Clifton 1st XV very narrowly defeated Marlborough College on Saturday, in the Governors' Cup fixture. The oldest school boy fixture in England was a wonderful advert for school boy rugby and reached the most thrilling of conclusions.
At half-time Marlborough were leading 14-10, having scored two converted tries to Clifton's converted try and penalty. With 15 minutes left of the second half, Marlborough had asserted their dominance and were leading 26-13. Clifton came back into the game as the second half wore on, scoring a well worked try, but with 4 minutes remaining they were still 9 points behind.
Following a full length of the field attack, Clifton scored in the right hand corner. A wonderful touchline conversion from man-of-the-match Ioan Lloyd set up the final play of the game. Clifton once again attacked from their own 22 and managed to win a penalty 45 metres from the posts. Lloyd stepped up again and, against a tense 'hush' on the Close, kicked the 3 points to win the game. Clifton were delighted to win 30-29 but realise they can't leave it so late next time out. Clifton have held the Governor's Cup now since 2014.
The Cliftonian Society entertained over 30 Old Cliftonians (OCs) before the match for drinks and lunch in the Languages Cafe.
The OCs spanned leaving dates from 1947 to 2015 and included a number who played in the Governor's Cup fixture in their time, notably Steve Richards (ET 59) who went on to represent England five times.
It was a very enjoyable gathering and the start of a number of special OC events associated with key events in the school calendar.