Colston's run away with festival win

COLSTON'S Collegiate School in Bristol ran away with the honours at the 15th St Joseph's College rugby festival at the weekend, scooping the De La Salle Cup in Sunday's final.

COLSTON'S Collegiate School in Bristol ran away with the honours at the 15th St Joseph's College rugby festival at the weekend, scooping the De La Salle Cup in Sunday's final.

The west country team were just too strong for cup holders Blackrock College, from Dublin, in the final played yesterday afternoon in driving rain.

Colston's went on to win with one try and two penalites.

Their squad also supplied the player of the tournament with Mitchell Burton, who was presented with a shirt from Frank Stone, head of communications at BTexact Technologies.

In the increasingly appalling weather, the cup final was the last of 50 matches held over the two days, which had served up some exciting talent from across the UK and Ireland.

Ivybridge of Devon, making their first appearance at the BTexact Technologies sponsored festival, proved worthy of their first visit to the tournament with two comprehensive wins on Saturday against last year's plate winners, QEGS Wakefield, and hosts St Joseph's College.

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This initial form gained them a place in the cup competition for Sunday.

Other contenders for the De La Salle Cup competition at that point were eventual winners Colston's and Sedbergh, who confirmed their form from Saturday with comfortable wins over Campion and Bradford Grammar.

These high standards of play continued by both teams in the subsequent round of games.

Colston's maintained a steely defence in preventing Bradford from scoring, moving to a comfortable 15–0 victory.

Sedbergh had slightly more difficulty, but overcame Campion School by a score of 10–3.

This left the group poised with Colston's playing Sedbergh in the final game with the winner progressing to the final.

In the other cup group, RGS High Wycombe continued their unbeaten run with an extremely close win over Ivybridge.

The result turned on one penalty giving a score of 3-0.

Blackrock also started the day strongly with an impressive victory over Millfield by 16-3.

In the second round of games Blackrock gave an impressive display in disposing of Ivybridge College by a score of 26-0, while RGS High Wycombe had to hold on desperately to withstand a late rally from Millfield School to prevail by 7-6.

This meant that that group was also delicately poised with the winner of the Blackrock v High Wycombe game to progress to the final.

Yesterday's first match of the day saw last year's winners, QEGS Wakefield, start strongly by beating Abingdon School, while Brighton and St Edward's had their work cut out in qualifying following a 5-5 draw.

QEGS subsequently put themselves in a strong position to win this group as they beat St Edward's School 5-0.

Their final game against Brighton, which ended 0–10 would decide the final qualifier from this plate group.

Hosts St Joseph's were in a similar position having drawn 3-3 with Monmouth and were chasing St Peter's of Gloucestershire who started yesterday with a 9-0 victory over Pangbourne.

St Jo's had narrowly missed qualification for the cup on the Saturday and had a first match draw against QEGS the next day followed by a second round defeat of 20-7 against Ivybridge and a final match result of 36–6 against Colston's.

As the afternoon weather continued to draw in on the damp but enthusiastic crowd Brighton College went on to gain a strongly needed result against QEGS thus qualifying for the plate final with a 10–0 win.

Other final round matches in the plate competition saw St Peter's go on to their third and final win of the day with a 10–5 win over Monmouth.

With these three results in the bag St Peter's went through with Brighton to the plate final.

St Peter's had a strong game, building up a comfortable 11–0 lead at half time.

Brighton fought back in the second half but were unable to score until the final minute by which time it was too late to prevent St Peter's from taking the plate.

Group A finished with Colston's winning all three second day matches against Campion (10-0), Bradford (15-0) and Sedbergh (19-7).

Colston's, who previously won the De La Salle cup in 1994, 1996 and 1998, have also won the Daily Mail Cup six times.