Schools share festival cup
Published at 09:12, Monday, 10 September 2012
BRIGHT sunshine greeted 24 school teams from around the country on Sunday when they competed in the Tynedale Schools festival.
And just as in the first such festival in 1999, the winners were Merchiston Castle School from Edinburgh.
The Scots didn’t have it all their own way however, as they shared the trophy with Old Swinford Hospital from Stourbridge in the Black Country.
The 24 teams played in three categories, comprising an U18 Cup, U18 Trophy and U15 Cup.
All were fiercely contested, and offered some exceptional rugby throughout the day at the home of National Division One Club Tynedale in Corbridge.
In the U18 Cup, eight teams were split into two pools, with the group winners qualifying directly for the final.
It was Old Swinford Hospital and Merchiston Castle School who triumphed in their pools, with both teams playing a very high quality of open Rugby.
In the final Old Swinford trailed for much of the game against a very strong Merchiston Castle side.
A last minute try brought the scores level at 12-12, but the conversion failed leaving the final scores tied.
With the option of extra-time on offer, the captains shook hands on a draw, and agreed to share the trophy.
It was the fourth time Merchiston Castle had won the cup, making them level with Filton College as most prolific winners.
In the U18 Trophy, five teams played off in a round robin format.
The event was not decided until the final match when Ermysted’s Grammar School from Skipton in Yorkshire overcame Yarm School from Cleveland to take the trophy.
The U15 competition also provided some excellent rugby.
Strong performances from Ampleforth College and Durham School were not enough to stop Newcastle RGS playing Barnard Castle in the final match.
The RGS Newcastle team were too strong, and ran away with a 26-7 victory.
A special mention must go to Blundell’s School from Devon and Berkhamsted School from Heretfordshire who travelled furthest to the North-East to participate as part of their pre-season tours.
The event was once again managed by Sky High Sports,the Hexham-rugby based tour and events specialist.
Entries are now open for the 2013 event, which will take place on Sunday September 1. For information on how to enter, visit: www.tynedaleschoolsfestival.co.uk
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk