28 Nov 2017
Christmas Term 2017: Week 10 & 11 Sports Report

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Tuesday 14th November Lacrosse: Canford v Milton Abbey

The winter term Canford lacrosse players displayed significant advances in skills, strategy and fitness to score a victory over Milton Abbey last Thursday, beating them 12-9. The squad have worked hard, despite only numbering 15, in this lacrosse off-season. Considering half the players were complete beginners at the start of term, they did extremely well, notably Serena Chamberlain who scored two goals. Discipline in defence was maintained by Sophie Patrick, Lara Pilkington and Imogen Nichols while Nouri Khour was strong on the centre draw. Deya Shergill’s skilful side-arm shots evaded the Milton Abbey goalie time after time while Belle Woodman (capt) got some useful practice in goal for next term. (MXB) W12-9

Rugby: 1st XV v Colston’s Collegiate School (h ) RFU Schools U18 National Cup

Although the match against Colston’s was nominally the 3rd round of the National Cup for the 1st XV a combination of a bye and a walkover meant this game was actually our first foray into the tournament. The visitors from Bristol started well and certainly took the game to us and we seemed to be a little flustered in our play leading to numerous unforced errors. Fortunately a period of continuity led to a try for centre Luke Mehson which was successfully converted by James Ellwood to open up a 7-0 lead. Despite the lack of usual tempo in the Canford play the forwards managed to generate some efficient driving play with a series of pick and goes which eventually saw hooker Jonny Ireland barge his way over for try and give Canford a 12-0 lead at half time.

The interval provided an opportunity to take stock and refocus the minds on what makes this Canford 1st XV tick and the boys responded by generating faster ball and stretching the Colston’s defence. It was after some excellent attacking play which saw the ball used across the width of the field that Tom Sykes raced over in the corner to score a d excellent try. Colston’s didn't let their heads drop and bounced back with a fine try of their own which cut the deficit to just 10 points. Fortunately some effective decision making saw Canford reclaim both territorial and possession dominance and from a period of sustained pressure we were able to extend the lead through two more Mehson tries giving him hit first hatrick of the season. With an additional conversion from Elwood the final score was 29-7 and Canford now face Ivybridge Community College in the last 16.

Thursday 16th November Squash v Clayesmore (h)

Narrowly losing to Clayesmore earlier in the season meant we were keen to get out of the blocks fast! Ben Krips, Oscar McClean, Om Ramchandani and Max Wyatt all impressed with quick wins, taking us into 4-0 lead before we knew it and we never looked back. The mid-lower order are continuing to develop their skills and tactical play with big wins across the board, many are now cementing themselves as regulars in the team.

Player of the day has to go to Oliver Hilton; it was his first appearance for Canford and it was clear he wanted to make an impression. He ended up playing two matches at seed 10/11, winning a tense first 31 and completing the day with a comfortable 3-0 win. He will definitely be one to watch over the coming months! (JRAR) W9-2


U16 Dorset Schools County Netball at Budmouth College

The Canford girls were ready to take on the challenge ahead to qualify for the Regional finals in January joining the 1st VII netball girls who have already booked their place. They were certainly up for the test with some pretty impressive score lines throughout the day. The ball travelled effortless through court with some excellent shooting from Charlotte Butt and Hannah Fairchild. The day saw amazing performances from the whole squad and despite limited preparation time the girls outscored their opponents 107-34 throughout the duration of the day. Great determination in the final was evident against Talbot Heath and even though we were trailing for the majority of the game, we brought it back for a nail-biting finish of 13-12. Well done girls!! (LER)

U14 Dorset Schools County Netball Championships

The County Netball Tournament is always difficult in the Christmas term due to not having very much contact time. However, this team played some exciting netball through the pool stages and their improvement was clear to see scoring 60 goals and only conceding 12. A slight lapse in concentration in the semi-final against Parkstone Grammar saw a narrow loss so Parkstone and Talbot Heath qualified for the Regional Finals. Tournament play is always cruel but I am sure that this disappointment will only make this group of girls more determined. Roll on netball term and pre-season training in Wales!

