By Angus Savage | XV Rugby
Weston College claim their maiden Girls title on Day Five
They beat reigning champions Exeter College 26-14 in the final to claim their maiden title at Rosslyn Park.
The Girls tournament had actually begun with a qualifying round of games, winners of those game going through to seven last 16 Cup groups of three, the losers going into mirroring plate groups.
Weston College had beaten Gower College 44-0 to head into Group F alongside former winners Dyffyn Aman, and Sir Benfro. Exeter College meanwhile beat Ysgol Bro Myrddin to set up a tricky group alongside Llandovery College and St John’s Leatherhead.
Both sides handled their groups well though, coming through unbeaten, setting up a quarter final against German side Sint-Jan for Weston College and against Graveney for Exeter.
Both performed excellently, Weston winning 17-15 in a real thriller while things were more comfortable for Exeter at 27-5.
Epsom College meanwhile had beaten Llandovery College 43-7 to send them to the semi finals, while St Helen’s had beaten a much fancied Clifton College side 17-5.
That yielded two close semi finals, but the reigning champions, Exeter, came through against St Helens, 19-12, while Weston won narrowly, 21-17, against Epsom.
It set up a cracking final, both had played some good rugby throughout the day but had also been challenged hard. The competitiveness of this girls tournament just seems to grow and grow as more and more sides enter.
There were some tired bodies out there in the final but on the grandest stage in school 7s they played out a fantastic game of rugby, Weston taking it 26-14 to claim a maiden title and defeating the defending champions in the process.
Over in the Plate Kings of Wessex took the title 17-12 over a Reigate Grammar School side that had proved throughout the day that it would take a brilliant side to beat them.
Kings of Wessex were that side though; they had only narrowly been defeated by Epsom College in the qualifying round, and then came through against Oundle and Peter Symonds’ in their last-16 pool.
Then came strong victories over Bishop Vesey’s and Clyst Vale in the quarter and semi finals before a cracking final against Reigate Grammar handed them the silverware.
Hartpury overcome Loughborough to regain Girls AASE Title
Meanwhile over in the Girls AASE competition, Hartpury College regained the title, beating the side that took it from them last year – Loughborough College – 31-5 in the final.
Hartpury College had won the first four editions of the Girls AASE tournament before Loughborough College claimed the title in a tight 14-7 victory over them last year, so there was an air of determination about this Hartpury College group right from the very start of the tournament.
There were some late tweaks to the format; all the teams now placed in one big pool for a round robin with the top two sides then meeting on the showcase pitch for the final.
Hartpury finished top of that pile, with Loughborough in second, but there was so much more to it than that. Loughborough had left Hartpury with the sinking feeling that history might repeat itself after defeating them 17-12 in the group. However, Loughborough also dropped a game, to a very good SGS Filton College side, 24-12.
Into the final, this Hartpury College side just left absolutely everything out on the pitch. It meant a lot, and it showed. In one of the great final performances, they charged to a 31-5 victory and a fifth title in this competition’s six-year existence.
Girls Cup Final:
Exeter College 14-26 Weston College
Girls Plate Final:
Reigate Grammar 12-17 Kings of Wessex
Video Coverage and Scores
All the action on the 2 showcase pitches was broadcast live throughout the week. You can view the full coverage on our YouTube channel.