25th November 2021 — Monmouth School for Boys’ 1st XV produced an outstanding display before going down to a 26-18 home defeat against much-fancied Berkhamsted in the National Schools Cup.
It was a battling effort from the Monmouth boys, who pushed the visitors all the way in the regional final stage (last 16) tie.
Once again, Thomas Harper, a budding photographer in Year 13, captured the key moments of another exciting sporting occasion for the school.
Monmouth led twice early-on in the contest.
Henry Hurle’s penalty put Monmouth 3-0 up and then Otis Walker finished off a superb flowing move in the corner for the game's first try, giving the hosts an 8-3 advantage.
In fact, the Monmouth boys showed the character and fight that had taken them so far in the national competition.
Berkhamsted, one of the leading schoolboy under-18 rugby teams in the country, hit back to open up a 10-8 half-time advantage before putting Monmouth under pressure after the interval.
The visitors slotted three penalties to stretch their advantage to 19-8. Monmouth hit back with a try from winger Harvey Thomas to cut the deficit to just 19-13.
However, a slip in the line-out allowed Berkhamsted to cross for a converted try, which gave the visitors a 26-13 cushion with time running out.
To their credit, the resilient Monmouth boys refused to give up and had the final word when Shay Lewis crashed over from close-range for the last try of the afternoon.
“Our boys put in an outstanding effort to push one of the top two or three schoolboy sides in the country all the way,” said Mr Jon Despontin, Master in Charge of Rugby at Monmouth School for Boys.