A glorious afternoon saw a nail biting finish in Hampton’s 1st XV Champions Trophy match against Dulwich, as Josh Bartholomew reports:

A last minute try from School Captain James Thompson saw Hampton’s 1st XV beat Dulwich College 25-21 in a thrilling Champions Trophy clash.

Two tries from Rugby Captain Louis Lynagh, as well as scores from Felix Boardman and James T meant that Hampton were victorious over their prestigious London rivals and now progress to the quarter-finals.

Though Hampton opened the scoring after a tense beginning as Louis L kicked a penalty to give his side the lead, it was Dulwich who were the first across the whitewash as their number eight scored underneath the posts. Nevertheless, Hampton fought back admirably, scoring a try of their own through right-winger Felix Boardman. After a lengthy spell of pressure inside the Dulwich half, Fifth Year Jesper Hartikainen surged through the opposition defence, before finding Felix B who gave Hampton the lead.

It was proving to be a particularly tumultuous encounter, and Dulwich’s reply was emphatic – they retook the lead only minutes later. But Hampton had a response of their own, and Jesper H assisted another try, this time kicking through delightfully for Louis L to score after vice-captain Nick Bitzakidis’ line break.

The half was nearing its conclusion, but Hampton’s work was far from done. After dropping the ball inside their own 22 attempting to run from deep, their tenacity and courage eventually paid dividends as England under 18 international Louis L scorched his way through for his second try, running 70-metres to score past the despairing Dulwich defence. Louis L’s brilliant score gave Hampton an 18-14 half-time lead, but the second stanza was a very tense affair.

Dulwich found their way to the try-line from a text-book rolling maul, and Hampton found themselves with a three-point deficit, and the clock was ticking down. After a pulsating passage of play in which the 1st XV continually threatened the Dulwich line ultimately to no avail, Hampton were running out of chances. It took an infringement at the breakdown from Dulwich to give Hampton one last opportunity, and a delightful kick to the corner from fly-half Fergus McWilliams ensured his forward pack could attempt to win the game.

They did just that. With Dulwich’s hefty forwards powering through the maul, James Thompson found a gap between tacklers and sprinted to the try-line, ensuring Hampton’s place in the quarter finals.

1st XV captain Louis Lynagh said:

I’m beyond proud of the boys and the way that we kept going right until the end to get a victory that will go down as a part of Hampton’s history. Next for us we’re going to focus on performing well at the St. Joseph’s College Festival next weekend, and continue to progress in all facets of the game.

hampton 1st XV vs DULWICH champions trophy photo gallery

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