27 Sep 2017
Christmas Term 2017: Week 3 Sports Report

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Christmas Term 2017: Week 3 Sports Report
Thursday 21st September
The week’s sporting action began last Thursday with a diverse range of fixtures taking place. The Real Tennis team had their first outing of the term but their lack of court time showed as they went down to a 7-1 loss at home to Radley. Nevertheless, there was a good performance from Max Kibble to secure the only win of the match although James Fountain was narrowly pipped at the post in his match. Just down the corridor a was also in action against Bryanston, losing 2 rubbers to 14. Despite the score line there were some fantastic performances from our top three: Joe Hollywood only lost 10/12 in the fifth, Alby Stevens lost 8/11 in the fifth and Ben Kripps won 12/10 in the fourth. Lower down the order there were some cracking games played by our new intake of Fifth Formers. Although they are still somewhat inexperienced, there is plenty of potential for improvement. Bring on the rematch! (JRAR)

Last Thursday, the entire Cross Country squad made their way to Sandbanks for the first of four PEDSSA races this term. Predominantly aimed at junior and lower schools, these events must be seen to be believed; the sight of over 300 boys and girls running in races aimed at pupils from year 5 upwards is something to behold, and we are very proud, as a school, to be involved in the organisation of these races. Later in the afternoon, after the sun had warmed up an otherwise damp afternoon, our pupils ran in their races; although the number of opponents from other schools was on the low side, the competition was still fierce amongst Canfordians. Noah Jonas, Charlie Bird and Josh Davey all put in impressive performances and will certainly be ones to watch again this season, whilst returning veterans Ned Vessey, Harry Dodd and Kacper Kazaniecki also ran strongly. Indeed, the whole squad did well to finish a tough race (over 1 mile running on sand!) and we look forward to the next leg at Baiter Park, Poole next month. (SJG)

The Canford U15C rugby team went down against a very quick Blandford school who ran on to the ball very well with some powerful athletes. Lucas Smith and David Strutt both looked dangerous with ball in hand but ultimately this inexperienced Canford team were beaten 45 – 0.

Football v Sherborne & Wellington College

It was a tough week for the Canford 1st XI Football team. Two matches against distinctly beatable opposition ended in resounding losses, showing that the team is a long way off playing as a cohesive unit yet. On Thursday, Sherborne kept it simple, drawing our midfield out with safe short passes before pinging straight balls over the top, something our young defence failed to adjust to. Paired with two ‘wonder goals’, it proved too hard to fight our way back, and we fell to a disappointing 2-4 loss.

We hoped for a positive reaction in Saturday’s ISFA match against Wellington, but it didn’t materialise. A two hour standstill on the M3 and the referee’s refusal to delay kick off for a warm-up might not have helped, but we were still terribly meek and flat in a first half that saw us concede three goals in ten minutes – and three chances. Freddie Johnson was our only lion out there in the first half, and his energy and desire was finally matched by the rest in a much improved second half, with Hector Sonley scoring with a stupendous header. We were already too far behind to make a contest of it, though, but take from it the knowledge that a lot can be addressed on the training ground. (SV)

Friday 22nd & Saturday 23rd September Hockey v Ringpass HC & King’s Taunton

Last week saw us host our Dutch counterparts from Ringpass HC in Delft, as well as contest matches against King’s College, Taunton. Ten matches were played, with six wins, three draws and just one defeat. There totalled 34 goals, whilst 14 were conceded.

Ringpass HC

Our U14 A and B sides visit Scheveningen on the Dutch coast every Easter as part of their annual tour, and one of our host clubs, Ringpass travel to us in September as we return their hospitality. Four wellbalanced matches were played over the weekend, with our U14A and B sides in action on Friday night, and the U15A and B teams playing on Saturday afternoon. Across the U14 age group we were able to look at players and give them a huge tick – listening, putting into practice what we have been discussing in training, and starting to play to the patterns we have asked them to work on. A 2-2 draw was a good touring result for the 14A’s, but in truth we should have secured the win - particularly in a dominant second half when we created numerous chances, and stopped the Dutch playing very high up the pitch. However, the performance was a massive step up from last Saturday, and the end product very good to watch. All the scoring came in the first half. An electric start saw Flora Lingafelter slip a delightful pass through to Charlotte Brook, who stroked the ball past the onrushing keeper. 1-0, with just 42 seconds on the clock! RingPass equalised after 12 minutes with a very well struck follow up to a short corner, only for Bella Hunter to carve open their defence six minutes later and set up an open goal for Charlotte to score her second. Just as HT was beckoning, RingPass broke clear and scored a good goal on the break. In the second period, a string of corners and a handful of chances around the penalty spot all came and went, and the game ended all square. When RingPass did force a way through keeper Bliss Billson made an important save and clearance which will be another great confidence builder.

