ACE League: Round 2 Preview – Gordon’s make their debut

Hazelwood Exit

Round 2 of the ACE League kicks off on Wednesday, with two sides dipping their toes into the ACE water for the first time this season.

Indeed for Gordon’s it is a first ever ACE fixture, they joined the league in 2020 but the Harlequins affiliates never got to play a game as the season was cancelled due to Covid. Before Gordon’s, and indeed Bishop Wand, joined the league, City of Oxford College were the newest members, replacing Henley College as the Wasps affiliates. They are old hands now though, although this first game of the season is a new experience for them too, a first game in the Northern Conference having been moved from the South.

Northern Conference

It’s a home start for City of Oxford College as they welcome Brooksby Melton College. Brooksby Melton were in action at home to Bishop Burton last time out and just lost out in an absolute thriller. Undoubtedly they will be tough opponents, but City of Oxford have looked good in pre-season, beating Gordon’s a week prior to the season openers.

Bishop Burton College return home after that thrilling win at Brooksby Melton last week, their visitors are Myerscough College, who only narrowly fell short against Gosforth in the opening week, a game that they felt could quite easily have gone either way. How Wednesday’s game pans out should tell us a lot about where these two sides lie, two teams that have done a fantastic job through the last year or so in engaging with and celebrating their players.

The final game in the North is the only game across the whole ACE League between two sides that were victorious in Round 1 as Gosforth Academy host Stourport High. Gosforth won a tight one away at Myerscough, as mentioned above, while Stourport won a thriller at home to Oaklands College, who have a bye this week, 33-29. It ought to make for a tense game on Wednesday, both are used to an artificial surface and like to run, so it should be a fun game to watch, too.

Southern Conference

Arguably the headline fixture of the day is Gordon’s ACE League debut at home to Hartpury College. It is the toughest of assignments for a debutant side, facing the legendary side of the competition, the team that has won all but two ACE/AASE titles, and who began this season with a 54-12 defeat of Truro College. It is a tall order, but the Harlequins affiliates will be buzzing to have such a prestigious fixture at home first up and will be keen to make their mark. One not to be missed.

Exeter College impressed in week one, beating Beechen Cliff 24-7. Beechen Cliff (who have a bye this week) have proven remarkably consistent in recent times and reached the 2019 final, so that result suggests Exeter are a top side. They are on the road this week at SGS Filton College, who last week lost out in an incredibly competitive fixture at debutants Bishop Wand. They will be keen to bounce back and to bring the energy that Bishop Wand showed to the fore against Exeter.

Bishop Wand meanwhile look to back up that competition debut victory last week when they travel for their first ever away match in the competition. They head to Truro College who will be determined to bounce back after that tough experience at Hartpury College last time out. It will be tricky though, Bishop Wand looked a strong outfit against Filton, but an away trip to Truro is a tough assignment.

ACE Round 2 Fixtures:

North

Bishop Burton College v Myerscough College

City of Oxford College v Brooksby Melton College

Gosforth Academy v Stourport High

Oaklands College v Bye

South

Gordon’s v Hartpury College

SGS Filton College v Exeter College

Truro College v Bishop Wand

Beechen Cliff v Bye

ACE Round 1 Results:

North

Brooksby Melton College 29-33 Bishop Burton College

Myerscough College 19-22 Gosforth Academy

Stourport High 33-29 Oaklands College

City of Oxford College v Bye

South

Exeter College 24-7 Beechen Cliff

Hartpury College 54-12 Truro College

Bishop Wand 26-17 SGS Filton College

Gordon’s v Bye

Further ACE League Fixtures:

Round 3 (22nd Sept)

North

Myerscough College v City of Oxford College

Oaklands College v Gosforth Academy

Stourport High v Bishop Burton College

Brooksby Melton College v Bye

South

Beechen Cliff v SGS Filton College

Exeter College v Truro College

Bishop Wand v Gordon’s

Hartpury College v Bye

Round 4 (29th Sept)

North

Bishop Burton College v Oaklands College

Brooksby Melton College v Myerscough College

City of Oxford College v Stourport High

Gosforth Academy v Bye

South

Gordon’s v Exeter College

Hartpury College v Bishop Wand

Truro College v Beechen Cliff

SGS Filton College v Bye

Round 5 (6th Oct)

North

Gosforth Academy v Bishop Burton College

Oaklands College v City of Oxford College

Stourport High v Brooksby Melton College

Myerscough College v Bye

South

Beechen Cliff v Gordon’s

Exeter College v Hartpury College

SGS Filton College v Truro College

Bishop Wand v Bye

Round 6 (13th Oct)

North

Brooksby Melton College v Oaklands College

City of Oxford College v Gosforth Academy

Myerscough College v Stourport High

Bishop Burton College v Bye

South

Gordon’s v SGS Filton College

Hartpury College v Beechen Cliff

Bishop Wand v Exeter College

Truro College v Bye

Round 7 (20th Oct)

North

Bishop Burton College v City of Oxford College

Gosforth Academy v Brooksby Melton College

Oaklands College v Myerscough College

Stourport High v Bye

South

Beechen Cliff v Bishop Wand

SGS Filton College v Hartpury College

Truro College v Gordon’s

Exeter College v Bye

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