- Reigate Grammar beat Solihull 20-16
- They become the inaugural NatWest Schools Cup U18 Plate winners
Reigate Grammar School were the fourth and last champions at Worcester’s Sixways Stadium in the U18 Plate and they had to survive a few anxious moments in the closing stages before accepting a first title.
Solihull had hopes of success when prop Henry Nicholls forced his way over for a try five minutes from time. Captain Tom Serle converted to cut Reigate’s lead to 20-16.
However, Reigate held out after seeing captain Lucas Overtoom miss a penalty goal attempt which would have put them seven points clear.
Reigate had led 13-6 at the interval and held off some determined play by Solihull after the break before scrum-half Alex Skinner scooted clear.
The attack was initiated by a charge from prop Lorenzo Sinclair who had just returned from a spell in the sin bin.
Reigate had also needed a try in the final minute of the first half to reward all the possession they gained in the opening 40 minutes.
A try by wing Joe Gregory and a touchline conversion from Overtoom helped gain Reigate that 13-6 advantage at the interval.
Overtoom’s assured place kicking had also brought two penalty goals to cancel out a couple from Solihull’s Serle.
Reigate had taken early command helped by the line-out prowess of locks Joe Gregson and Billy Elliston.
Gregson also had part in the try which was initially made by Reigate winning a Solihull line-out in their own half and a break by centre Max Coyle.
In the second half, Serle landed a third penalty to narrow the deficit to 13-9 following Sinclair’s yellow card.
Reigate only conceded a penalty in his absence and then found their attacking zeal to engineer the score from Skinner.
He raced clear to score under the posts for a try converted by Overtoom. That put Reigate 20-9 up but they had to work for the title when Nicholls charged over for Solihull’s try.
Reigate GS: Joe Willis; Gus McGilligan, Max Coyle, Tom Allen, Joe Gregory; Lucas Overtoom (capt), Alex Skinner; Charlie Bennett, Ciaran Nestor, Paul Marshall, Billy Elliston, Joe Gregson, Marcus Sotiriou, James Ingram, Oli Brooks.
Substitutes: Alex Edwards, Cameron Martin, Tom Box, Prasoth Kirubakaran, James Bennett, Sean Walters, George Blackburn.
Tries: Gregory, Skinner. Conversion: Overtoom (2). Penalty goals: Overtoom (2).
Solihull: Ben Watson; Arthur Townsend, Alex Bartley, Sam Kandola, Tom O’Hanlon; Tom Serle (capt), Harry Mitcham; Lorenzo Sinclair, Josh Gee, Henry Nicholls, Alistair Bevan, Charles Davies, Harry Manek-Robinson, Alex Holland, William Knight.
Substitutes: Matthew Bond, Yahia Affifi, Cole Elleman, William Jervis, Matthew Farrow, Bartholomew Payne, Alex Sasse.
Try: Nicholls. Conversion: Serle. Penalty goals: Serle (3).
Referee: Harry Walbaum.