National Schools CupMonmouth School for Boys 14 Bromsgrove School 8

Monmouth School for Boys kept their dream alive in the National Schools Cup with a hard-fought third-round home triumph against Bromsgrove.Cheered on by a large crowd, the 1st XV showed battling qualities against the visitors and will now host either Seaford or Berkhamsted in the regional final stage (last 16) of the competition.The hosts were keen to bounce back from a first defeat of the season at Marlborough College the previous week, and started on the front foot in the midweek cup clash.They gained excellent early field position, without being able to cut through the Bromsgrove defence, but retained the ball well for long spells.And eventually Monmouth broke the deadlock when a powerful carry from Aidan Boshoff allowed captain Theo Mayell to crash over from close-range. Henry Hurle slotted the conversion to give Monmouth a 7-0 half-time advantage.Bromsgrove, to their credit, pressed hard after the break, grew in confidence and gradually gained the momentum.And Monmouth’s resistance was finally broken when Bromsgrove went over for an unconverted try and, soon afterwards added a penalty to edge 8-7 ahead.The hosts needed a swift response and their impressive forward play again proved crucial from a line-out 20 metres from the Bromsgrove line.Monmouth set up a powerful diving maul and Freddy Harding rumbled over for their second try, which Hurle converted, to give the home side a 14-8 lead."The final 15 minutes was heart-in-mouth stuff, and we didn’t make it easy for ourselves," admitted captain, Mayell."But our defence was valiant and we eventually won a turnover, which was kicked out of play, to seal a very hard-fought victory." Bablake and King Henry VIII School (Coventry) 5 Monmouth School for Boys 15 The 1st XV made it back-to-back wins with a 15-5 away success on Saturday in their first-ever meeting with Coventry-based Bablake and King Henry VIII School.After a slow start, Monmouth eased into the game and grabbed their first try before the break when Mayell crossed after good phase play inside the opposition 22.Two further tries - one from a driving maul scored by Harding and another finished off well in the corner by Ben Davies - propelled Monmouth to a healthy 15-0 lead early in the second half.However, Bablake had the final word of an entertaining maiden fixture between the schools, breaking through for a late consolation try.Other results were - Bablake and King Henry VIII 2nds 5 Monmouth School for Boys 2nds 41; Monmouth SB U16A 31 Hereford Bluecoats U16 7.