The U14B’s grew into a tough game. In the 1st half we played well and were unfortunate not to find the net. Ringpass scored three times, which didn’t reflect how we were performing. Half time came and so did a change in formation. Evie Chippendale showed some lovely pieces of skill and after driving down the baseline set up a fantastic first-time finish from Jenna Clews. The game ended in a 3-1 defeat, but having won the second half the improvement in our play was clear to see. Special mention to Rebecca Morris who received the call up the morning of the game, having not trained with the team previously, and slotted straight in very effectively.

There was also a strong performance from the U15A’s, showing improvement from previous matches. In the first half we played attacking hockey, created lots of chances and could have built up more of a lead. Goals were scored by Molly Fairbairn and Gemma Kendall to secure a two goal advantage, whilst there was strong attacking work from Imogen Fairweather and Maddie Lyles and composed defensive duties from Daena Shah. In the second period Ringpass played the majority of the attacking hockey, which saw us under pressure, but we held out for a 2-1 win. The U15B’s also played a huge part in a fantastic game! Every player on the pitch truly gave a determined display. After 12 minutes Chessie Hellier carried the ball from the half way line, beating several players and dispatching the ball straight through the keeper’s legs. We relaxed a little and went into half-time level at 1-1. Despite falling behind, our heads didn’t drop and the girls remained hungry to score a goal. Determination and fitness prevailed, and we managed to outrun them at the end to draw level at 2-2. Player of the Match was Hermione Gates at right back, who worked incredibly hard up and down the pitch; at one point she over took our right forward and still managed to track back to defend successfully!

King’s College, Taunton

The four senior teams travelled away to Taunton on a sunny afternoon in Somerset. Following another lengthy journey, it was imperative that the 1st XI started better than they had done the previous week versus Blundell’s. The early exchanges were fairly even, but having been in possession, we switched off defensively and allowed one of their ball carriers to eliminate our defence too easily and lift the ball over Hannah Cox in goal to finish well at the far post. That gave us the wake-up call we required, however, and thereafter we were excellent. King’s struggled to get the ball forward due to the effectiveness of our press, and we started to exploit space effectively higher up the pitch. But for a string of saves by the talented opposition keeper, we would have been level sooner. Half time allowed us to regroup and focus on the fact that we were creating lots of chances but just needed to maintain our composure at the key moments, in both ‘Ds’. Martha Taylor took a quick long corner, Sophie Saunders led brilliantly into the D, and adjusted her body position quickly to beat the oncoming keeper; 1-1. Grace Leggett worked tirelessly in midfield, Katie Ashcroft caused problem on the right, and every member of the squad committed fully to forcing the right result. More impressive keeping thwarted our efforts, whilst we were also grateful to Hannah Cox for a couple of sharp saves herself. A slick penalty corner saw Captain Emily Balls show excellent awareness to fake a pass and shoot instead to give us a deserved 2-1 lead. We then showed pleasing character and resilience to keep playing positively in search of a third, whilst securing good defensive positioning to secure the 2-1 win.

The 2nds drew 2-2 with goals from Izzy Woodward and Melody Dean. Sophie Nichols played a commanding role at centre back along with Alice Marns, holding back a barrage of counter attacks from King’s Taunton. Bella Green was also impressive in goal. The 3rds scored six for the second week in succession, in a 6-1 win. However, we started very slowly, and consequently went behind early on after a strong start from the opposition. We then started to find our rhythm and equalised on the stroke of half time. In the second half the girls were faultless. Some brilliant pieces of play, and a great performance from all. Two goals came from Connie Doxat whilst Millie Dickins, Tasia Soskin, Jess Crossman and Lara Kosinski (who chipped the keeper beautifully) all got one a piece. Alice Davies put in a very pleasing display too. The 4th team match built on last week’s success and bodes well for the future success of the team; winning 8-0. Goals were all scored in open play with Anna Doyle scoring a hattrick, Millie Edwards a brace, Anya Kendall and Katy Jack both scored with a great piece of individual skill and Nikki Stonham deserved her goal after putting a lot of work in on the wing. The passing in the first half and the number of shots on goal in the second half were both excellent.

At home and following their endeavours the night before against the Dutch, the 14A and B teams played out a ‘double-header’. The 14A girls faced a King’s ‘A’ team which had a few talented ball carriers and a very able keeper. Nevertheless, in a goalless first half it was Canford who created the most chances and dominated the territory and possession stats. We were frustrated at half time but ensured that we kept true to our ethos and patterns and didn't panic. Halfway through the second half Bella Hunter scored a wonderful goal driving into the D from the right and smashing it hard beyond their keeper's reach. We had broken the deadlock and it was Bella again who netted our second - a mazy dribble and superb placement past the advancing keeper. Soon afterwards Alicia Hudson slotted home a penalty corner with a crisp strike to make it three. To add the icing on the cake, Tabby Fuery bravely nipped in front of a defender in the D and finished with aplomb. The U14B’s carried on from where they finished the previous evening showing more progress in a 5-2 victory. Goals from Millie Keen, Eloise Cooper and Jenna Clews cemented the win. The biggest highlight of the game was the last play of the game, which was a fantastic team goal. The passing and movement off the ball that created this goal was lovely to watch. Evie Chippendale was voted player of the match by the opposition, showing off again some great skill and vision.

