Wednesday was the penultimate round of the first league stage of the 2021 ACE League and it delivered in a big way.
The top four sides from each conference head through to two mini-conferences of four after half term, which aren’t split north/south, and the winners of those will meet in the ACE League final.
By the close of play on Wednesday six of those eight sides were confirmed, with a seventh all but, and both tables were completely shaken up.
The top four in the Northern Conference were all confirmed on Wednesday, with all that remains in the final round being in what order they will finish. Brooksby Melton College, City of Oxford College, Gosforth Academy, and Bishop Burton College will all be in the mix to compete for the ACE title.
It was Brooksby Melton College who sealed the deal for Bishop Burton College who had a bye and were hanging on to the top four. Brooksby Melton hosted Oaklands College, the only side that could sneak into the top four, and defeated them 29-21. It sent Brooksby Melton to the top of the table, sealed a top four spot for them, and also confirmed a finishing place of 4th for Bishop Burton College.
The reason it sent Brooksby Melton top was because of a sensational result at City of Oxford College, where in an incredibly close and tense game they beat the previously unbeaten Gosforth Academy 24-21. It sealed a top 4 spot for City of Oxford, but also sent them up to second place, knocking Gosforth from top to third.
The third game in the Northern Conference saw the two sides that could not reach the top 4 go head to head, Myerscough College, who were looking for their first victory, and Stourport High, who were playing their last game of this first phase. It was a perfect finish for Stourport who won a high scoring game 39-29 to finish up just two points off the Top 4.
The big news in the Southern Conference was that Exeter College cannot now make the top 4. They started the day in fourth place, but things were close, and with a bye next week their game at Bishop Wand was their crucial final game of this first phase. It wasn’t to be for the former champions though as Bishop Wand sealed a strong 19-5 victory, a result that all but guarantees a top four finish for them as they face the only side that can break into the top four, Beechen Cliff, next week, while they also have the safety net that fourth placed Filton are facing Hartpury College and therefore are less likely to earn a positive result.
Exeter’s loss was SGS Filton College’s gain on Wednesday as they jumped into the top four thanks to a superb 32-17 victory at Gordon’s. If Bishop Wand can do the business against Beechen Cliff next week, Filton will have top four finish.
Despite just one victory to their name, Beechen Cliff remain on the cusp of the top four thanks to six bonus points in five games, and an incredibly two bonus points in a thrilling defeat to Hartpury College on Wednesday, whose top four status was already sealed prior to the game along with Truro College, who had a bye. Beechen Cliff gave Hartpury their toughest game to date, but the perennial champions still found a way to win and sealed a 34-33 that keeps them at the top of the table and with a perfect record.
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ACE Round 6 Fixtures (13th Oct)
Brooksby Melton College 29-21 Oaklands College
City of Oxford College 24-21 Gosforth Academy
Myerscough College 29-39 Stourport High
Bishop Burton College v Bye
Gordon’s 17-32 SGS Filton College
Hartpury College 34-33 Beechen Cliff
Bishop Wand 19-5 Exeter College
Truro College v Bye
ACE League Standings:
|2||City of Oxford||5||4||0||1||6||22|
|4||SGS Filton College||5||2||0||3||4||12|
Further ACE League Fixtures:
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
Round 5 Results:
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
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