Dartford Grammar School surged into the U15 Schools Cup Final with a 38-14 victory over Cardinal Newman at Allianz Park.
Dartford Grammar will now meet Samuel Whitbread Academy at Twickenham on Thursday 21st March in the final after they had earlier beaten Arden Academy in the other semi final.
It was a sensational performance from Dartford Grammar, particularly in the opening twenty minutes of the game, which saw them score four unanswered tries. The sheer power and pace in their backline was a sight to behold, leaving Cardinal Newman with little that they could do.
Despite that though, Cardinal Newman kept at it and were rewarded with good tries in each half, number 8 Conor Manderson a particular warrior in the face of stern opposition.
Nevertheless it took just seven minutes for Dartford to begin the scoring, with right wing Femi Segun tearing down the right wing for a 5-0 lead. Eight minutes later his wing partner Fidunu Abidekun scored a sensational solo try.
Outnumbered on the left wing but with space to run into, he turned on the afterburners and absolutely raced around the outside of the Cardinal Newman defence, who simply could not lay a finger on him.
George Dunne converted for 12-0, and 12-0 was quickly 19-0 when outside centre Daniel Pedro came absolutely steaming through the heart of the opposition defence, showing immense power and pace to go searing underneath the posts, with Dunne again converting.
Three short minutes later Abidekun got his second, a lovely dancing effort that saw him skip through the defence to put his side 26-0 up with Dunne’s conversion after just twenty minutes.
At that point you feared for Cardinal Newman, but Manderson was a man on a mission, and with their first real territory of the game he dragged himself across the line to get his side on the scoreboard just a couple of minutes before the half. Hugh Gould’s conversion sending his side in 26-7 down at half time.
Cardinal Newman would have hoped that that was the start of a platform on which to build a platform, however after just two minutes of the second half this ruthless Dartford Grammar side were at it again, Pedro going in for his second of the game as they stretched out to 31-7 ahead.
It looked like they were set to run away but again Cardinal Newman stemmed the tide, Henry Kirwan scoring a superb solo try for 31-14 with Gould’s conversion. However Dartford Grammar just kept on coming back in waves, once again just proving too powerful as number 8 Levi Onipede went absolutely blasting over from the 22, Dunne making it 38-14 with fifteen minutes to go.
From there the game broke up somewhat, Cardinal Newman threatening on a few occasions and maintaining their spirit of adventure. However Dartford Grammar remained composed and saw out the game well.
Ultimately it was simply a superb performance from Dartford Grammar, typified by their stunning opening twenty minutes of the game, which sees them charge to Twickenham on Thursday 21st March to take on Samuel Whitbread in the U15 Schools Vase final.
Full Time: Cardinal Newman 14-38 Dartford Grammar
15 Rory Morgan, 14 Conal Rowbotham, 13 Henry Kirwan, 12 Isaac Sefton, 11 Kyle Romans, 10 Hugh Gould, 9 Cana Bamin, 1 Ben Henderson, 2 Caelen Feeney, 3 Joseph Elyas, 4 Ryder Rickhards, 5 Nathan Collings, 6 Fabian De’Felice, 7 Reiss Arghiros, 8 Conor Manderson.
Replacements: 16 Adam Thomas, 17 Louis Ashworth, 18 Herbie Gyere, 19 Alex Uridge, 20 Archie Andrews, 21 Benjamin Fairmann, 22 Finnian Macintyre.
15 Joel Sampson, 14 Femi Segun, 13 Daniel Pedro, 12 Louis Patel, 11 Fidunu Abidekun, 10 George Dunne, 9 Max Blythe, 1 William Bellow, 2 Adam Nicklin, 3 Mark Masara, 4 George Rye, 5 Finn Cruise-Smith, 6 Ryan Bass, 7 David Osonowo, 8 Levi Onipede.
Replacements: 16 David Oloke, 17 Anthony Oulai, 18 Matt Cleary, 19 Pablo Seema-Roca, 20 Joshua Adeymi, 21 Jalen Pople, 22 Jed Osuji.