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King's Macclesfield lead Cheshire challenge

14 December 2012

  • Cheshire schools stock continues to rise in Daily Mail Cup
  • King’s Macclesfield and Wilmslow lead Cup bid

This season’s Daily Mail RBS Under 18 Cup has reached the Round Five stage and three Cheshire teams are among the last eight Northern clubs still standing.

Cheshire schools rugby has been progressing steadily in recent seasons, with individual successes in the Daily Mail RBS Cup competitions being matched by others from county representative sides.

The King's School, Macclesfield lead the trio having completed a run of 19 games without defeat and claimed top spot in an unofficial league table compiled by a schools rugby website. However, having confirmed their credentials with 22-12 win at Manchester Grammar in Round Four, they claimed another notable scalp on the road again this week (December 12) when they edged home 21-18 at one of the North’s most consistent schools, Barnard Castle.

As expected, this was a real nail-biter following the Barnard Castle groundsman's tremendous job creating a playable surface when all around was frozen like a car park.

The visitors snatched the prize with a last-minute try from a charged-down clearance after twice being behind and now the Macclesfield lads await Saturday’s postponed tie at Wirral Grammar School, who entertain QEGS Wakefield in Round Five.

They put a marker down in the last round when they beat Lymm High School 28-26 and having already toppled the third Dail Mail challengers, Wilmslow High School, earlier in the season, the Cheshire bragging rights for the season rest between Wirral and King’s, whose fixture was lost to the half-time calendar this year.

However, if both teams can get through to the next round, they are scheduled to meet in the last 16 of the Daily Mail – a tasty incentive for both.

Wirral have one defeat – at the hands of Merchant Taylors – and a draw with Kirkham to accompany their 12 victories as coach Phil Crowley prepares to entertain an old friend, Trevor Barker, and his QEGS team.

“Our success comes from combining some good individuals into a strong team environment,” said coach Crowley. “Our captain and No 8 is Luke Harris, the Cheshire captain and a Sale Sharks Academy player, while Danny Phillips on the wing has 16 tries from 14 games and my son Chris, the scrum half, has 13 tries from as many games.

“Full back Alex Griffiths and loose-head prop Danny Adkins complete our Cheshire contingent.”

Despite being able to point to a core of quality, however, Wirral are armed with one other important factor that should stand them in good stead. When the current squad last made headway in the Daily Mail, they reached the semi-final of the Vase competition at Broad Street.

“We were soundly beaten by The Leys School, who went on to win it, but we went down 40-3 because we did not turn up. All we were aiming for was to give a good account of ourselves and that was exactly what we didn’t do.

“We have 11 of that team still involved, so we should be well motivated for what is sure to be a tough game.”

Wilmslow High sent a warning to their rivals when they went to RGS Lancaster in Round 5 and emerged with a 9-6 victory to give themselves a home tie in the last 32 against the winners of the Durham v RGS Newcastle match.

That tie is a replay of an earlier game this season in which Durham emerged 38-15 winners in Newcastle, one of their 11 wins in an unbeaten season.

The RGS statistics are not so impressive, but the traditional commitment invariably fuelled by a local derby in a knockout competition is sure to bring the best out of the visitors.

All of which is dependent on the poor weather conditions, which have already blighted the competition and have impacted on re-arranged games scheduled for completion this week.

Daily Mail RBS Schools Cup Northern results

Under 18 Cup:

Round Four: Austin Friars St Monica's 0 Wilmslow High 64, Hutton GS 5 Durham School 17, Royal Grammar, Newcastle 34 Ampleforth College 5, Woodhouse Grove 10 Lancaster RGS 17, Barnard Castle 20 Leeds Grammar 16, Hymers College 13 QEGS Wakefield 50, Manchester Grammar 12 King's Macclesfield 22, Wirral Grammar 28 Lymm HS 26.

Round Five fixtures: Barnard Castle 21 King’s Macclesfield 23, Wirral GS v QEGS Wakefield, Durham v RGS Newcastle, Lancaster RGS 6 Wilmslow HS 9.

Under 15 Cup:

Round Four: Bishop Heber High 25 Wilmslow High 0, Bradford Grammar 47 Ashville College 18, Queen Elizabeth, Kirkby Lonsdale 5 RGS Newcastle 17, Manchester Grammar 12 Lancaster RGS 29, Calday Grange Grammar 0 Altrincham Grammar 5, South Hunsley 0 QEGS Wakefield 53, Stamford School 0 King's Grantham 3, Crossley Heath 20 Durham School 15.

Round Five fixtures: Bishop Heber HS 25 Lancaster RGS 12, RGS Newcastle 8 Bradford Grammar 29, QEGS Wakefield v Altrincham Grammar, King's Grantham 22 Crossley Heath 5.

Under 18 Vase:

Round Two: St Mary’s CC Menston w/o Bingley GS, Horsforth 9 Pocklington 8, Yarm School w/o Hartlepool 6th FC, King Edward VI Morpeth 17 Dame Allan's 17 (King Edward’s through), QEGS Penrith 34 Keswick School 21, Altrincham GS 34 Cheadle Hulme 12, Rossall 22 Arnold KEQMS 16, Queen Elizabeth’s Kirkby Lonsdale 55 Nelson Thomlinson School 10, Ashville College w/o Hartlepool FE College, Birkenhead School 53 St Edward's Coll, Liverpool 12, Harrogate GS 20 Ermysted's GS 0, John Leggott 6th FC 0 Mount St Mary's Coll 56, St Ambrose Coll w/o Liverpool Coll, Sandbach 55 Grange School and Sports Coll 24, Crossley Heath 49 Audenshaw 14, Wolfreton School 0 Hall Cross Ac 46.

Round Three fixtures: St Mary’s CC Menston v Horsforth, Yarm v King Edward VI Morpeth, QEGS Penrith v QE Kirkby Lonsdale, Altrincham v Rossall, St Ambrose 26 Birkenhead 0, Sandbach 7 Crossley Heath 16, Mount St Mary’s v Hall Cross, Ashville Coll 13 Harrogate GS 20.

Under 15 Vase:

Round Four: Bolton School 0 Stockport GS 29, Bramhall HS 7 Mount St Mary's 7, Carre's GS 50 George Spencer Ac 0, Lincoln Minster School 48 Pocklington School 24, Sandbach School 28 Wirral GS 12, Tadcaster GS 48 Worksop Coll 17, Thomas Deacon Ac 10 Nottingham HS 7, Walton HS, Stafford w/o Bridgewater HS, Arnold KEQMS 3 Kirkham GS 10, Trinity Carlisle w/o Cockermouth School, Yarm w/o Emmanuel College, Hutton GS 19 Ermysted's GS 34, Prince Henry's GS Otley 17 Harrogate GS 7, Queen Elizabeth Hexham 10 King Edward VI Morpeth 17, Queen Ethelburga's Coll 27 Richmond 10, St Edward's Coll, Liverpool 17 St Anselm's Coll 7.

Round Five fixtures: Carre's GS 20 Thomas Deacon Ac 5, Lincoln Minster v Tadcaster GS, Stockport GS 27 Mount St Mary's 13, Walton HS, Stafford 31 Sandbach 43, St Edward's Coll, Liverpool 7 Ermysted's GS 31, Trinity, Carlisle v Kirkham GS, King Edward VI Morpeth 19 Yarm 43, Queen Ethelburga's Coll 27 Prince Henry's GS, Otley 26.