The AASE League continues on Wednesday with the 5th Round, and one game in particular in the South looks set to capture the imagination.
Last year’s champions, Exeter College, face the most successful side in AASE history, Hartpury College. That is far from the only important game though as sides try to establish themselves in the top half ahead of the league split.
Oaklands College has a chance to extend their advantage at the top of the table when they host Bishop Burton College. The Saracens affiliates have lost a game, while Gosforth and Worcester have not, but a game in hand has enabled them to get ahead, and with Gosforth having a bye week this week, Oaklands have a chance to really extend that advantage. The other will, of course, have the opportunity later to catch up, but it’s always good to have the points on the board, as they say.
Worcester 6th form College are just a point behind though and can keep the pressure on if they beat Moulton College. At home, and against a side that are yet to win a game, they will be confident, but Moulton are now pushovers, they have claimed the losing bonus point in every game this season.
The final game in the north sees the bottom of the table Myerscough College take on fourth-placed Brooksby Melton College. It is a somewhat misleading statement though because Myerscough has only played two games so far, compared to four by Brooksby Melton.
All eyes will be on the headline clash between Hartpury College and Exeter College, the winners of every AASE title up until last year against the side that took their crown. Both sit at the top end of the Southern Conference, Hartpury four points clear thanks to their game in hand with Exeter College in second with three from three. A bonus point win for Exeter would send them top even without the game in hand because of Hartpury only getting the winning bonus in three out of four games, but a win for Hartpury would put some serious distance between the two.
Chasing just a point behind Exeter are St Paul’s Catholic College, who have a bye week, which gives Henley College the chance to overtake them. Henley is just four points behind St Paul’s and they are at home against the bottom side, Beechen Cliff, who are without a point so far. It will be far from an easy game though, Beechen Cliff is better than their record suggests.
Finally, in the South, there is an opportunity for at least one side to claim their first win of the season as Truro College welcome SGS Filton College to town. Filton has lost four form four and Truro three from three, with each level on a single point thanks to a losing bonus point each. Whoever wins on Wednesday will gain a huge confidence boost that could be crucial for the rest of the season.
AASE Round 5 Fixtures (predictions in bold):
Myerscough College v Brooksby Melton College
Oaklands College v Bishop Burton College
Worcester 6th from College v Moulton College
Gosforth Academy – Bye
Hartpury College v Exeter College
Henley College v Beechen Cliff
Truro College v SGS Filton College
St Paul’s Catholic College – Bye
|AASE Northern Conference Table|
|3||Worcester 6th form College||3||3||0||0||3||15|
|4||Brooksby Melton College||4||1||0||3||3||7|
|5||Bishop Burton College||3||1||0||2||1||5|
|AASE Southern Conference Table|
|3||St Paul’s Catholic College||4||3||0||1||2||14|
|5||SGS Filton College||4||0||0||4||1||1|