trophy semi final against Haywards Heath to come.

In the Junior Vase for clubs at Level Nine and below, Harrow scored six tries to none including four from their back three in a display of pace and skill that took the club the short distance to Twickenham for the first time with a 38-6 defeat of Gloucester club Brockworth.

Chairman Andrew Smart paid tribute to the sportsmanship of the visiting supporters and looked forward with relish to the whole Harrow club enjoying the appearance of their blue and white hooped jerseys at the Home of England Rugby in the final against Yorkshire Three opponents Baildon.

Smart also praised the defensive work of Harrow’s back row Adam West, Nick Argent and captain Brendan O'Sullivan, and midfield backs Simon Bram and Mike Smith.

In the Senior Vase for clubs at Level Eight, Maidstone from Kent fell to a close-fought 14-8 defeat at home to Somerset visitors Wells in the semi finals.

Wells’ first national final will be against another Yorkshire qualifier, Wath upon Dearne.

Wells had a one-point lead when fly half Aaron Cook kicked a penalty with 15 minutes remaining to reach 300 points for the season and added to that with a try by centre Alex Knight, with stern defence doing the rest.

RFU Cup Semi final Results

RFU Intermediate Cup semi final: East Grinstead 58 North Bristol 3
RFU Senior Vase semi final: Maidstone 8 Wells 14
RFU Junior Vase semi final: Harrow 38 Brockworth 6

RFU Cup Finals Fixtures

Intermediate Cup: East Grinstead v Ilkley (3pm)
Senior Vase: Wath upon Dearne v Wells (1pm)
Junior Vase: Baildon v Harrow (11am).


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