LONDON TWO NORTH WEST
Imperial Medics 46 Hemel Hempstead 27
SO WHAT was the biggest cheer at Imperial Medics on Saturday?
Their 19-point win over Hemel? Or their third place in the league, perhaps?
Actually, it was when captain Peter O'Neill phoned through the score to the RFU and discovered neighbours Hammersmith & Fulham had also won.
"The chap at the other end wondered if what he heard in the background was a disappointed side," said O'Neill.
Far from it. In fact, it was a team on its last legs pleased to be spared a play-off final.
O'Neill and Medics were grateful to miss out on the chance to play in a league where most teams pay their players in some form - but Hemel were put the sword in the final game, anyway.
James Sharples had run in a hat-trick of tries after just 20 minutes, but an 'end-of-season mentality', according to O'Neill, saw his own team concede just as many to end the first half 24-24.
He added: "There was a half-time rollocking about our defending, and we got a grip in the second session."
Stevan Jordan took the advice to heart, but unfortunately broke his collarbone towards the end.
Stalwart Jamie Rutter has played every position from one to 15 in a suffering Medics team this campaign, and picked up from where Jordan left off.
Right at the death, the try of the game was a 100-yard sprint started by Joe Codrington, with most of the running done by Sharples, and a grateful Jamie Bartlett touching down.
London Nigerian 21 Tabard 31
NIGERIAN were relegated to their lowest tier of rugby in a decade on Saturday, but captain Ossie Okmokhodion has already started rebuilding for next season by going back to school.
The Linford Christie Centre side plan to use their contacts at university and recruit old friends, friends of friends - and anyone else good enough to pull on the black shirt.
Okmokhodion said: "I was playing in a student cup final and joined that way - and never regretted it.
"Hopefully, we can build up a player-base that gives us more options next season."
Injuries, player departures and simple no-shows have blighted a season for the two-time Middlesex Cup winners - although they gave it a manful go in the last game of the season against the champions.
Ns trailed by three tries before tighthead Guy Roberts reduced the deficit, and Winton Bell-Gam cut in from the centre to put doubt in Tabard minds. Ali Shelleng added a third, with all three scores converted by Gareth Williams.
But the Radlett side rallied to put two divisions between themselves and Ns come September.