- Harrow School’s competition debut ends after closely fought encounter
- Campion School defeat local rivals Dartford Grammar
Photo: RFU Archive
Harrow School’s first season in the NatWest Schools Cup came to a dramatic end in the sixth round, following a 24-27 defeat at the hands of Trinity School, Croydon.
With England U18s' clash with Australia Schools taking place beforehand, both sides were clearly keen to impress the spectators. It was the home side who started the brighter thanks to a converted try from Toby Hudson-Davies. Trinity reduced the deficit through two George Jackson penalties before lock Ronan Mannion, showing a superb set of hands, put hooker Ben White over for the score.
The match was a thrilling, end-to-end contest as both sides looked to put width on the ball. Harrow regained the lead through Dallaglio Foundation scholar, Shaquille Jack. Two further Jackson penalties either side of the half-time break saw Trinity School regain the lead once again.
Both sides added second-half tries with Harry O’Hara dotting down for Harrow School, while number eight Dominic Augustus crossed for Trinity School’s effort. A Harrow penalty through Jack Jones leveled the scores up at 24-24 with minutes to go. If the scores stayed level then Harrow would advance to the next round.
Jackson had a seemingly straightforward penalty shot to give his side the lead, but with nerves getting the better of him, pushed it wide. With Trinity hopes fading, it appeared to all that Harrow would hold on.
However, one last throw of the dice for Trinity School saw them awarded another penalty. Step up Jackson, this time with a considerably more difficult kick than his previous effort. Jackson showed a mettlesome spirit and dissected the posts with the last play of the game to give his side a dramatic 24-27 win.
Elsewhere in the Cup competition, Campion School enjoyed a 13-7 victory over local rivals Dartford Grammar School. An early Billy Mullen try for Campion School was converted by outside half Matt Meehan. Dartford hit back with a converted score of their own through back row Shaq Gilpin to level things up.
Two further penalties from Matt Meehan edged Campion School into a 13-7 lead. Dartford Grammar were not without their own opportunities, however, and twice turned down the opportunity for points. However, unable to convert possession and territory into points, Dartford Grammar School rued their missed opportunities as Campion School held on for the win.
Having seen their U18 side crash out of the Cup in dramatic fashion, Harrow School’s U15 Cup run also came to an end following a 5-19 defeat to New Hall School. Conversely, Trinity School’s U15s battled past The Perse School with a 12-17 victory to add to the Christmas cheer at the Croydon school.
Vase specialists Ravens Wood School knocked out New Hall School at U18 level with relative ease, earning a 30-7 victory. Tiffin School also showed their Twickenham ambitions with a 10-34 victory over Worthing College while St Clement Danes School came out on top in a Hertfordshire clash as they defeated Parmiter’s School, 31-12.
On the other side of the London & South East Vase draw, Robert Clack School defeated Westcliff High School 17-0, while Worth School highlighted their Vase credentials with a comfortable 58-12 drubbing of Glyn Technology School.
Mill Hill School U15s crashed out of the Vase following a 0-38 defeat to The London Oratory School. Meanwhile, St George’s, Weybridge fought their way to a 24-14 victory over John Fisher School. Saffron Walden County High School came out on top in another Essex clash against Bancroft's School with a 7-43 win.