Lacrosse v South Coast Seagulls

A mixture of Fifth and Sixth Formers, some of whom signed up to play Lacrosse for the first time three weeks ago, played in their first match last weekend. The opposition were a much more experienced local club side who were also playing their first match of the season and so the game was much more of a training experience for both sides. Although initially somewhat daunted to be facing a team full of older players, a few of them from national squads, the Canford side did themselves proud. Score lines were irrelevant – this game was all about how much effort the Canfordians could put in and how much learning they could take out of the experience. That said, the Seagulls were impressed by the level of resistance Canford managed to sustain. It was a great debut for Maddie Wells, Lilia Mikova, Emily Sewell, Serena Chamberlain, Lucy Tompkins and Yasmin Chadwick, well done! (MXB)

Rugby v Portsmouth GS, St John’s College Southsea, Warminster School, Wimborne RFC

Having spent the previous ten days discussing and practicing how to both relieve and place teams under pressure, it was a little frustrating to watch a very determined PGS team place the 1st XV under much more stress than they had yet become accustomed to. Much of this pressure in the first half was self-inflicted, with basic errors in game management and decision making, but hats-off to PGS, who were much more aggressive at the break down and contact areas. We also failed to cope with an effective kicking game from the PGS half-backs who played an excellent territorial game, very reminiscent of years gone by. However, we did manage to craft a try in the first half and were fortunate that a communication error with the touch judge and the referee saw the half end at 5-3, in our favour.

And so, to the second half, with Fifth Former Thomas Sykes making his 1st team debut at 10 and James Elwood moving to outside centre, we failed to catch the kick-off and once again found ourselves under the pump. Effective break-down work from Robbie Tolcher and Tom Doyle helped us to clear our lines and at last, we had the opportunity to apply our own brand of pressure. After some scrum time shenanigans, we finally settled and began moving the ball into wider spaces. Will Butt continued to bust holes in the tiring defence and eventually proved to be the perfect foil for Elwood who grabbed a late brace of tries, with barely an opposition hand placed on him for both of them - and not a single hair out of place, too!

Finishing the game at 22-3 flattered us and I don’t think Hampton will be as forgiving, as we begin to turn our attention to October fixtures. Imagine how much fun we could have had if we had managed the pressure more effectively? (AK)

To a man, each member of the 2nd XV squad contributed to an emphatic victory, playing fast, flowing and aggressive rugby in the process. Particularly impressive was the competitiveness at the breakdown, securing a stream of good quick ball in attack, and shutting down any momentum for the opposition in defence. The highlights included a Bugs Mitchell hat-trick, long range tries for Charlie Dixon and David Bourne and a brace from man of the match, Eddie Kendall. James Priaulx also capped a strong performance with a try as Canford ran out 51-7 winners. (PAJ)

The 3rd XV travelled away to play against a Warminster 1st XV and although Warminster won 7 tries to 2, that doesn't really portray the truth of the game. We battled hard in the first half - but were very disorganised and whilst at times exerted pressure we conceded easy tries. 6-0 down at half time the Warminster coach took off his 2 best players for most of the second half and we started to play better – certainly more organised and committed. A very even second half saw us score 15 minutes in which gave us the confidence to continue to 'have a go'. Warminster replied with 10 minutes to go - they also reintroduced their two better players at this stage of the game - which we coped with really well, scoring a second try for the half, so actually won the second half 2-1. (PAE)

Following on from their comprehensive victory over The Gryphon School in the first round of the County Cup, the Colts ‘A’ put in their best performance to date as they completed a one sided 64-14 victory over PGS. Canford physically dominated the opposition and the intensity in defence meant PGS could do nothing with the ball. In contrast, Canford attacked with purpose and created numerous opportunities which they executed well. This sets the team up well for a big game against Hampton when we return after exeat. (RGJ)

The U15A’s played some great spells of rugby in a tight game and were unfortunate to lose 22-19. Debutants Matt Butterfield, Ed Stirling and Rory Jones all had impressive games. Canford had a very strong offloading game and created a number of chances but were not clinical enough. Overall a very promising first game and exciting for the season ahead. (WLA)

