There were stunning scenes in the AASE League on Wednesday as it was confirmed that for the first time in AASE history, Hartpury College will not win the league.
Heading into the day’s play, Hartpury were the favourites to qualify for the final from the South, they were unbeaten and had a lead in their division. Plus they had the weight of history behind them, having won every single edition of the AASE league and only losing and handful of games since it’s inception.
Where else to start the roundup of the action, then, than with the South Division 1. It was the final day of play in the division, with Hartpury College and Exeter College both able still to reach the final.
Beechen Cliff where the side to inflict that body blow of a defeat on Hartpury. The side who finished second last in their debut season last year took the biggest scalp in AASE rugby with a brilliant 34-26 victory. To make it even more special, it was on Hartpury soil, a quite stunning achievement for the Bath affiliates.
Of course Exeter College still had a job to do if they wanted to reach the final, Hartpury’s greater points total at the start of the day meant that Exeter College still needed the win. That was a lot of pressure on a side in their first season back in the AASE league after a long break. They took the win though, and in some style, sealing a crucial bonus points in a 37-7 win away at Henley College to seal their passage into the final.
The bonus point was key, as their progress was by a solitary point. In truth though, they key bonus point probably came in last week’s 32-31 defeat to Hartpury, where despite losing they still collected both a losing bonus points and a try scoring bonus point, those extras ended up making all the difference, sending the South West side to Allianz Park for the final.
Exeter’s opponents in the final were also confirmed on Wednesday as Gosforth Academy performed exceptionally to beat Worcester 6th form College by a stunning 40-0 margin.
Worcester and Oaklands College still must play next week, but neither can amass enough points to catch the Newcastle Falcons AASE side. It is a tremendous achievement for Gosforth, who only entered the league in 2013.
SGS Filton College finished top of division two in the south and will play in the ninth place play off after they defeated Ivybridge Community College 22-12.
Truro College had started the day at the top of division two, but a 34-12 victory away at St Paul’s Catholic College saw them slip two places to third, leaving St Paul’s in second and in the eleventh place play off.
After a heavy defeat for Bishop Burton at the hands of Moulton College last week, and this week they gave Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College a walkover, keeping the Leicester Tigers outfit at the top of the division, meaning that they will face Henley College in the seventh place play off.
Bishop Burton are scheduled to be in action again next week, where they will face Myerscough College. Myerscough were involved in a fantastic game this week as they came from behind against Moulton College to seal a spectacular win in the last play of the game, 19-17.
Without a doubt though, with a huge nod to the fantastic Gosforth Academy, the story of the day is that it will be Exeter College, not Hartpury College, who will reach the final from the AASE South Division. It is an historic moment in AASE history, guaranteeing a new winner and an exciting new chapter in AASE history.
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Gosforth Academy 40-0 Worcester 6th form College
Oaklands College – Bye
Hartpury College 26-34 Beechen Cliff
Henley College 7-37 Exeter College
Moulton College 17-19 Myerscough College
Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College w/o Bishop Burton College w/d
Ivybridge Community College 12-22 SGS Filton College
St Paul’s Catholic College 34-12 Truro College
Wednesday 23rd November:
Oaklands College v Worcester 6th form College
Myerscough College v Bishop Burton College
AASE Final: Gosforth Academy v Exeter College – Friday 2nd December, Allianz Park
|North Division 1 – AASE Stage 2|
|1||Gosforth Academy (Q)||2||2||0||0||10|
|3||Worcester 6th form College||1||0||0||1||0|
|South Division 1 – AASE Stage 2|
|1||Exeter College (Q)||3||2||0||1||12|
|North Division 2 – AASE Stage 2|
|1||Wyggeston & QEI College||3||3||0||0||14|
|4||Bishop Burton College||2||0||0||2||0|
|South Division 2 – AASE Stage 2|
|2||St Paul’s Catholic College||3||2||0||1||10|