The thrilling second round of the U18 Schools Cup took place this week and there are now just 34 schools left in the competition.
There is a fair break now until the last 32 round, which is effectively the regional quarter-final stage, with just two late last 64 games to take place, Maidstone Grammar v Judd in London & South East B on Wednesday 18th October and RGS High Wycombe v Sir Thomas Rich’s in South West A on Wednesday 1st November.
U18 Schools Cup Round 2:
A big win for Merchant Taylors’ over Sir John Deane’s sets them up for a regional semi against King’s Macclesfield, who just about held off a late Calday Grange Grammar fightback to win 26-17. Manchester Grammar won an absolute thriller against Wilmslow High School, who always seem to go far, 20-19, and will travel to Stonyhurst College in the next round after Stonyhurst won an equally thrilling game against Stockport Grammar, 34-22.
King’s Macclesfield 26-17 Calday Grange
Manchester GS 20-19 Wilmslow HS
Merchant Taylors’ 45-3 Sir John Dean’s
Stockport GS 22-34 Stonyhurst College
Barnard Castle received a late walkover again Carmel College in North B, and will head to RGS Newcastle in a real historical Schools Cup classic next round after the former champions beat Durham 13-6. QEGS Wakefield, another legendary school of the cup in this tough section, received a walkover against Hartlepool 6th form College and will face St Peter’s York, who beat them last weekend, after they saw off Hymers College 40-14. These could arguably be two of the toughest regional semi finals of all.
Barnard Castle w/o Carmel College
Hymers College 14-40 St Peter’s York
QEGS Wakefield w/o Hartlepool 6th form College
RGS Newcastle 13-6 Durham
A thriller between Northampton School for Boys and Bloxham went the way of the Northampton men, 49-29, setting up a game at St Joseph’s College for the next round after they narrowly beat Norwich 21-20. With Northampton having blown away St Jo’s a couple of weeks ago, could this be a revenge mission or a sign that Northampton should win? Oundle meanwhile beat Royal Hospital School 19-15 setting up a regional semifinal against the outstanding Stamford, who had a bye.
Bloxham 29-49 Northampton School for Boys
Norwich 20-21 St Joseph’s College
Oundle 19-15 Royal Hospital School
Champions Warwick was in good order for a 38-7 win at Sandbach, they face a well-rested Newcastle-Under-Lyme next time out after their second-round bye. Solihull at one stage thought they had a bye but a late drafting of Rugby School game them a tricky fixture but one that they overcame well, 30-19, setting up a regional semi against KES Five Ways, who did have a bye.
Sandbach 7-38 Warwick
Solihull 30-19 Rugby
London & South East A
London & South East A is surely one of the toughest sections of all. Two unbeaten sides, Campion and Felsted, went head to head, with last year’s semi-finalists, Felsted, heading home with the spoils, 27-10. They will host the 2010 and 2011 champions, and one of this year’s favourites, Whitgift, who beat KCS Wimbledon by an impressive 53-11 margin. Wimbledon College meanwhile beat Emanuel 28-3 to set up a tie away at Hampton, who were scoring tries for fun in their 42-15 defeat of Tiffin.
Campion 10-27 Felsted
Emanuel 3-28 Wimbledon College
Hampton 42-15 Tiffin
KCS Wimbledon 11-53 Whitgift
London & South East
It will take until Wednesday evening next week to know the full London & South East B semi-final line-up, that is when Maidstone Grammar host Judd. What is known is that the winner of that game will be hosting Eltham College, who was on fine form for a 32-10 win over Skinners’. In the other regional semi John Fisher, who beat George Abbot 22-7, will travel to Churcher’s College, who recorded a superb 25-0 win at Worthing College.
George Abbot 7-22 John Fisher
Maidstone Grammar v Judd – Wednesday 18th October
Skinners’ 10-32 Eltham College
Worthing College 0-25 Churcher’s College
South West A
There was just the one game this week in South West A, with Portsmouth Grammar and Dean Close both having byes and the RGS High Wycombe v Sir Thomas Rich’s game being delayed until the 1st November. The winner of that game will be hosting Dean Close, who are in cracking form themselves. The game that was on was a real heavyweight clash as Abingdon hosted last year’s finalists, Bishop Wordsworth’s. Bishop Wordsworth's turned in one of their best performances of the season for a 24-10 win and will travel to Portsmouth Grammar for the regional semi.
Abingdon 10-24 Bishop Wordsworth’s
RGS High Wycombe v Sir Thomas Rich’s – Wednesday 1st November
South West B
Like South West A, South West B was a little thin on fixtures, with just two. Canford and Colston’s had byes and will meet each other in the next round. The other regional semifinal will see Ivybridge Community College host Exeter School. Ivybridge won a really tight game against Truro School, who always seem to do well, 15-6, while Exeter School beat King’s College Taunton 27-19.
Exeter 27-19 King’s College, Taunton
Truro 6-15 Ivybridge CC
It has been an exciting round, and with the number of schools left, things are only going to get more exciting as the competition gets ever more competitive and Twickenham begins to loom on the horizon.
The regional semifinals are scheduled to take place on the week commencing on the 6th November, with the regional finals set for the week commencing on the 20th November. From those games we will have our eight quarter-finalists, who will all be put into a national pot, meaning the potential for some very long away trips for some sides. Those national quarterfinals will mainly take place on the week of the 4th December, with only the semi-finals and final after Christmas.