Rugby: U16 D&WRFSU County Cup Quarter Final (a)

Canford U16A faced Bryanston in their semi-final county cup game. As is so often they started brighter than their opponents aiming to play their way from deep. Bryanston, perhaps more familiar to the surroundings of their big 1st team pitch opted to kick to space and pressure through their kick chase. They gained easy ground this way as there was a lack of urgency in the Canford support play that might have otherwise allowed the Canford boys to counter attack more effectively. This slight lethargy was also in evidence around the breakdown where neither side were fully able to exert their influence. Bryanston won the game with an effective one-two blow of two tries in almost as many minutes. For all their earnest effort on this afternoon Canford lacked a creative edge and cohesive teamwork to fully stretch the Bryanston side and should rue their indecisive breakdown work. A cup final berth would certainly have reflected this group’s ability and progress but they have still to learn to bring their intensity to every match, a tricky ask but one that will start to separate them from the ‘rest’ if they are to kick on as a group.

Hockey: U18 West Regional Champs

On Thursday, the U18s travelled to Bristol to contest the West Regional Finals. In the group of death, we faced Dean Close, Clifton College and Millfield, so had our work cut out to progress to the knockout stages. We started well against Dean Close, but faded after half time to suffer a heavy defeat due to a skilful opposition and some poor decisions on our part. However, we recovered to play much more aggressively and effectively against Clifton and deserved a point, only to concede a last play penalty corner and an agonising 1-0 defeat. Millfield, featuring several England U18 and National League regulars were made to work exceptionally hard for their 1-0 victory, which they scored 3 minutes for the end of play. Hannah Cox was magnificent in goal; making a number of high quality saves, whilst the energy all over the pitch was excellent. Millfield were the eventual winners and we gave a very good account of ourselves at a high level of competition.

Saturday 18th November Football : 1st XV v OC XI (h), 2ns XI v Downside 1st XI

With the Golden Generation of Old Canfordians returning, our 1st XI knew they had a battle on their hands. Battle they did, though, and they held their own admirably in a tight contest of the kind that would make Mourinho proud. Both teams were as tight as could be defensively, allowing no quarter to the opposition attacks. It was no surprise to the many spectators that the match ended 0-0 - even after extra time. Of the current XI, Freddie Martin was the pick of an exceptional defensive performance, bombing up the flanks and playing with remarkable calm and maturity. For the OC's, Felix Organ lit up the match with some splendid skill exhibitions - such as when he nutmegged his younger brother - and powerful surging runs.

The 2nd XI faced a very strong Downside team and, despite holding their own and only being one goal behind at the end of the first half, ended up on the wrong side of an 8-1 score line. Though it is never fun to experience a loss of that magnitude, the boys know that they competed evenly for 45 minutes, so there is something to build on - and a lot to learn from.

Rowing

On Saturday we welcomed Bryanston and Lymington to some racing on our stretch of the Stour. This was a friendly meet to allow for some racing against crews outside of Canford. Our experienced girls raced in a combination of double and quadruple sculls mixing our J17 and J16 girls. Several senior girls, who only took up rowing in September (with the return of Poppy Pinner to help) were able to race for their first time with experienced cox Kitty Arnold. The boys took on singles sculls for two of the races before jumping into an Eight and Coxed Four for the third race. Lymington enjoyed the chance to race on flatter waters compared to their usual coastal racing, whilst Bryanston provided some good bench marks for us, with their J18 2x recording times only beaten by our J18 Eight and J18 Coxed Four. Friends of Canford provided some tasty warm treats for all involved, making for a lovely end to a great days racing. We look forward to some more meets with Bryanston in the future.

Rugby v Seaford College

The first ever visit for Canford 1st XV to Seaford College was marked by wet and blustery weather and a pitch which was heavy and probably the minimum width allowed so it was not going to be a game for expansive rugby! Faced with the wind in the first half Canford defended manfully repelling wave after wave of Seaford runners. Some good close driving play from the forwards and powerful surges from centre Will Butt provided some respite but it was the impressive defensive effort which kept the boys all square at the break.

