Round 2 of the AASE League takes place on Wednesday afternoon, with Gosforth Academy, Myerscough College, Moulton College, and Beechen Cliff entering the fray for the first time this season.
Gosforth and Myerscough were due to play last week but that game was postponed until November, with Beechen Cliff and Moulton College had byes.
Gosforth Academy reached the final last year with their thrilling offload game, and, if highlights of their pre-season fixtures at Sedbergh last weekend are anything to go by, they will be playing that way again.
Their opening game of the campaign is an interesting one, away to new boys Brooksby Melton, who opened their AASE account in style, beating last year’s new boys Bishop Burton 48-10. Gosforth will be a much tougher challenger though, and ought to show us where they sit in the pecking order.
Bishop Burton College are straight back in action after that tough loss, they make the trip to Northamptonshire to face Moulton College in a game that they will really hope to perform in as they look to improve on last year. With Moulton having had the first round off, there could be a chance to catch them cold.
The final game in the North sees Myerscough College kick their AASE season off by hosting Oaklands College. Oaklands College lost a thriller to Worcester 6th form College last week, 38-33. Worcester have the week off this week, but Oaklands will be looking to make amends and to use that extra week of AASE play to catch Myerscough out.
The big fixture in the Southern Conference is surely Beechen Cliff v Exeter College. Last year it was Beechen Cliff’s defeat of Hartpury College that paved the way for Exeter College to reach the final, becoming the only side other than Hartpury to win the AASE title.
Exeter’s title defence started in style this season with a 60-15 destruction of SGS Filton College, but Beechen Cliff, who had a bye last week, will surely be one of the toughest games of the season, and should make this one of the key clashes in the conference this year.
Filton College meanwhile look to get back on track following that tough outing last week when they host St Paul’s Catholic College on Wednesday. That will be no easy game either though as St Paul’s started their season off well last week, beating Truro College 24-17.
Truro College’s season will not be getting any easier though, they may be at home this week but the visitors are the mighty Hartpury College. Hartpury will be in desperate mode this season as they search to regain the title, however they were not off to the fastest start this year, having to work hard for a 19-8 win over Henley College last week, Henley have a bye week this week in the South.
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AASE Round 2 Fixtures (predictions in bold):
Brooksby Melton v Gosforth Academy
Moulton College v Bishop Burton College
Myerscough College v Oaklands College
Worcester 6th form College – Bye
Beechen Cliff v Exeter College
SGS Filton College v St Paul’s Catholic College
Truro College v Hartpury College
Henley College – Bye
Round 1 Results:
Bishop Burton College 10-48 Brooksby Melton College
Oaklands College 33-38 Worcester 6th form College
Moulton College – Bye
Myerscough College v Gosforth Academy (Postponed to 1st November)
Exeter College 60-15 SGS Filton College
Hartpury College 19-8 Henley College
St Paul’s Catholic College 24-17 Truro College
Beechen Cliff – Bye