Bloxham School’s rugby team in semi-finals of NatWest vase

Bloxham School won their quarter-final match against Altrincham Grammar School for Boys in the NatWest Vase on February 10, winning 16-13. Picture by Simon Grieve. NNL-160224-093622001
Bloxham School won their quarter-final match against Altrincham Grammar School for Boys in the NatWest Vase on February 10, winning 16-13. Picture by Simon Grieve. NNL-160224-093622001

Bloxham School will head to the home of Saracens Rugby Club on Saturday as they advanced to the semi-finals of the NatWest Vase competition.

The Bloxham side emerged victorious in their quarter final clash against Altrincham Grammar School for Boys on February 10 in a tense encounter, winning 16-13.

The home understandably looked nervous and struggled to make their territorial advantage count for much of the game.

The visitors took the lead early on through a penalty before Jake Manning drew the hosts level after sustained pressure in the Altrincham half.

A second penalty gave Bloxham a three point lead at half time but there was some concern that they had not capitalised on their try-scoring opportunities.

Early in the second half, a superb try following deft inter-passing seemed to herald Bloxham gaining the upper hand, only for Altrincham to get back to a three point margin with a try in the corner following sloppy Bloxham defence. Once again Bloxham, thriving whenever they moved the ball wide, scored through George Grieve to stretch the lead, only for the visitors to hit back with another try after some powerful forward drives.

With Bloxham only three points ahead and the away team going through if the game was drawn and the number of tries level, the last ten minutes were extremely tense.

But Bloxham managed to hold their nerve and close out the game.

They are now one match away from a final at Twickenham, with Northampton School for Boys standing in their way.