University College School’s 1st XV retained the Middlesex Cup in emphatic fashion on a bracing afternoon at Allianz Park last week. The team arrived at the home of Saracens brimming with confidence following a thumping 42-0 win against St Benedict’s in the quarter-finals and an emphatic 50-0 win against Hampton School to book their place in the final. UCS secured the cup with a comprehensive 37-0 victory and will hope to make it a hat-trick of wins when the tournament starts again in 2018.
The opening try of the match was scored after 10 minutes. A line out, 20m out, was cleanly taken by a UCS lock and a rolling maul gave their skipper, Cameron Yousefian, his first score of the match. Powerful forward play throughout gave UCS the edge with Daniel Roche, Conal McCabe-Lynagh and Barnaby Hartwill excelling in the pack. Yousefian finished with three tries but the stand-out score was from pacey winger, Theo Fournier. With half-time approaching, fullback, Leon Morris, sent a grubber kick through the Harrow back line and Fournier outpaced the defence to touch the ball down. In the second half, UCS soaked up Harrow pressure but Adedayo Osinuga scored two superb breakaway tries to give UCS a deserved win and their second successive title. Yousefian, who was part of last year’s triumphant side, was delighted with the side’s determination and cohesion, “We were all united. We have trained hard and we were all on the same wavelength throughout.”
Ian Thomas, who has coached the team to these consecutive triumphs was delighted by the performance, “The boys haven't lost for weeks so this game couldn't have come at a better time. Our side showed huge belief and determination and this spirit, combined with our students’ natural ability, makes the squad a joy to coach. We trusted our game plan and we are looking forward to the challenge of trying to secure a hat-trick next year.”
The team followed their cup success with a 33-7 win at Haberdashers’ Aske’s on Saturday and look forward to their final match of the season against Mill Hill on Friday night.