The excitement was palpable as Bedford School squared up to Epsom College in this year’s Nat West Champions Trophy semi-final: a repeat of last year’s final.  With thousands watching, either in person or via the RFU live stream, the teams were under pressure to perform.  They did not disappoint!

Epsom took the early lead, when just eleven minutes into the game they scored the first try.  However, Bedford rallied superbly to force themselves deep into Epsom territory.  Despite applying pressure, Bedford failed to breach the Epsom line and went into half-time trailing 5-0.

The second half of the match, however, was a very different story.  From kick-off Bedford dominated possession and territory.  Seven minutes in they set up a scrum in the right-hand side of the Epsom 22 which allowed Ben Kight to touch down the first Bedford try and level the match.  Ten minutes later Bedford School’s captain, Fraser Dingwall crossed the line for a deserved try to give his side a 10-5 lead; a lead that they would take to the end.

Epsom College returned wave after wave if attack but Bedford School held firm, shutting them down every time.  The reigning champion’s defence was impressive and they held out to win the match and keep their dream of back to back Champions Trophy titles alive.

Speaking after the match, Bedford School’s Director of Rugby, James Hinkins, said, I am immensely proud of the boys, how they raised their game in the second half and showed what they can do in attack. When under pressure in defence, they organised quickly, got good line speed and had the desire and commitment to make every tackle a positive one.  We are understandably excited to be in the final again.  It is another challenge and another fantastic experience for the boys.”

Bedford will face either Oakham or Tonbridge School in the final on 2nd December at Saracen’s home ground Allianz Park.


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