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Beechen Cliff build on excellent start to ACE League season

29 September 2022

Beechen Cliff built on their excellent start to the ACE League season with a third successive bonus-point win, this time on the road at Gordon’s School in Woking, Surrey. 

The Bath Rugby partnership school defeated Gordon’s 45-22 in front of a large crowd. The RFU ACE League pits the partner state schools or colleges of all the Premiership clubs against each other in a National League of exceptional quality - Gordon’s School is affiliated to Harlequins. 

Despite the scoreline, it was an error-strewn performance from the Bath school. A mistake straight from the kick-off allowed Gordon’s to open the scoring with a well-taken penalty. Beechen Cliff replied with a score from back row Luke Boyt, collecting an offload from a rampaging Billy Sela and touching down under the posts.  Fly-half Raf Weston kicked the conversion - the first of six successful conversions and a penalty, in what was to be a faultless display from the tee.

Three nasty injuries, in quick succession, disrupted the flow of Beechen’s game plan but those joining from the bench quickly adapted to their early entry. The rest of the half swung from passages of high-quality play resulting in good tries, to series of forced and unforced errors which allowed Gordon’s to stay in the game. A close-range try from prop Harry Culverhouse and a score in the corner from flying wing Will Dudman meant that Beechen went into the break with a narrow lead. 

Beechen started the second half with 14 men due to a yellow card. Gordon's took advantage of the extra man to score an excellent try though their right wing, before Beechen replied with a well-drilled try from a driving line-out scored by replacement hooker Ben Stoaling.

As the second half progressed, Beechen Cliff asserted their superiority and scored two further open field tries, from full-back Matt Simpson and wing Henry Bartlett, to make the scoreline look comfortable. In truth it was far from that as Gordon’s were a dogged and highly committed team.

Next week the team face reigning ACE champions Hartpury at their Alexandra Park home, kick-off 14:30.

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