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Home > News > Kings Macc edge out Cooper's fightback to reach U15 final
Your News Kings Macc edge out Cooper's fightback to reach U15 final

Coopers' Company & Coborn 5 The King's School in Macclesfield 7

Mark Harbord, co-coach of The King's School in Macclesfield, wore a smile which suggested his long wait for a final at Twickenham Stadium had been worth it, as his team edged out Coopers' Company & Coborn 7-5 in today's Daily Mail RBS Under 15 Vase semi-finals.

Harbord, who has been at King's Macc for 32 years, said: "We reached a semi-final about 20 years ago but this is the first time through to a final. The team rode its luck a little today but they tackled hard for each other and after winning only one of their first six matches this season they have been improving all the time."

This second semi-final of the U15 Vase was a tighter affair than The Leys' 29-8 victory over KCS Wimbledon in the first, and it began with a bout of punting from each side. Then came a steady 10 minutes or so of King's pressure, camped in the Coopers 22, before wing Keiron Wesley cut through a gap for a try in the 16th minute converted for King's by fly half Alex Thomson.

The sturdily built Thomson and his captain and outside centre Andrew Hodgson were prominent throughout for King's, who held out three separate assaults in the left corner by Coopers as the first half continued.

King's thought they had increased their lead 10 minutes into the second half when Hodgson took a nice line against the grain from Thomson's pass and crossed the goal line but he was called back for a forward pass.

Coopers' Company & Coborn's captain and No.8 Matthew Wellsman did his level best to carry the fight; so too wing Samuel Lane, who halted a run by opposite number Alex Billing at one end, then was subject to a fine try-saving tackle himself at the other, made by the King's full back Matthew Rogerson. "That may even have been a match-saving tackle," said Harbord.

It came a few minutes after Wellsman had scored Coopers' try midway through the second half. Fly half Barnabous Moul made three sidesteps as he danced through King's ranks, and after a tapped penalty the Coopers forwards were held up on the line. From the resulting scrum Wellsman picked up and drove to the open side to score.

Centre Joe Bilton's attempted conversion to tie the scores hit the right-hand post and - after Rogerson's stunning tackle - one too many handling errors by Coopers' combined with relieving kicks downfield by Thomson kept King's in front to the end.

"We started the season poorly and didn't have a good one last year but the boys have worked fantastically hard," said Harbord. "Our fly half pulls the strings and Hodgson the captain gives us a bit of cut at outside centre. It could have gone either way but we will look forward to our day out at Twickenham."

* The King's School in Macclesfield will face Cambridge opposition The Leys School in the Daily Mail RBS U15 Vase final at Twickenham Stadium on Wednesday April 1.


Coopers' Company & Coborn: try: Wellsman.

King's Macclesfield: try: Wesley; con: Thomson.

Coopers' Company & Coborn: T Clark; J Hoggett, J Insole, J Bilton, S Lane; B Moul, J Daly; A Lang, C Hill, L Taylor, M Starling, G Pope, F Marston, C Simpson, M Wellsman (capt). Replacements: A Crawley, T O'Hanlon, B Rains, D White, M Clemenson, A Dennis, J Stannard.

The King's School in Macclesfield: M Rogerson; A Billing, A Hodgson (capt), C Jones, K Wesley; A Thomson, T Foreman; Z Kahn, J Gwatkin, M Edgar, O Stockwin, T Stevenson, H Finlaison, K Sodha, C Leddy. Replacements: J Kenny, K Fitzgerald, A Quinlan, J Hill, T Hudon, D Gilmour, H Wood.

Referee: S Lee.

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