- Hartpury clinch fifth consecutive cup win
- Truro and Gosforth triumph triumph in plate and bowl finals
Photo: Leo Wilkinson
Hartpury’s hegemony in the AASE League continues after they produced a fine performance to beat Prince Henry’s Grammar School 38-8 in the AASE Final at Allianz Park yesterday, clinching their fifth consecutive title.
Despite the scoreline being weighted heavily in Hartpury’s favour at the final whistle, the first half was a very tight and tense affair that moved like a game of chess, with parity in most departments.
One area Hartpury did have the edge though was in the territory battle, which allowed them to remain in front for most of the half with wing Sam Westcott out scoring Prince Henry’s wing Nick Rawsthorne by two penalties to one.
But just before half-time they found a crack in the Prince Henry’s wall. Some brilliant offloading among the Hartpury forwards worked the ball into the Prince Henry’s 22, before the it was spun wide and into the hands of Westcott who scored to take his personal tally for the season to 11. Hartpury led 11-3 at the break.
Having built a solid first half cushion, Hartpury moved up a gear with their play in the second half, Hartpury fly half Matt Protheroe slicing through another gap to score from 65 metres.
Once Protheroe went over, the floodgates opened, and Hartpury crossed for further scores through wing Mark Harrison, centre Tom Griffiths and Protheroe again.
Prince Henry’s did grab a late consolation try through full back Sam Allan after a lovely offload from Rawsthorne, but it was all in vain as the final whistle went shortly afterwards.
Hartpury captain Joe Batley said: ”This is absolutely unbelievable. It’s something we’ve spoken about all season, and obviously we’ve had a few mishaps along the way, but the feeling right now I just can’t describe, it’s something we’ve dreamt about since day one.
“That was definitely our best performance of the season, the boys put their body on the line.
“We had no gaps in our defence, and our attack just seemed to work every time we got the ball.”
Plate and bowl finals go to the final play
Photo: Leo Wilkinson
A penalty with the last kick of the game from full back Connor Swan helped Truro College to a 30-27 win over Filton College in a thrilling AASE plate final.
It was a meeting of two contrasting styles – the power and control of Truro against the fast and loose running game of Filton. The outcome was spectacular.
Truro dominated possession and territory for the first half hour, and were rewarded with a healthy 15-3 lead thanks to tries from scrum half Matt Butler and centre Jack Simmons.
But a four-minute Filton spell just before the break turned the game on its head.
First, full back Adams Francis snuck over from close range, before Filton scored their second try of the match when Chay Smith threw a no-look pass to send fellow centre Josh Daly Galloping over, handing Filton a 17-15 half-time lead.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first. Truro came out and controlled matters from the off.
Hooker Tommy Lee Southworth wrestled the lead back from Filton with a short range try before Truro were awarded a penalty try after Filton collapsed a maul close to their line.
Photo: Leo Wilkinson
But Filton mustered some energy once again and fought back to add drama to the denouement. A penalty from Kieran Hill brought them back to withing one score, before a try from scrum half Andy Uren levelled the scores after a brilliant touchline conversion by Scott Daley.
At 27-27 Truro would still take away the trophy having scored more tries, but a Swan penalty with the final play ensured the trophy was gathered with a win.
The bowl final between Worcester and Gosforth was another topsy-turvy affair with the lead changing hands on numerous occasions, and like the Plate it went down to the last kick of the match before it was decided.
A brace of tries from Ben Wilkinson, along with tries from Aston Whitlow and Callum Chick were almost enough for the win, but it needed a 30 metre penalty from full back Dan Marshall on the last play of the game to seal the title for Gosforth in their first season back in the AASE league.