ACE League: Stage 2 Round 2 Preview – Race for the finals intensifies

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Coach Logic

Round 2 of the second phase of the 2021 ACE League takes place on Wednesday as the teams from the two Division 1 pools take their penultimate chance to put themselves in contention for a spot in the ACE Final.

The winners of each Division 1 pool will play in the ACE League final, with second playing second in the third place play off, and so on. Meanwhile in the two Division 2 pools, which remain split North/South, it’s the 9thplace play-offs and below that they are playing for.

Division 1 Pool A

City of Oxford College and Truro College have the opportunity to make their game against each other next week a showdown for a place in the final if they can each secure victories on Wednesday, having both won in the opening week of this stage.

City of Oxford College beat Brooksby Melton College 45-18 and now travel to SGS Filton College on Wednesday, their first opponent from the south this ACE season. Filton lost in a close one to Truro last time out, but back on home turf they will want to show their quality against City of Oxford, but it’s a huge task. The Wasps affiliates have been astonishing of late and have not lost since the opening round back in September.

Truro College, fresh from that 24-15 victory over Filton, host Brooksby Melton College. It should be an interesting one. Though Brooksby lost fairly heavily last week, they are a formidable side and, though they are away again, they will see potential in the fact that Truro College have usually only won games by slender margins. For Truro though, that’s the key. Yes victories have been tight, but they have been frequent too – they know how to close out a tight contest and are proving such a tough side to beat.

Division 1 Pool B

As in Pool A, Hartpury College and Gosforth Academy have the opportunity to set up a shoot-out for a place in the final next week if they can both add to victories last week with victories this Wednesday.

Gosforth Academy were sensational last week in their 54-14 dismantling of Bishop Burton College, but Wednesday’s task looks to be their sternest test yet as they host Bishop Wand (although on neutral ground in Leicester), who last week put in a terrific performance to come with a score of beating Hartpury College. The London Irish side must be feeling full of confidence despite that late heartbreak, knowing they have come closer than any other side to toppling Hartpury, but they will have to be at a similar level again as Gosforth are in flying form.

Hartpury College, meanwhile, will also take heart. Up until last week all of their victories were bonus point victories, so to be tested in such a way and to still come up trumps will have been hugely satisfying. Now they travel to a Bishop Burton College side that will be reeling after such a tough outing last time and desperate to right a few wrongs. They could not face much of a stiffer challenge, in the form of Hartpury College, but they sense is that it will spur them on. Hartpury, meanwhile, will want to reassert that dominance from the opening stage.

Division 2 North Pool

It’s a bye week for Oaklands College as Stourport High School look to back up last week’s victory with their first home game of the second stage. They host Myerscough College, who are playing their first game of the second stage and will be looking to start with a bang after a tricky first stage of the competition.

Division 2 South Pool

After their sensational victory last week, Beechen Cliff have the bye week. The side that they so stunned, Exeter College, are back in action and at home as they look to bounce back. They host Gordon’s, who are playing in their first game of this second stage of the campaign.

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ACE League Stage 2 Fixtures/Results

Division 1 Pool A

Wednesday 10th November

City of Oxford College 45-18 Brooksby Melton College

Truro College 24-15 SGS Filton College

Wednesday 17th November

SGS Filton College v City of Oxford College

Truro College v Brooksby Melton College

Wednesday 24th November

Brooksby Melton College v SGS Filton College

City of Oxford College v Truro College

Division 1 Pool B

Wednesday 10th November

Gosforth Academy 54-14 Bishop Burton College

Hartpury College 14-8 Bishop Wand

Wednesday 17th November

Bishop Burton College v Hartpury College

Gosforth Academy v Bishop Wand

Wednesday 24th November

Hartpury College v Gosforth Academy

Bishop Wand v Bishop Burton College

Division 2 North Pool

Wednesday 10th November

Oaklands College 7-12 Stourport High School

Wednesday 17th November

Stourport High School v Myerscough College

Wednesday 24th November

Myerscough College v Oaklands College

Division 2 South Pool

Wednesday 10th November

Beechen Cliff 35-3 Exeter College

Wednesday 17th November

Exeter College v Gordon’s

Wednesday 24th November

Gordon’s v Beechen Cliff

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