Whitgift have narrowly missed out on completing back-to-back wins over champions Wellington College in the SOCS Daily Mail Schools Trophy.
The Croydon team were the only school to beat Wellington last year but they failed to hammer home their advantage in this year's renewal.
A second-half try from wing Charlie Cadogan had put Whitgift within a score of toppling Wellington who led 24-20 going into the final minutes.
However, Whitgift missed their chance and Wellington, aided by some good defence, held out to remain undefeated in this season's competition, sponsored by the school management system SOCS.
Wellington, who are unbeaten in four games this season, had taken charge through tries by scrum-half Jamie Miller, lock Albert Dwan and centre Sam Spink.
The narrow defeat is part of a frustrating start for Whitgift who also stretched Sedbergh, the northern powerhouse, before losing 13-20.
Chris Wilkins, Whitgift's director of rugby, said: 'Yes, it was disappointing to lose two close games and we had our chances. Hopefully we can gain from the experience and will be a better team.
Haileybury fly half Sam Cappaert kicks in their 68-5 drubbing of Oundle at the weekend
'Overall though it was great to be involved in such games. Last season, we had a similar programme and managed to beat Wellington and narrowly lose to Sedbergh. All of them have been decided by seven or fewer points.'
Sedbergh are unbeaten in three games, as are Cranleigh who toppled Epsom College, 48-13, helped by three tries from scrum-half Harry Serjeant.
Cranleigh turned on the pace in the first half to lead 28-3 at the interval. Back-rower Hugh Tizard started the scoring followed by tries also for captain Jamie Barden, Jasper Sykes and Sam Lubbock.
Another impressive performance came from Haileybury who won 68-5 at Oundle. The Hertfordshire team scored 10 tries, five in each half. Fly half Sam Cappaert contributed two tries and nine conversions.
This year's Daily Mail Schools Rugby Trophy is well underway.
St Edward's, who ended Rugby's unbeaten record last week, added Clifton to their list of scalps, winning 22-19.
The highlight was a try from a counter-attack by wing Dekoye Coker which followed scores by lock Nic Moisy and centre Oli Kynge.
Rob Cottrell, St Edward's director of rugby, said: 'Our defence was tested continuously, and fronting up against a pack of Clifton's size meant the boys had to be very brave.'
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