Canford immediately started the second half on the front foot and began to exert pressure in the opposition "22" but some sloppy play allowed Seaford to break out from their own half. They launched attacks of their own and pegged Canford back and from a series of rucks Seaford powered over the line to open the lead to the joy of a very vociferous crowd. Nevertheless, Canford again gained good field position and began to attack the Seaford line. Continuing to be a thorn in the Seaford line Will Butt came extremely close to scoring but was adjudged to have been held up. Another attack saw a 3-1 overlap blown but thankfully the referee was playing advantage for a Seaford infringement and we were able to attack again. Another burst by Butt was held up and it looked like it might be one of those days but more forward driving saw prop forward James Priaulx squeeze over in the corner. Having lost James Elwood to injury young replacement fly half Tom Sykes took over the kicking duties but his effort drifted wide, although inexplicably the conversion was not retaken despite a clear and audible shout from one of the onrushing chargers. Both teams continued to put their bodies on the line as they went after the decisive score and courageous work from flanker Tom Patrick in slowing the ball down at the tackle resulted in him picking up an extremely unusual but desperately painful hip dislocation injury for which we all wish him a speedy recovery. With Tom unable to be moved and only four minutes remaining it was felt the best course of action was to call the game a draw which was probably a fair result on the day. (MSB) D5-5

The 1st XV now face their last 16 cup match on Thursday 23rd but the depth of the squad is being tested significantly and it is hoped we can get through this game successfully and without further injuries.

For the first time this season, the 2nd XV came across an opposition that dominated them for most of the game. Up front, the Seaford pack towered over the Canford lads, and the result was a scrum that went backwards at great speed all afternoon, balls turned over in the contact, and a massive defensive effort required to keep them at the gain line. For most of the afternoon, Canford stuck to their defensive task very well, with Ed Kendall and James Norris featuring high on the tackle count charts, and Alex Robertson likewise showing aggression in midfield. However, going forward we were living off scraps, and failed to get good field position to launch concerted attacks. Charlie Ford and Alex showed glimpses of creativity and cutting edge, but it was in the context of a collective inability to retain the ball for a significant number of phases and the lack of opportunities in the danger areas. There was one chance in the 2nd half when Josh Effick found himself in space in the Seaford 22 and chipped through to the dead ball area, but nothing came of it.

Given the way that the lads stuck to the task throughout the afternoon, it is a shame that 17 of the 22 points were gifted to Seaford. In the first half, their only try, came from a strong run by their left wing from inside his own half – however, he was missed on 3 occasions by players who should have made the tackle, allowing him to cruise under the posts for a 7 pointer. They also kicked a penalty from a rookie error of Canford players in front of the kicker not retiring when waiting to be put on side from a routine clearance. Seaford constructed a good try out wide on the left midway through the second half to make it 15-0, but their last points didn’t come until the dying minutes when a member of the Canford pack opened his mouth once too often, got penalised, and then was marched back a further 10m for continuing the ‘discussion’ with the referee, to give Seaford a penalty 5-10m out from the line. The pressure told and they scored 7 more avoidable points.

It’s hard to say how the lads could have won the game, given the size differential and the conditions, but if the scoreline had remained tight, perhaps the pressure could have told on the Seaford XV and chances may have presented themselves. A tough day at the office. (PAJ) L22-0

With an away game to Seaford I was once again given the privilege off looking after the mighty 3rd XV. Having been with them twice so far this season it was going to be an opportunity for me to see if they were still enjoying their rugby as much as they had at the start of the season, and to see how much they had progressed. I was not to be disappointed on either front.

The pitch had more than a gentle slope on it and a prevailing breeze that also ran downhill. Having lost the toss the boys found themselves playing up the hill and into the breeze. This has been a side, in my previous outings with them, that has never been afraid of defence and this was to show in the first half. With line pressure and first time tackling, along with more than a degree of defensive organisation we managed to deny Seaford space and the gain line; basically we tackled them back into their own half, indeed into their 22 and kept them there for most of the half. It was only when down to 13 due to Rees going up to the 2nds and Tom Suddards picking up an injury from his own man (I should point out Seaford matched us 13 v 13) that Seaford got the little bit of space that they needed and ran in a try that they converted just before the half time whistle.

