- St Paul's end Hartpury's five-year home record
- Moulton thrashed by Oaklands
St Pauls’ Catholic College brought Hartpury College’s five-year unbeaten home record end with a dramatic win on a Wednesday.
For all the talk of Hartpury seeking revenge for their defeat to St Paul's earlier in the season, it was St Paul's who came charging out of the blocks, hunting the red Hartpury shirts like crazed bulls.
Teams that have pushed Hartpury close over the years have had the firepower out wide, so the most impressive feature of the St Paul's performance last night was there confidence to take Hartpury on up front.
It certainly saw success early on when hooker Curtis Langdon found himself on the back of a powerful driving maul to score.
Hartpury's penalty count was soaring by the end of the half, and St.Paul's crossed again, this time through centre John Williams.
St Paul's looked set to score again with the final play of the half when a driving maul was picking up pace towards the Hartpury line. Bizarrely though, St Paul's opted to break off in search of the corner in a move which eventually broke down.
Those two tries and an early Conner Murphy penalty handed St Paul's a crucial two-score lead going in 15-6 at the break.
Hartpury wouldn't have the record they do without character and resolve, and they showed plenty of that in the second period.
After they finally found some territory they showed patience, and ten minutes into the second half they were rewarded with a Will Hayward try. Westcott nailed the conversion from the touchline, and Hartpury were suddenly just two points behind.
With the stakes so high and the game nearing its conclusion, tension mounted and things looked in danger of boiling over. Fortunately they didn't, but the game had all the intensity of a final. The contact area was quite simply brutal.
The game was finally put to bed by St Paul's when Elliot Cox competed with Hartpury's Kai Little for a cross-field kick that saw the ball bounce fortuitously for Cox to score. Crucially, however, the touchline conversion by Murphy was missed and Hartpury pinched top spot with a losing bonus point.
St Paul's captain Elliot Cox, who scored the vital try at the end for his side, commented: "The coaches weren't happy with that cross-field kick at the end, but we had a penalty advantage – just thought I'd clear that up.
"That was an immense win. We've worked hard in the last couple games and last few training sessions. We came through and got the win which is what matters.
"Hartpury are a brilliant side, credit to them, they fought until the end."
Elsewhere, Oaklands College beat Moulton College 70-3 with a hat-trick for Ewan Dickson-Earle and a brace for George Perkins.
Head Coach Dave Hesketh said: "I suppose we’ve made good progress as the season’s gone on. It’s a very young side made up of mostly first year’s which bodes well for next year.
"We’ve got a real test against Hartpury in a couple of weeks now. A few guys were involved last year, so they’ll be looking to hopefully put one on them."
Worcester Sixth Form College recorded a 41-21 win against Gosforth Academy. Henry Hall, Sam Brown, Max Hill, Max Hinbury, Scott Makepeace and Declan Hadley all crossed for Worcester.