The annual Jamie Waters Cup rugby fixture between Cheltenham College and Radley College was played this year, for the first time ever, at Worcester Warriors' Sixways Stadium. It was an occasion that will live long in the memory for all that took the field on Wednesday evening, with 500 supporters from both schools cheering them on. The atmosphere was certainly different to a normal weekend fixture!
The match was played on neutral territory for the first time as a way to raise money for the chosen charity of Cheltenham College, The Chamwell Centre at The Milestone School. The development of a state-of-the-art therapy centre at The Chamwell Centre was unanimously chosen by Cheltenham College prefects as the charity that they would like to support after a visit to The Milestone School in Gloucester earlier this year. The prefects sold match programmes, wristbands and hosted a raffle, managing to raise around £1,500 for this fantastic cause.
The game itself started well for Cheltenham College, who turned the ball over at a scrum on the Radley line. A lovely offload at the base from number 8 Cameron Terry, who recently played for Gloucester Rugby’s A team, fed Olly Hill through a gap to score the opening try.
Cheltenham played some fantastic running rugby and moved the ball extremely well with great interlinking between forwards and backs. The pressure finally told and captain Tom Stanton, who also played for the Gloucester A team, went over unopposed from the halfway line, giving Cheltenham College a 14-0 lead going into halftime.
The second half proved to be a little closer, with Radley using their big ball carriers to great effect. However, Cheltenham’s defensive qualities and sheer willingness to never give in kept them at bay. A fine counter-attack from Dan Ward set up play in the middle of the pitch and substitute centre Louis Hillman Cooper burst through the line from halfway only to be cut short by a fantastic tackle from the Radley fullback.
Cheltenham remained in the Radley half for a sustained period of time which eventually led to the third try of the game by Ben Schallamach. The last 10 minutes were frantic with both teams throwing the ball around, with the final pass just going to ground. Former international referee Chris White was the man in the middle and brought to the game to a close, with the score 24-0 to Cheltenham College, who have now won the Jamie Waters Cup for the last five years.
The Chamwell Centre is aiming to raise £3.5 million to develop a state-of-the-art therapy centre in the grounds of The Milestone School in Gloucester. The centre will provide a large hydrotherapy pool and sensory equipment, facilities for physical therapies, rebound therapy and soft play, as well as an all-ability play and sports area. The centre’s atrium will contain a café, providing work experience for pupils of the school, a space for young enterprise projects and a fully accessible meeting place for the people of Gloucestershire. One of the centre’s main functions outside school hours will be to encourage integrated activities, such as scouts, guides, and youth groups, suitable for young people of all levels of ability.