As the season draws towards a close a number of this weekend’s fixtures saw sides under real pressure, from themselves, to keep on finding results as they chase elusive unbeaten seasons or half seasons.
Almost all delivered, and there were some fantastic games. Indeed all over the country there were fantastic games, including narrow wins for Brighton College, Sherborne, Bromsgrove, Eltham College, and Bloxham, among others.
Some were more dominant, Rugby and Stamford for instance looked comfortable, while Cranleigh, Dulwich College, and Campion all enjoyed impressive victories, and then there was Wisbech Grammar, who won by a staggering 87-7 margin.
This weeks top five does not include any of them though, although all could easily have made the list as selecting just five once again proved a genuine challenge.
Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend
Dean Close’s quest for an unbeaten season remains absolutely on following a quite outstanding 64-0 victory over Prior Park College on Saturday. Prior Park might be having a bit of a tough season, but at no point have they been beaten in anything like that manner. Dean Close are just in sparkling form, indeed since half term they have passed the fifty point mark four times in six games. Only Kingswood now stand between them and a brilliant unbeaten season.
It was a game of some serious meaning for Hurstpierpoint on Saturday as they travelled to Epsom College in what was a rematch of their Champions Trophy semi final defeat a few weeks ago. It was actually a first time back on the field for both sides, adding yet more spice, and while Epsom had an eye on Wednesday’s Champions Trophy final, there can be no denying that both sides knew this had a bit of edge about it. Hurstpierpoint got the victory that they would have been wanting so badly and it was a spirited one in a game that was oh so tight, finishing up 10-7 but leaving a very satisfied group of Hurstpierpoint players.
Magdalen College are in absolutely stunning form at the moment and they carried that form through on Saturday for a truly brilliant 40-3 victory away at Pangbourne College. It means that in their last three games they have now scored an unbelievable 136 points, conceding just 20. With just one game left to come and on such red hot form, the opportunity of an unbeaten second half of term is very much alive.
Norwich completed an unbeaten regular season on Saturday, a truly outstanding achievement – particularly as last season they had a relatively even win/loss record. They have been outstanding all year and showed that class again on Saturday with a 43-15 victory over Framlingham College. Their only blip all season was a two point defeat to Rugby School in the Cup, and Rugby are on course to finish second in the Daily Mail Trophy. A wonderful year and weekend from Norwich.
Quietly, this has been a really impressive year from Radley. They have lost just 3 times and only once since half term. Perhaps there should have been more of an expectation of victory for them against Berkhamsted on Saturday then who themselves have been excellent, only a horrifically difficult set of three games in October against Felsted, Sedbergh, and Wellington College, really causing much blemish. Expectations or not, Radley performed and performed well once again to secure a 25-15 victory to stretch their unbeaten run of games out to four.