The boys were disappointed to be down given the effort that they had put in but if they continued to in the same vein the second half would provide reward for their efforts. Put simply, the boys were relentless and were quickly on the front foot. Great rucking and ball retention, along with some great positional kicking were to see us put continued pressure on the Seaford boys in all parts of the park. Four well worked tries were scored during the course of this half, but two in particular were worthy of mention. The first saw Nat Todd, who had been immense at the breakdown, made the most of not being securely held to get to his feet and make a line break that turned out to be over half the pitch. When winger and full back came to make a cover tackle he calmly drew both players to him, slipped the pass to a supporting Tom Armstrong and the Canford boys were on the board. The second excellent try was our third, when a rainmaking box kick from Jack Sherborne was knocked on and we had a scrum inside their 22. A dummy number 8 pick up by Angus Colqhoun that had the whole Seaford back row following him, allowed our backs to execute a great set piece play which saw Jack Phillips walk through the largest of gaps to score under the posts. Between tries 3 and 4 Seaford scored, but we managed to reply which at 24 – 12 and minutes to go managed to put the game beyond reach. Seaford sneaked one at the death, but the game was over by then and Canford can take justifiable pride in a very fine win. (PAE) W12-24

Following a bruising encounter against Bryanston just 48 hours earlier, this fixture against a strong Seaford outfit was always going to be tough for the U16A team. As in the previous week against Sherborne, things did not start well and we once again found ourselves two scores down early on in the contest. There was not a great deal between the two sides but the Seaford XV were more streetwise and took advantage of any defensive lapse in concentration. With the score at 15-0 at half time it would have been very easy for the Canford side to roll over but that is not what this side is about. Despite missing four of the starting side from Thursday and losing two more through injury in the second half, the boys showed great character and heart to come back at Seaford and leave them scrambling in defence to keep us out. A special mention to Patrick Taylor who tackled everything that moved and to the boys who came up for their full A team debuts – Cameron Powell and Ben Holland. Both acquitted themselves brilliantly. (RGJ) L0-15

The U16 Barbarians (Colts B XV) found themselves facing a range of boy-mountains, hewn from the heights of the Sussex Downs; and their tenacity and resilience in containing a ferocious onslaught was commendable. Many individuals made courageous and even incisive contributions – a fine try by Ollie White following an arcing run; more tackles than I have fingers and toes to count by Rupert Thomas … the list could go on. But like Cnut trying to hold back the tide, it was always going to be ‘an ask too far’. Passages of containment, plenty of ‘cut and thrust’; but Seaford were just too strong (and large). Inevitably they found the holes in our defence and we succumbed. However, pride was maintained and stout hearts were revealed. We may have lost … but we lost with heart and dignity intact. To fight another day? (JPST) L5-44

Heartbreak for the 15A’s on Saturday as they took on Lord Wandsworth College in round 2 of the national plate. After a promising start to take the lead the Canford went to sleep for the rest of the 1st half. Leading to imprecision at the breakdown, defensive line and tackle which then allowed Wandsworth’s ball carriers to generate some momentum for their side. This they did and were able to go ahead with two well taken tries of their own. By no means were things beyond the Canfordians control even though the score got a little worse straight after half time when their opponents re-started smartly to make their lead 3 scores. Canford then rallied extremely well with excellent interplay throughout the team. Will Whitmore carrying well, Joba Agbedejobi stretching his opposite number with his searing pace and forwards Pepin, Matthews and Philpot notably to the fore, linking and carrying effectively. This allowed Canford to go back into the lead and wrestle complete control of the game exemplified by an excellent passage from a tapped penalty where Toby Philpot went crashing over the line. At this point Canford still attempted to play rugby from deep, when pressing higher up the field may have been the way to see out the game. Just at this moment the imprecision began to creep in once more and following a kicked penalty to touch and resulting line out, Wandsworth squeaked over in the final play of the game and with it snatch the win. The Junior Colts can be justifiably pleased with their efforts, even though the result ultimately didn’t go their way, they supported each other firmly to the end and some of the interplay between forwards and backs was of real top quality. Of course the challenge is to repeat these passages of play as much as they can. Onwards and upwards! (PTS) L28-29

