A great cup run was brought to a close when St Benedict's School lost to St Peter's of York in the quarter-final of the Daily Mail U18 Cup.
It was a battling performance by the Ealing team, who refused to give up and even had a chance to snatch glory right at the end.
Coach Nick Guise, though disappointed by the result, was full of praise for his side.
"We had opportunities, but didn't take them. There is immense spirit in this side and I am very proud of them," he said.
Richard Finch, his assistant, added: "We were written off at the start of the season and look where we have reached."
After a nervous start by both teams in which centre Matt Dever had an early break for Ealing halted, the Yorkshire team registered the first score as their backs created an overlap. The Benedict's defence missed the first hits and the cover did not make it across in time to prevent a try in the corner.
Saints had the wind at their backs and full-back Stuart Pearham, having only just missed a long penalty attempt, slotted over the second one offered, in off the very tip of the upright.
St Peter's hit back with a penalty of their own to make it 8-3, but Pearham landed his second three pointer to again reduce the gap to two points at the interval.
St Benedict's started strongly in the second half with a lot of possession, but were unable to make much headway against an excellent defence and it was the Yorkshire side who extended their lead after 10 minutes with a forward drive from a lineout 15m out.
Pearham's third penalty made it 13-9 but St Peter's repeated the line-out and drive routine for a third try.
The home supporters were willing their team to raise their game and St Benedict's finally crossed the try-line in the last five minutes through captain Tom Jewers to bring it back to 18-14.
From the kick-off, No.8 Jamie Acton snatched the ball and the Benedict's forwards, with Saul Gerald prominent, drove up to the St Peter's line. It was a grandstand finish with a final three minutes of intense pressure for the visitors to endure, but St Benedict's could not break through as St Peter's forward power and well organised defence saw them through.
This young St Benedict's side have done extremely well this year in carrying forward the proud rugby tradition of the School. Most of them will fight another season in the Daily Mail Cup. [25a0] Picture: Jamie Harries leads an attack for battling St Benedict's
** West London beat Old Verulamians 31-3, imposing themselves from the start with a try after five minutes from Andy Taylor on the wing. Old V's soon replied with penalty but West London were soon back on the attack. Taylor grabbed his second try after some nifty hand work from the backs and midway through the half,Chris Sherer chased a chipped ball on the right wing and after kicking on, slid in for the third try. In the second half,Andrew Rowe turned the ball over in the tackle for James Hunt to score with a jinking run. And Hunt added gloss with another try.