Yesterday saw some outstanding schools rugby action, with Barnard Castle v Yarm at Darlington Mowden Park a particular highlight.
Also on the card was the first competitive fixture of the season for the Daily Mail trophy holders, Woodhouse Grove, who welcomed Ashville to town.
The champions began exactly where they left off last season, putting in a thunderous display to beat Ashville 40-3, making a clear statement that last season was no one-off. The men from West Yorkshire are back for more.
Over in Darlington the very early season form suggested that Barnard Castle ought to be favourites against Yarm, particularly after such a strong victory over Durham at the weekend.
Barnard Castle justified that tag but not with anything like the comfort that some might have guessed, Yarm pushed them all the way, just missing out 31-27 but playing their part in what was by all accounts a superb evening of rugby at a ground that is very much on the up.
Solihull were one of the best sides in the country last season, finishing fifth in the Daily Mail Trophy. They have started this season in similarly impressive fashion. They comfortably beat 2012 Schools Cup finalists Old Swinford Hospital at the weekend and yesterday they travelled across the Severn to Wales to take on Brynteg Comprehensive, winning 29-14 to confirm their good early season form.
St Peterâ€™s Gloucester might not be quite the same heavy hitters that they were at the turn of the century, however they are still a proud rugby school who produce good rugby teams. They certainly proved that yesterday as they comprehensively beat Marling 43-5, a highly impressive start to 2014/15.
Crossley Heath turned in some impressive results last year but they were given a bit of a shake yesterday by Silcoates, losing 52-26, while down in Windsor Shiplake managed to put on a decent show against Windsor Boys, winning 28-14, despite using 27 players through the course of the game.
The AASE league kicked off yesterday, and following the Festival last week it was expected that Hartpury, as ever, Filton, and St Paulâ€™s would be the three sides to look out for following their unbeaten runs over Worcester.
That proved true, with all three winning. Hartpury carded arguably the most impressive score with their 40-0 win over Worcester 6th form College, with Filton winning 15-5 away at Truro College, while St Paulâ€™s won 34-22 away at Henley College.
Perhaps the most impressive of the lot though was Bicton Collegeâ€™s 40-15 humbling over Ivybridge. It was Bictonâ€™s first game having come into the AASE league this year and they have certainly shown in that result that they will not be struggling despite being new boys to the league.
Oaklands College also put in a pretty impressive result, beating Moulton College 37-19, while Myerscough recorded an important 25-19 victory over Gosforth Academy.
The AASE league already looks like it is going to produce a fair few thrills this season.
Today Oakham welcome Craighouse from Santiago, Chile. The Chileans are on a long tour of the UK, taking on schools such as Brighton College, Eastbourne College, and Bristol Grammar School among others so it will be interesting to see how they fare in this first game. Oakham will certainly be ready having beaten Loughborough Grammar School on Saturday.
On Friday the annual fixture between RGS Newcastle and Durham takes place at Kingston Park. Last year it was rained off but there will be no such problems this time around with the Newcastle Falcons new 4G surface, it ought to produce a fast paced and exciting game, and as ever it will draw in a huge crowd.
Midweek School Rugby Results:
Barnard Castle 31-27 Yarm (at Darlington Mowden Park)
Brynteg Comprehensive 14-29 Solihull
Crossley Heath 26-52 Silcoates
Marling 5-43 St Peterâ€™s Gloucester
Windsor Boys 14- 28 Shiplake College
Woodhouse Grove 40-3 Ashville College
Oakham 0-46 Craighouse (Chile)
Bicton College 40-15 Ivybridge
Henley College 22-34 St.Paulâ€™s CC
Myerscough 25-19 Gosforth Academy
Oaklands College 37-19 Moulton College
Truro College 5-15 SGS Filton
Worcester 6th form College 0-40 Hartpury College
Still to come:
Tomorrow â€“ Durham v RGS Newcastle 19.00 (Kingston Park)