A spirited performance by the under 15B’s saw them draw the last hour of the match 5 -5. Unfortunately, we were 19 – 0 down after 5 minutes due to our tendency to stand off and watch to see how good the opponents are before we play. A major improvement (after the opening 5 minutes) was our line speed and general pressure and it was agreed that our intensity at warm-ups needs to improve to avoid falling so far behind quickly. Man of the match was Will Priaulx for some fine tackling and an improved willingness to pass off the wrong hand. (OTP) L5-24

Seaford 14A's were the strongest side we have faced this year. Well organised, they blended strong runners with the ability to attack at pace out wide. Our defence which had improved in recent weeks was found wanting in the first half. In the latter stages of the match, we pressed on the Seaford line and had plenty of possession and should have come away with a couple more scores. A tough day but with 2 games left of the season we must try to piece together decent performances to make sure an able team do themselves justice. (DFL) L55-5

The 14B’s showed their ability and perseverance with what proved to be a game of 2 halves! Playing up the slope and against the wind in the first half, the U14B’s has their work cut out for them as they faced a Seaford side who had the size advantage in the forwards and some rapid pace on the wings. Despite digging in and working well as a team, the first half ended 24 – 0 to Seaford. There were plenty of positives to talk about at half time though and Canford came out in the second half ready to play. Their perseverance and impressive physicality was eventually rewarded as the ball was spun out wide for Sam Jefferson to touchdown in the corner. The second half ended with 1 try a piece and certainly a performance the 14B’s should be proud of. Particular mentions go to Sam Jefferson who was awarded MOTM by the supporting parents and Joseph Bland who led from the front with a brilliant defensive display. (JN) L29-5

With Charlie Mason returning to his former school, the 14C’s were keen to demonstrate the improvements they have made during the season. Captain Richard Hare’s team did not disappoint their coach or watching parents; treating them to a highly entertaining match with lots of tries. Canford weren’t intimidated by their slightly bigger and more physical opponents, and I was especially impressed by the quality of the forwards’ play in both the set piece and ruck. The latter has been a problem area in the past, and so it was very encouraging to see that our improved organisation and commitment paid dividends as we secured some good ball and slowed Seaford’s attack. It was a similar story with the backs who, through more aggressive pressure in defence, forced Seaford into making a number of handling errors.

Canford’s attacking play is also improving as they begin to make better use of support runners, although there is still a tendency for individuals to carry the ball for a little too long. There were some very impressive tries, not least from debutante scrum half Nat Davey who danced through to score under the posts and winger Tommy Qian who showed a good eye for a gap in the latter stage of the game. The team left the pitch pleased with their performance if not the overall result and will head to Clifton keen to build on the progress they have made. (NHJ) L48-28

Team of the Week 1. Tom Ralls 2. Pat Taylor 3.James Priaulx 4. James Norris 5.Nick Newton 6. Toby Philpot 8. Joseph Bland 7. Rupert Thomas 9. Will Priaulx 10. Luke Johnson 12. Will Butt 13. Jack Phillips 11. Tommy Qian 14. Joba Agbedajobi 15. Charlie Ford

Hockey v Kingswood

On Saturday we faced a block fixture with Kingswood. Our teams delivered 10 victories out of 10, but in the senior team matches, there were some closely fought matches. The 1st XI, back to full complement with the U18 and U16 squads being combined as normal, were keen to get back to winning ways. We started slowly with our first touch failing us, trailing 2-0 after 12 minutes. A goal mouth scramble saw some committed but composed last ditch defending, and a third Kingswood goal was averted. This proved to be a turning point, as soon after we halved the deficit when Sophie Saunders fired in after good approach play involving several players. A stern half time team talk addressed the need for improvements in our decision making, core skills and connections amongst players, and the reaction was fantastic. We upped our intensity and dominated territory as we probed the Kingswood defence. The work rate was first class, with India Still creative going forwards and steadfast defensively, whilst Bea Fairbairn and captain Emily Balls were unruffled and disciplined defensively. Good chances came and went, and the partisan crowd were roaring us forward. India Still capped a player of the match display with a clean reverse stick strike from the top of the D to draw us level at 2-2 with less than three minutes remaining, and we poured forward thereafter in search of a winner. In the dying seconds we won a penalty corner to give us one final chance of victory with the very last play. An attempted deflection was blocked, but Martha Taylor reacted quickest to find space in a crowded D and evade the goalkeeper before unerringly slotting the ball home from close range on the backhand! Cue wild celebrations for a dramatic 3-2 victory full of endeavour and character.

