The young St Paul’s Catholic College side won 20 points to 13 in the final game of the AASE League South Season to set up a semi-final showdown with Prince Henry’s Grammar School. Hartpury came away from yesterday’s fixture with a losing bonus point which was enough to ensure they topped the South AASE League.
St Paul’s Catholic College went to Gloucester in buoyant mood determined to finish the season on a high. That was extremely evident straight from the off as Giselle Mather’s side dominated the opening exchanges, something Hartpury hadn’t witnessed on their own patch for some time.
The forward pack, that have been training under the tutelage of Declan Danaher this season, gained parity upfront early on and provided a perfect platform for their exciting backline to play off.
However the first try came from a catch and drive that the hosts found too difficult to handle and hooker, Curtis Langdon, who started ahead of England U18 International Ollie Adams, came up with the try to jubilation from the travelling supporters.
The visitors continued to dominate and had their second try through exciting young centre John Williams, who has been working with Academy Backs Coach Pete Richards, showcased his power to dot down St Paul’s second try.
Connor Murphy converted the score and added a penalty goal before the break to ensure the Exiles had a healthy lead at half time. Hartpury kicked two penalty goals in a dour first half for them as the Exiles led 15-6 at the break.
After the break Irish were reduced to 13 men and during that period defended heroically for long periods to keep the hosts out. However after defending valiantly Irish succumbed and Hartpury scored a try to bring them back into the contest.
St Paul’s repelled the Hartpury onslaught and finally got some possession and territory which ultimately led to Captain, Elliot Cox scoring the winning try to secure a historic 20-13 victory.
Declan Danaher, London Irish Academy Forwards Coach said: “I was immensely proud of the effort of both backs and forwards. To come to Hartpury, where they haven’t lost in four years, is a massive achievement and all of the coaching staff are very proud of the squad. We have a week off now to get the boys ready for the semi-final which is a game we are all looking forward to.”
St Paul’s Catholic College
1 Jerome Trail 2 Curtis Langdon 3 Jake Waterman 4 Charlie Stonehill 5 Oliver Curry 6 Max Berry 7 Greg Brown 8 Ben O¹Shea (Vice-Captain) 9 Connor Murphy 10 Joseph Gwyther 11 Ed Simmons 12 John Williams 13 Elliott Cox – Captain 14 Reuben Norville 15 Cameron Cowell
Replacements: 16 Tyler White 17 George Frampton 18 Luke Frost 19 Ross Miller 20 Eddie Lewis 21 Cameron Smith 22 Elliot Moses