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Wilmslow draw first blood in a huge week in the Daily Mail Cup

Wilmslow High School produced a stunning performance yesterday against Durham School to progress to the quarter finals of the U18 Daily Mail Cup.

The 19-14 victory against one of the tournament favourites sets up a home quarter against Warwick for the Cheshire side, elevating them into the group of favourite sides to win the cup.

Warwick had beaten Stamford last week to become the first side into the last eight, before Sherborne sprung a shock the following day, knocking out Fifteen Rugby’s Team of the Term, Marlborough College, with a superb 19-5 victory.

This enthralling tournament was not done there though as later that evening Hampton edged past Whitgift, 12-10, in one of the most intense and passionate games of schoolboy rugby this writer has seen.

A weather-affected schedule leaves us still with four quarter finalists to be decided though.

Tomorrow sees RGS High Wycombe, 1998 and 1999 finalists, travel to Cornwall to take on Truro School. The winner’s reward will be a home quarter against Hampton after an error in the system saw the home side switch.

The pitch in Truro has been described as ‘wet and heavy’, but that is a dream scenario compared with the state of many of the pitches across the country. The pitch at King’s School Worcester though has been declared playable, despite an ongoing battle with the snow, and will play host as Northampton School for Boys, of Courtney Lawes and Dylan Hartley fame, travel over to take on King’s School.

The winner of that game will face a tough away trip for their quarter final, with a tie against either Wirral Grammar School or King’s School Macclesfield drawn form the hat.

Those two take on each other on Saturday afternoon, by which time the weather is hoped to have cleared. Macclesfield look to be the favourites having had a tremendous season so far, however this tournament has been anything but predictable so far!

The final game of the round has KCS Wimbledon hosting 2012 champions and 2013 favourites Dulwich College. The fixture has twice been called off due to the snow, but the game is now expected to go ahead on Saturday.

The delay could spell good news for the holders though, captain Dom Wroe Wright sustained an injury at the end of last term against Epsom and was still on the injured list for tomorrow when the game was scheduled to be played.

It is still unlikely that he will be fit again by Saturday, but as with all injuries, every day counts. With or without him though, should his side win, they will play host to Sherborne in what will surely be one of the most eye catching quarter finals of all.

After the quarter finals, the teams head to Broadstreet RFC on the 2nd March for the semi finals, before the winners then go to the final on the 23rd March at Twickenham.

Predicting who will be there is anyone’s guess in this most unpredictable of tournaments, in this most unpredictable of seasons.

U18 Daily Mail Cup Results:

Warwick 12-0 Stamford – Tuesday 15th

Sherborne 19-5 Marlborough – Wednesday 16th

Hampton 12-10 Whitgift – Wednesday 16th

Wilmslow 19-14 Durham – Tuesday 22nd

U18 Daily Mail Cup Fixtures:

Last 16:

King’s School Worcester v Northampton School for Boys – Thursday 24th

Truro School v RGS High Wycombe – Thursday 24th

KCS Wimbledon v Dulwich – Saturday 26th

King’s School Macclesfield v Wirral Grammar School – Saturday 26th

Quarter Finals:

KCS Wimbledon or Dulwich v Sherborne

Truro School or RGS High Wycombe v Hampton

Wilmslow High v Warwick

Wirral Grammar School or King’s School, Macclesfield v King’s School Worcester or Northampton School for Boys

Semi Finals to be held on the 2nd March at Broadstreet RFC, Final to be held at Twickenham on the 23rd March.

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