The 2nds followed up with a copycat 3-2 victory, although we led throughout the game and had control of the game for long periods. Lucy Chapple played well in midfield and Izzy Woodward posed a constant threat, grabbing herself a brace of goals, whilst Emily Witter completed the scoring. The 3rds won 2-1. It was a tight game and tested the girls’ resilience. No score at half time, but the girls came back out strong and a nice bit of teamwork from Izzi Toovey and Ines Mitchell allowed the latter to nick the opener. A second goal followed, which allowed the girls to relax. Our player of the match was Ella Sutton, Alice Davies played neatly in midfield and Cece Rogers put in a very strong performance as captain. It was an accomplished performance from the 4th XI against an unbeaten side – our best performance so far. The final result was a 2-0 win; goalscorers were Larissa Kosinski and Jess Crossman. Jess fired an incredible shot in from the top of the D from a short corner, whilst Lara popped in a smart rebound after her initial shot cannoned back off the post. Iqra Iftikhar didn't miss a single tackle in defence and was hugely reliable.

The 15A’s started strongly, played passing hockey on the flanks to outwit the opposition. Molly Fairbairn and Gemma Kendall put their defence on the back foot with effective high pressure. We scored twice on the break through Molly and Gemma and added a third before the break through another Fairbairn strike. Kendall grabbed her second and Lucy Norris made it 5-0 in the second period. Sasha Mowatt carried well from the back setting up countless attacks. Eve Hewett and Polly Yule remained strong in defence dealing with any threats from Kingswood. The 15B’s started off as a very odd game; not much possession, loose balls and an unusual opposition style of hockey to contend with. A short corner came, opting for the simple straight strike Chessie Hellier hit the back board. From this point on, we stayed calm and worked hard off the ball. Before the half time whistle a combination of a Milenka Soskin and Serena Blake added a second. After the break we were all over them, stringing passes together and attacking whenever we could. Due to a short corner and a very good eyes on a rebound, goals came again from Chessie and Lulu King. Even though with a few players of the opposition being physical it was great to see Canford not dropping any standards and just realising, it’s so much easier to just play better hockey and get the win. Player of the match at right midfield was Sydney Brown, whilst Sana Iftikhar made her debut.

After a successful win last week, the 15C team was raring to go! A quick turn of possession from the team led Flora Peddie to score the first goal. Another break from Canford gave Amelia Green the chance to strike at goal to lead 2-0. With the team focusing on short corners in training, an opportunity to show this came when two short corners were awarded and two more goals were scored (one a team effort and the other from Stella Jarvis off the post). Canford looked strong and with the half time whistle about to go, Flora scored her second to make it 5-0. In the second half, the girls looked very strong with the defence making some great tackles and spreading the ball out wide allowing the midfield and attackers to work as a team to create space for Green to strike at goal again. With Kingswood digging deep and making a break from the midfield, it was up to the defensive four of Canford to make sure no goals were conceded. This led to Green making a break and gaining herself a hat trick by scoring the last goal of the game for a 7-0 victory.

