Boys final line-up confirmed
The line up for this year’s Boys Champion Schools Final day and Challenge Cup curtain raiser has been decided following two weeks of Semi Finals held at Oulton Raiders RLFC in Leeds.
The Year 7 final, to be played ahead of the Challenge Cup final at Wembley, will see perennial contenders Castleford Academy face Royal Grammer School of High Wycombe, who become the second London-based school in two years to reach the decider.
RGS High Wycombe have come through the national rounds in emphatic manner, and saw off Dowdales of Cumbria 52-16 in the semi-finals. Castleford have been equally impressive beating a De Le Salle of St Helens 22-0.
In Year 8, another London team in Royal Grammer School Colchester came mighty close to a debut finals appearance, but were narrowly beaten by St Cuthberts of St Helens.
The game came down to a drop-goal that was taken in the first half, St Cuthberts eventually winning 17-16.
The other semi-final saw another high quality match, with Honley of Kirklees triumphing in a see-saw contest, against St Mary’s High School of Hull, 36–24.
St Edmund Arrowsmith of Wigan were the first of the Year 9 finalists confirmed after they defeated a fast finishing Castleford Academy 48-38.
St Edmund raced to a 36-4 lead mid-way through the first half, but were chased hard by a never-say-die Castleford outfit who brought the game back to 42-38 with minutes remaining before the Wigan based school sealed victory with a try on the final whistle.
The team to face Arrowsmith’s will be St Peter and Paul’s of Widnes who pipped St Wilfrids of Wakefield, 22-20 in a dramatic extra-time finish.
The Yorkshire side were ahead for the majority of the match, before St Peter and Paul had a late rally to force added time.
As the pressure built, St Wilfrids conceded a penalty which was coolly taken to seal victory and an appearance in the final.
The year 10 final will be contested by Bruntcliffe of Leeds and Dowdales of Cumbria. Bruntcliffe needed a strong performance to defeat a talented Abraham Guest High School 40-16, and they duly delivered.
Abraham Guest, of Wigan were the better side in the opening exchanges, scoring first, but Bruntcliffe stormed back into the match, and there was no looking back once they took the lead.
Dowdales earned their place after a much closer match against Outwood Grange Academy of Wakefield.
In an end to end match, both sides were desperate for the win, but it was Dowdales who edged it in the end, 28–24.
Full list of finalists:
Year 7: Royal Grammer School High Wycombe v Castleford Academy
Year 8: ST Cuthberts High School v Honely High School
Year 9: St Edmund Arrowsmith v St’s Peter and Pauls High School
Year 10: Bruntcliffe High School v Dowdales School