The Canford U15B’s showed some genuine tenacity, desire and aggression to sneak a win 14-12 against a much bigger opponent in St Johns. Though we are getting closer and closer to having 15 tacklers on the field, Seb Collingbridge stood tall as the champion tackler. He also showed great feet in the scoring of the last try, which Oli Taylor skilfully converted from a tight angle with the last kick of the game – excellent! (OTP)

The triangular fixture against Portsmouth GS and Wimborne RFC provided an opportunity for the U14A squad to begin their competitive Canford rugby careers. In the first match against Wimborne the boys began the match with great intentions and sought to move the ball out to the wings at every opportunity. This was rewarded with a brace of tries for both wingers, Rupert Peach and Max Paget, who showed excellent pace to finish off very well. Wimborne came back into the game at the start of the second half with some determined and dynamic play and scored a thoroughly deserved try as the Canford tackling lacked sufficient aggression to keep them out. However, a final try was scored by centre Roman Gill, who also scored three conversions to cement a 31-7 victory.

After a quick water break and debrief the boys were straight into their second match against Portsmouth Grammar. The positive attitude to play with width was evident again but against a more organised defence there was a need to actually go forward first and some sloppy errors stalled momentum. Nevertheless, as soon as opportunity allowed the ball was moved wide and once again winger Max Paget turned on the gas to run in two more tries. Number ‘8’ James Barker began to run with real determination and power and crashed over for a deserved try and full back Seb Gallego, who had two fine matches, capped this off with an excellent try. Roman Gill slotted this conversion over and the match was won 22-0. This was a pleasing first match for the 18 players involved and all should be very proud of their efforts. (MSB)

The U14B’s battled manfully in their triangular fixtures but suffered from their lack of physicality in these early matches. Some effective support play was on show in the match against Wimborne and an end-toend game finished 15-36 in favour of the local rugby club. Straight after this first 30 minute game the ‘B’s’ took on the U14A team from St John’s College, Southsea who had claimed they were too weak to play against our ‘A’s. Unfortunately, their greater physical presence dominated proceedings and they ran out comfortable winners 0-42. Importantly, there were still signs of positivity and enthusiasm from the ‘B’s’ and the boys can take this into their math next week against Hampton.
Team of the week:

1. Matthew Butterfield (15A) 2. Ed Loveridge (15A) 3. Archie Van de Flier (16A)

4. Charlie Bartlett (3rds) 5. Will Jones (16A)

6. Finn Boardman (16A) 8. James Barker (14A) 7. Ed Kendall (2nds)

9. Max Bingham (2nds) 10. Tom Sykes (16A / 1stXV)

11. Bugs Mitchell (2nds) 14. Seb Collingbridge (15B) 12. Lucas Smith (15B) 13. James Elwood (1stXV)

15. Seb Gallego (14A)

Despite only being three weeks into term and in some instances, teams having only played one or two matches, some pupils have faced the disappointment of not being selected or moved from one team to another. Such disappointment is a natural and expected emotion but the response to not being selected is very much something that can be developed individually and transformed into a positive trait. There may be clear objective reasons why someone isn’t picked, i.e. the other player is faster, stronger, more skilful, etc. but with the right kind of mind-set all of us can attempt to make improvements which can improve our performance and ultimately, our chances of gaining selection for higher teams. In the early part of the term when coaching staff haven’t had a huge amount of time with all the players in a squad, selection decisions might be a little more subjective and based on an initial observation and instinct. As term progresses there will be more opportunity for coaches to assess performance in training sessions and matches but in the meantime there isn’t anything wrong with taking individual responsibility for your progress by asking your coach why you haven’t made selection for an upcoming match. However, your reaction and response to the feedback is key. Asking “what can I do to improve and help the team?” illustrates a selfless and positive mind-set rather than “why haven’t I been picked?” which is a slightly more selfish and confrontational stance. Overcoming such disappointments is a great opportunity for displaying resilience and determination – essential characteristics required for success in life and ultimately far more significant than winning a match for the ‘A’s’ rather than the ‘B’s’.

To illustrate this point it is worth highlighting the experience of one our former pupils. Recent Canfordian Arthur Cordwell, started his rugby career as a mainstay of the U14B team and never played for the ‘A’ team during that season when the ‘A’ team won every match they played. However, Arthur sought advice about how to improve, applied himself diligently and finished his school career by being awarded 1st XV Players’ player of the year and becoming an Academy Scholar with Bath Rugby. What impressed the coaches at Bath was not just Arthur’s rugby playing ability, but also his determination and positive attitude to learn and this is why he has begun the journey into professional sport.
Keep working hard in your games sessions this week, good luck to those with fixtures and enjoy the rest over the weekend.
For this week’s fixtures please head to www.canfordsports.com

To see pictures from the recent House rugby competition head to:



Sporting quote of the week:

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

Mark Burley

Director of Sport

Twitter: @CanfordSport

27th September 2017