Beechen Cliff booked their place in the U15 Schools Vase final with a hard-fought win over London Oratory at Allianz Park.
The 24-12 victory sees them into the final at Twickenham Stadium on Wednesday 14th March, where they will face Kenilworth, who beat QEGS Penrith 32-17.
Beechen Cliff dominated the opening exchanges and two early tries from tighthead prop and man of the match Archie Matz game them a 12-0 lead after just 14 minutes.
It was the least they deserved, the men from Bath had been in dominant form, keeping London Oratory under real pressure. That pressure continued through the rest of the half as they pressed and pressed.
All credit to London Oratory though, their defence was stoic and they held out to prevent any further first half scores, sending the two sides in at the break with Beechen Cliff leading 12-0
A break from Ollie De Glanville, younger brother of England U18 full back Tom and son of former England captain Phil allowed Charlie Delargy over in the corner. Jac Therrien, the multi-skilled number 8, missed the converson but it had given Beechen Cliff a 17-0 lead that looked unassailable, particularly given their territorial dominance.
London Oratory refused to lie down though, and finally all of their defensive endeavour was rewarded in attack at Max Curran crossed from close range to spark some life into their challenge in an attacking sense.
Beechen Cliff hit right back on 40 minutes through hooker Rufus Coleman-Delaney, with Therrien landing a touchline conversion for a 24-5 lead, but London Oratory now felt they had a chance.
They played like it too, choosing to tap and go when awarded a penalty deep in Beechen Cliff territory despite still having 12 minutes to go. Fly half WHO tapped to his inside centre WHO on a barnstorming line through the heart of the defence and over the line.
WHO converted his own try to close the gap to 24-12, but from there Beechen Cliff seized control again to close out the game.
It was truly an outstanding performance from Beechen Cliff, particularly in the first half where they squeezed the life out of their opponents. A fitting tribute, too, to their old boy Sir Roger Bannister, who death, aged 88, was announced just moments before kick off.
He would doubtless be proud of those in Beechen Cliff colours today, who will stride out on Twickenham’s turf on the 14th March against Kenilworth.
Full Time: London Oratory 12-24 Beechen Cliff
15 Shaun McCready, 14 Jonathan Teixeira, 13 Oliver Reilly, 12 Gregory Lawlor, 11 Kiah Lares, 10 Darragh Walsh, 9 Max Curran, 1 Oscar Lake, 2 Michael Enright, 3 George Parker, 4 James Martin, 5 Teijiri Esiso, 6 Maximillian Bryg, 7 Rory Carlin, 8 Hugh Dias-Hudspeth.
Replacements: 16 Conor Martin, 17 Justin O’Connell-Whiteford, 18 Luca Slade, 19 Piotr Sokolinski, 20 Nicolas Balboa, 21 Jago Silva Camara.
15 Josh Carter, 14 Harvey James, 13 Will Morriss, 12 Dan Boyle, 11 Yuji Westmacott, 10 Ollie De Glanville, 9 Charlie Delargy, 1 Archie Maggs, 2 Rufus Coleman-Deveney, 3 Morgan Cope, 4 Tom Gould, 5 Fin Blair, 6 Josh Hays, 7 Jasper Spearman-Armistead, 8 Jac Therrien.
Replacements: 16 Jacob Hobson, 17 Kumbi Kasiya, 18 James Strangeways, 19 Will Ford, 20 Nathan Clark, 21 Charlie Shakespeare.