It was a crucial day in the ACE League on Wednesday, with three sides guaranteeing Top 4 finishes in this first phase of the league, while all but two sides out of fourteen still have a chance of reaching the Top 4 in either conference in these next two rounds.
Once each side has played six games, the second phase of the league begins, where the top four from each conference are merged and then put into two mini conferences of four, with no regional divide. The winners of those conferences will meet in the ACE final in December.
Those finishing in the bottom three will also go into mini-conferences, however those will remain split North/South.
Gosforth Academy sealed a top four finish on Wednesday with a quite brilliant 34-14 victory over Bishop Burton, one of the early pace-setters in the conference. Gosforth have now secured four bonus point victories from four games and are 12 points clear of Oaklands College in fifth, meaning they cannot finish outside of the top 4 since there are just ten points left for grabs. Bishop Burton College are in a slightly more precarious position as they have played five games already and are four points clear of fifth – their game against City of Oxford College in two weeks will be key.
City of Oxford College have all but secured their top four finish after a 20-14 victory away at Oaklands College on Wednesday, the victory leaving them in third place, level with second, and nine points clear of Oaklands with ten to play for. With their remaining games being against Gosforth and Bishop Burton, it is going to be a tricky home stretch, but their destiny is in their own hands.
As is Brooksby Melton College’s, they had an absolutely storming 50-22 victory away at Stourport High on Wednesday, a victory that sees them in second place, nine points clear of fifth. Given that they play Oaklands College in the next round, who are in fifth, their destiny is well and truly in their own hands and then could do themselves, City of Oxford, and Bishop Burton a huge favour next week. For Stourport, who have now played five games, the top 4 is now out of reach, as it is for Myerscough College, who had a bye week.
Hartpury College secured a top 4 finish with a magnificent performance away at Exeter College for a 55-19 victory. It leaves them unbeaten with four bonus point wins from their four games and with nobody in the current top 4 left to play. The defeat leaves Exeter College clinging onto fourth, they have just one game left and the teams in fifth, sixth, and seventh could all catch them yet, however all have tough games ahead, too.
Truro College have also played five games but on Wednesday they secured their top 4 status with yet another thrilling victory, this time winning 33-31 away at SGS Filton College. Truro have now won four in a row and have been involved in some sensationally close games in recent weeks. They have come out on the right side though, and with it secured a top 4 finish. Filton could yet too, they are in sixth but in distance with third placed Bishop Wand, who had a bye this week, and fourth placed Exeter College.
Beechen Cliff also moved into striking distance on Wednesday with their first victory of the campaign, beating Gordon’s 33-12 at home. It moved them into fifth place, and just three points shy of fourth with a game in hand. Gordon’s themselves are only six points shy of fourth despite sitting at the foot of the table presently. It’s all to play for in the Southern Conference.
Next week sees Brooksby Melton host Oaklands College, a game that could define the fate of almost all hoping for a top 4 finishing in the conference. City of Oxford meanwhile host Gosforth in a key game. In the south it’s third v fourth as Bishop Wand host Exeter College, the loser will be under real pressure from the winner of Gordon’s v Filton.
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ACE League Round 5 Results (6th Oct):
Gosforth Academy 34-14 Bishop Burton College
Oaklands College 14-20 City of Oxford College
Stourport High 22-50 Brooksby Melton College
Myerscough College v Bye
Beechen Cliff 33-12 Gordon’s
Exeter College 19-55 Hartpury College
SGS Filton College 31-33 Truro College
Bishop Wand v Bye
ACE League Standings:
|3||City of Oxford||4||3||0||1||5||17|
|6||SGS Filton College||4||1||0||3||3||7|
Round 4 Results:
Bishop Burton College 10-26 Oaklands College
Brooksby Melton College 59-0 Myerscough College
City of Oxford College 36-26 Stourport High
Gosforth Academy v Bye
Gordon’s 20-10 Exeter College
Hartpury College 31-15 Bishop Wand
Truro College 46-28 Beechen Cliff
SGS Filton College v Bye
Round 3 Results:
Myerscough College 7-38 City of Oxford College
Oaklands College 17-31 Gosforth Academy
Stourport High 10-17 Bishop Burton College
Brooksby Melton College v Bye
Beechen Cliff 28-29 SGS Filton College
Exeter College 31-35 Truro College
Bishop Wand 33-5 Gordon’s
Hartpury College v Bye
Round 2 Results:
Bishop Burton College 31-17 Myerscough College
City of Oxford College 26-29 Brooksby Melton College
Gosforth Academy 22-8 Stourport High
Oaklands College v Bye
Gordon’s 0-38 Hartpury College
SGS Filton College 15-24 Exeter College
Truro College 22-21 Bishop Wand
Beechen Cliff v Bye
Round 1 Results:
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
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 6 (13th Oct)
Brooksby Melton College v Oaklands College
City of Oxford College v Gosforth Academy
Myerscough College v Stourport High
Bishop Burton College v Bye
Gordon’s v SGS Filton College
Hartpury College v Beechen Cliff
Bishop Wand v Exeter College
Truro College v Bye
Round 7 (20th Oct)
Bishop Burton College v City of Oxford College
Gosforth Academy v Brooksby Melton College
Oaklands College v Myerscough College
Stourport High v Bye
Beechen Cliff v Bishop Wand
SGS Filton College v Hartpury College
Truro College v Gordon’s
Exeter College v Bye