Tuesday’s U15 Schools Plate Final between Hymers College and Trinity at Sixways Stadium, 12.30pm, looks set to be a cracker.
Both sides have been magnificent and both came through agonizingly tight semi finals to get to this point.
Hymers College only just ended up in the Plate anyway, a good Pocklington side beat them just 29-24. In fact Hymers have only lost four times all season and never by more than a converted try.
Since entering the Plate they have been sensational, beating some hugely respected sides in the form of Queen Ethelburga’s, RGS Newcastle, Woodhouse Grove, and Princethorpe College.
Then came a spectacular semi final against Bedford a couple of weeks ago, where both sides threw absolutely everything at the game. Hymers had to dig oh so deep to get through it, but get through it they did, 22-19.
This is their first national knockout final, their previous best run came in 2002 when they reached the U18 Cup quarters, losing by a point to the eventual champions, Oakham.
Their opponents, Trinity, have had some good runs at U15 level before, an U15 Cup quarter in 2014, and a semi final of the same competition two years before.
This would be their first silverware in these competitions too and, like Hymers, they have worked their socks off for it. After comfortably beating Ravens Wood, Wimbledon College, and Bishop’s Stortford High School, a conversion was all that separated them from St Paul’s in the quarter finals.
Somehow in the semi finals things were even tighter as the edged out King’s College Taunton by a solitary point, 15-14.
What those results and Hymers’ semi final result tell us is that if this game comes down to the wire at Sixways, and there is no reason why it should not, then we are in for something special because both of these teams have been showing through this competition for willing they are to dig ever deeper.
It should make for a spectacular game on what will already be a seriously special occasion for both, one that both sets of players will hold dear for years to come. Keep an eye out for them both in the U18 competitions in a couple of years too, a strong showing at U15 level almost always leads to good things at that level.
Hymers College v Trinity: U15 Schools Plate Final – Tuesday, 12.30pm, Sixways Stadium
Routes to the Final:
Hymers College (North B)
Semi Final: 22-19 v Bedford
Quarter Final: 31-10 v Princethorpe College
Last 16 22-7 v Woodhouse Grove
Round 3: 17-10 at RGS Newcastle
Round 2: 46-5 v Queen Ethelburga’s
Round 1: Bye
Cup Round 1: Lost 29-24 v Pocklington
Trinity (London & South East B)
Semi Final: 15-14 v King’s College, Taunton
Quarter Final: 7-5 v St Paul’s
Last 16: 31-19 at Bishop’s Stortford High School
Round 3: 40-14 at Wimbledon College
Round 2: 41-5 at Ravens Wood
Round 1: Bye
Cup Round 1: Lost 32-17 v John Fisher