ACE League: Round 7 Review – Top 4 teams confirmed after brilliant final first phase round

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Coach Logic

After seven weeks of action the first phase of the 2021 ACE League is complete, and it culminated in a fantastic Round 7 as teams jostled for final placings and those crucial Top 4 spots.

The top four in each conference will be drawn into two mini-conferences after half term, first and third in the north grouped with second and fourth in the south, and vice versa, with the winner of those mini conferences heading to the ACE League final.

Going into this round six of the eight teams across both conferences had secured their top 4 spots, all four in the north were confirmed but the top three placings were still to be decided, while there were two spots up for grabs in the south, only Hartpury College knew their exact finishing position, they had done enough to guarantee top spot a week early.

Northern Conference

Bishop Burton College, Brooksby Melton College, Gosforth Academy, and City of Oxford College had all booked their top four spots a week early, Bishop Burton could only finish fourth but the other three could finish in any position in the top three, and all four sides were in action against another top four side.

City of Oxford College were first up, away at Bishop Burton College, and got the job done in absolutely stunning fashion, winning 40-0, their fifth win in a row and a victory that provisionally sent them to the top of the table. It meant that the lowest they could finish was second, with Gosforth Academy hosting Brooksby Melton College, Gosforth could not overtake City of Oxford’s points total, but Brooksby Melton could level it.

That meant a nervy wait for City of Oxford as they waited for those two to play their later kick off, the difference between first and second with another mini-conference to come might not seem like much, but finishing first or third would mean avoiding the might from the Southern Conference that is Hartpury College.

It turned out to be an absolutely epic game up in Newcastle as Gosforth and Brooksby Melton went absolutely flying into the game. Very little could separate the two, but reports are that Gosforth’s breakdown and support play just gave them the edge in a thrilling 36-27 victory. That meant that City of Oxford College, in only their second ACE season, finished top of the pile, with Gosforth in second, Brooksby Melton in third, and Bishop Burton in fourth.

At the bottom half of the table Oaklands College claimed fifth spot, just two points off the top four after a 10-7 victory over Myerscough College, leaving the Sale Sharks side without a victory and in seventh place. Stourport High finished sixth, they had a bye week.

Southern Conference

The Southern Conference already had a confirmed table topper, Hartpury College. Who had won five from five with bonus points in every game, the challenge for them was whether or not they could make it a perfect six away at SGS Filton College who were looking for a top 4 finish but needed things to go their way.

Filton’s good fortune though, was that the contenders around them, Beechen Cliff and Bishop Wand, were in action against one another. Truro College were guaranteed a top four finish, and in all likelihood second place, which they confirmed with a close 20-17 victory over Gordon’s, close games have been a bit of a theme for Truro College.

Hartpury, unsurprisingly given their strength, did the job at Filton College, ending this first stage with a maximum thirty points thanks to a 27-10 victory. That left Filton sweating on the outcome of the Bishop Wand game at Beechen Cliff. Victory for Bishop Wand would guarantee Filton would qualify, victory for Beechen Cliff at Filton were slipping down to fifth.

What few were expecting though was the 12-12 draw that happened, sealing Bishop Wand’s place in third, while leaving Filton and Beechen Cliff level on points and reaching for the rule book. Fortunately for Filton, and heart-breakingly for Beechen Cliff, Filton’s 29-28 victory at Beechen Cliff in Round 3 proved enough for the Bristol Bears affiliates to claim the final top four spot.

Coming Up

Once the sides return after half term, those mini conferences will begin. Little info has been released or revealed, however our understanding is that top and third in the north will face second and fourth in the south, with second and fourth in the north combining with first and third in the south. Meanwhile those that finished in the bottom three in each conference will also be in mini-conferences, but they will remain split north/south.

Which means that the groups after half term should look like this:

Group 1: City of Oxford College, Truro College, Brooksby Melton College, SGS Filton College

Group 2: Hartpury College, Gosforth Academy, Bishop Wand, Bishop Burton College

North: Oaklands College, Stourport High, Myerscough College

South: Beechen Cliff, Exeter College, Gordon’s

However it is worth noting that these groups are unconfirmed and based only on our understanding of how the next phase will proceed.

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ACE League Round 7 Results (20th Oct)

North

Bishop Burton College 0-40 City of Oxford College

Gosforth Academy 36-27 Brooksby Melton College

Oaklands College 10-7 Myerscough College

Stourport High v Bye

South

Beechen Cliff 12-12 Bishop Wand

SGS Filton College 10-27 Hartpury College

Truro College 20-17 Gordon’s

Exeter College v Bye

ACE League Standings:

North:

PosTeamPWDLBPsPoints
1City of Oxford6501727
2Gosforth Academy6501626
3Brooksby Melton6402723
4Bishop Burton6303214
5Oaklands College6204412
6Stourport High6204412
7Myerscough600633

South:

PosTeamPWDLBPsPoints
1Hartpury College6600630
2Truro College6501323
3Bishop Wand6312317
4SGS Filton College6204412
5Beechen Cliff6114612
6Exeter College6204311
7Gordon’s510415

Previous Results:

Round 6 Results:

North

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

South

Gordon’s 17-32 SGS Filton College

Hartpury College 34-33 Beechen Cliff

Bishop Wand 19-5 Exeter College

Truro College v Bye

Round 5 Results:

North

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

South

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:

North

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

South

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:

North

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

South

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:

North

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

South

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:

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

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