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Warriors AASE crowned champions

Warriors AASE were crowned champions of AASE Division Two in dramatic circumstances after a 26-26 draw against Wasps Henley College.

The Worcester Sixth Form side were awarded victory due to the fact they scored first as the two sides were level on tries, penalties and conversions.

Max Craven scored an excellent solo try early on and Dan Batty added a second to get Worcester off to a flying start.

Wasps pulled one back almost immediately when a driving maul crossed over but Warriors extended the lead just before half-time when Max Hill crossed over on a drive of their own.

Wasps scored two tries early in the second period as the tables looked to have turned but Warriors fought back and George Newman gave Warriors the lead once more.

Wasps scored again with just minutes left to play but couldn't convert and both teams tried and failed with drop-goal attempts to win the game in the dying seconds.

The AASE team started brightly, with full-back Craven showing his speed to break through the defence and score a superb solo try.  Fly-half Sam Hollingsworth was unable to add the extras.

A second try came minutes later when Barron Abrahams burst past four defenders before setting-up Batty to power through under the posts. This time Hollingsworth made no mistake with the conversion.

Wasps fought back when a driving maul forced its way over the line after a strong break from their loosehead prop.

Wasps continued to put pressure on in Warriors territory but some good defence from the young guns left them without any points to show for their possession.

Warriors cleared to touch and an excellent driving lineout move culminated in their third score of the afternoon much to the joy of the travelling supporters and parents watching on. Hollingsworth added the two points from out wide.

Both teams started the second-half tentatively but it was Wasps who were first to find their stride.

A looping kick bounced kindly to their winger, who was able to find the offload to a teammate who couldn't miss.

Wasps crossed again soon after when their number eight pushed through on the blindside in the corner.

But Warriors showed great determination and fought their way back in front.

Craven made another jinxing run to help win a Warriors lineout, which led to a diving score from hooker Newman on the artificial turf. Hollinsgworth converted in the wind.

As the game reached its climax Wasps brought the scores level after camping out on the Warriors five-metre line as they again used their strength to power through the Warriors defence.

But as the pressure mounted, the Wasps fly-half was unable to score from the conversion and the score remained level.

Warriors stole a lineout from the restart and went for the drop-goal but a quick defence charged it down and it looked as if Wasps had crossed for a game-winning score but the referee brought back the play for a scrum after an infringement.

The full-time whistle was called on a pulsating game and after a few nervous moments there were cheers form the Warriors group as the referee awarded them the win.

AASE Coach Ryan Watkins said: "I thought it was going to extra time but in the end we were awarded the win and we're really pleased with that performance.

"I thought we played the better rugby and showed some great skill and execution in attack.

"At the end I let the boys on the pitch decide what decisions to make as it will benefit them to learn how to manage a game make the right choices."

The victory is the Warriors AASE programme's first major achievement and caps a fine league campaign.  They return to development fixtures after Christmas.

Warriors AASE

15 Max Craven
14 Barron Abrahams
13 Stan Mayne
12 Dan Batty
11 Sam Faulkner
10 Sam Hollingsworth
9 Jamie Keen

1 George Radburn
2 George Newman
3 Kai Owen
4 Ben Davis-Moore
5 Kai Hylton
6 Max Hill
7 Cameron Tawfik
8 Ted Hill

Replacements:
Joe Yarnold, Tim Daly, Jack Richardson, Toran Spelman, Joe Weaver, Isaac Blake-Mills, Harvey Kelsall

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