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Home > News > The Leys ease through to U15 Daily Mail Final
Your News The Leys ease through to U15 Daily Mail Final

The Leys School 29 King's College School, Wimbledon 8

Sterling work in defence and an ability to take their chances sent The Leys from Cambridge through to Daily Mail RBS U15 Vase final at Twickenham Stadium in their first season in the Schools Cup competitions.

The Leys found themselves in the Vase after they were defeated in the third round of the U15 Cup by Oundle - and they earned their place at the showpiece finals day on April 1 with four tries and superb containing tactics when today's semi-final opponents KCS Wimbledon had plenty of possession.

Fly half Will Hooley ran his back line well for The Leys, either beating his man first-up, or kicking intelligently to the corners. KCS by contrast handled along the line more, with full back Callum McQuator prominent, but they were unable to make many telling breaks and were kept in check by determined Leys tackling.

The Leys led 10-0 with a penalty goal by Hooley followed by a neatly-worked try when Hooley made a dummy scissors and sent centre Will McGahey through to the posts. Hooley converted.

KCS No.8 Adam Telling kicked a penalty to make it 10-3 but The Leys had their second try just before half-time when a 20 metre catch-and-drive ended with No.8 Oliver Houghton scoring.

A fine run by KCS wing Eduardo Olavarria to beat three or four tackles gave his side hope early in the second half but, again, The Leys scrambled effectively. KCS stole a couple of line-outs but they conceded too many turnovers, as coach Marcus Blackburn acknowledged afterwards. "The Daily Mail RBS Cups are all about the team which plays to its best and we were so far from our best today," said Blackburn, in charge of his last cup match before taking up a job in Sydney, Australia.

The Leys added to their lead when McGahey made a strong break from his 22, down the right wing, and booted ahead. As KCS backtracked, Leys' Seb Howarth - on as a replacement for wing Will Jones - hacked on and scored at the posts, for Hooley, who like McGahey is attached to the Northampton Saints Academy, to convert.

Centre Sam Hunt broke through to pave the way for a KCS try by hooker Jamie Deans with four minutes of normal time remaining, but The Leys sealed their win when good handling by the backs took them into the KCS 22 and, following a line-out, the tight-head prop Fraser Heathcote - who had carried the ball impressively throughout - reached over the line. Hooley's third conversion made the final scoreline 29-8.

"We entered the competition for the first time because we had an unusually strong year group who had done very well as under 14s," said The Leys' coach Alex Welby, who guided Wellington College to a Daily Mail Cup final in 1994. "Will Hooley played well at fly half, we always give him a menu of options to choose from but he has the responsibility to pick the right one.

"We were happy with our defence too. The defensive drills drift down from the professional ranks and Liam Copley, our director of sport who recently came back to us from Welbeck College, has brought a lot of expertise in that area."

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


The Leys: tries: McGahey, Houghton, Howarth, Heathcote; cons: Hooley 3; pen: Hooley.

KCS Wimbledon: try: Deans; pen: Telling.

The Leys: S Herbert; W Jones, W McGahey, B Elliott, E Cannon; W Hooley, A Taylor; O Jones, T Bailey, F Heathcote, A Wheatley, B Jeffcoat-Dick, J Parker, O Webber (capt), O Houghton. Replacements: C Cottrell-Mason, D Turner-Harriss, J Travers, D Martinez-Gatell, S Howarth, W Elliott, P Carson.

King's College School, Wimbledon: C McQuator; E Olavarria, J Deru, S Hunt, D Gunewardena; J Whittaker, A Paul (capt); N Sri-Pathmanathan, J Deans, L van Pletsen, R Houghton-Berry, W Holmes, J Fitzwilliam, O Roberts, A Telling. Replacements: A Sheikh, M Tracey, T Carlstrand, R Calder, J Smith, L Power, H Shinmar.

Referee: J Meredith.

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