School Sport: Campion make Essex Cup history
12:30 21 March 2014
Hornchurch school to compete in all four finals
Campion School have made a little bit of rugby history by reaching all four Essex Cup finals this year.
The under-13, under-14 and under-15s all chase honours at May & Baker on Sunday, while the under-16s take on fierce rivals Coopers at Barking Rugby Club on April 2 (6.30pm).
And teacher Robert Mansell has hailed the efforts of the Hornchurch students, saying: “It’s the first time it has ever been done, by any school.
“We’re very proud and it’s a great achievement to reach all four finals. It shows the work the boys and the staff have been doing has paid off.”
The under-13s have conceded just one try under teacher Sam Pedder en route to their final meeting with William Edwards, beating Colchester RGS in the last eight and Westcliff in their semi-final.
Mansell added: “They’ve had a pretty successful season, but William Edwards are a good athletics school and will have some good runners.
“Sam has never lost an Essex Cup game so far and our boys will do what they do and we will see how we fare.”
The under-14s defeated Great Baddow in the quarter-finals and KEGS in the last four under Neil Jones and take on Colchester RGS in their decider.
Mansell said: “They’re a fast team and have been successful the entire year. We’ve got high hopes of them doing well.”
The under-15s face local rivals Coopers in their final, having lost to them in the Natwest Cup earlier in the season.
Campion beat Westcliff and Brentwood in the quarter and semi-finals under Aidan Lapena and Mansell added: “It will be tough but we will see how close we can get and how much progress the boys are making.”
Mansell himself is in charge of the under-16s, who beat Brentwood and Fitzwimarc in the late rounds to set up their final meeting with Coopers next month.
Campion last year’s final against Westcliff and Mansell said: “The year 12s have been telling the boys about playing at Barking under floodlights.
“Hopefully there will be a few spectators and a bit of atmosphere. The boys have been up and down this season, but have worked hard to get to where they are.
“They can be a bit hit and miss but hopefully they will be competitive in the final.”
As to Campion’s chances of landing a clean sweep in the county’s showpiece matches, Mansell remained on his guard.
“I would say a 50/50 split would be great. But getting to all the finals is a great achievement in itself,” he added.