The 14A game was over as a contest within ten minutes, though the opening exchanges didn’t really suggest the one sided game that ensued. We stood off Kingswood in the first five minutes and some pace through midfield got them in behind us, some last ditch cover tackling from Rosie Ireland and Orlagh O'Donnell preventing an early goal. When Flora Lingafelter latched onto a rebound off their keeper it was somewhat against the run of play, but we were quickly two up, with a carbon copy goal after a shot by Alicia Hudson. When Juliette Quick showed great composure to rifle home a shot after a lengthy advantage five minutes later we were out of sight. Half time was 4-0, Lingafelter completing her hat trick with a shot that bobbled home slightly apologetically. We were in control, but playing at only 60%. A big challenge therefore, as last week, to play with more precision and focus in the second half. To their credit the girls upped their game, and lifted their ball pace. We were first to the ball all over the pitch, stepping in front of opponents and driving the ball forward. The goals continued to come, 5-0 from a very crisp corner strike from Hudson, 6-0 a composed reverse stick strike by Charlotte Brook, and 7-0 from the best team goal of the day, O'Donnell powering the ball up the right touchline before releasing Bella Hunter who drove round the back and found Lingafelter for her fourth. Hunter scored the 8th from a switched corner routine and the 9th from a textbook determined run, the ball breaking to her for a crisp finish from close range. There were good moments all over the pitch. Sky Pilkington stepped up to ‘A’ team hockey — she reads the game very well and looked comfortable at this level. We played the girls out of position in the second half which was very interesting to see - some great left midfield play from sweeper Rosie Ireland. Kingswood never gave up to their credit, and had a great chance to snatch a consolation at the end.

With injuries and illness hitting the 14B squad this week, we travelled with 12 girls. Rebecca Morris filled in as goalkeeper, and Canford started well, with captain Lucy Hancock, winning the toss at the start of the game. Canford dominated from the off with all the girls starting to show more confidence on the ball. Some nice team play helped create our opening goal with Evie Chippendale tapping in at the back post for an easy goal early on. Tabby Fuery shortly followed that goal with one of her own and put us in a strong position early on. With a two goal cushion, the girls started to play with some more freedom, with some great passing play creating a further two goals before half time from Millie Keen. 4-0 up at half time was fully deserved and the girls decided they weren’t finished there. Milly Keen fired in two more after the break and this match showed the improvements the team has made in the last few weeks. The defence were calm on the ball and distributed very well, with the midfielders constantly running to provide options to finish with an 8-0 victory.

The 14C team started their match with a goal in the ninth minute from Alice Herbert. This gave confidence to the team who then went on to score a further seven goals. India Rose and Clara Doubleday each slotted in two and Honor Williams netted a hat-trick. Captain India Rose was voted Player of the Match from the opposition. It was pleasing to see Emma Jeffries represent the C team with great effect. Jo Salmon and Amanda Cross Court were solid in defence, winning 8-1.

Wednesday 22nd November, Smile ISNC U19 Plate 2nd Round v Churcher’s College (h)

The first quarter was a shaky one for both teams with the ball swinging from team to team continuously. However, in the second quarter the Canford girls were slowly getting into the game. Their transitions became smooth and with some clinical attack the score line was beginning to stretch. Great athleticism from Bethan Burley trying out a different style of defence lead to clean and impressive turnovers. Lydia Harvey, Holly Hewitt and Sophie Nichol worked hard to try and take the GA out of the game which then forced errors. The attacking end really came together in this match and with some simple but effective feeds with great movement and holds by Lucy Stalker and Lilly Lloyd the goals were flowing. Amazing team performance by a group that has gelled together so quickly. W38-24 (LER)

Thursday 23rd November Squash v Bryanston (a)

The standout performance in this match was from Joe Hollywood. Having lost the first two games 2/11 and 8/11, he sneaked the third 12/10, and went on to win 11/8 11/0! Om Ramchandani, I am afraid ran out of gas in an epic 5 setter and Ben Morris also lost in 5. Billy Pocock and Oli Hilton managed to win their five setters though. L10-6 (JRAR)

Rugby: 1st XV v Ivybridge community College, Last 16 of RFU National Schools Cup (a)

After a long journey down to Devon the 1st XV were quickly made aware of what this match meant to the opposition as hundreds of pupils congregated on the bank above the pitch to support their team. A heavy, muddy pitch certainly suited the large Ivybridge pack and they began the game in determined fashion using the strong breeze at their back to pin Canford back into their “22”. The first 15-20 minutes of the first half saw Canford invite pressure onto themselves with some sloppy handling mistakes which kept giving the hosts a chance to exert pressure. It was from such a mistake that Ivybridge took the lead with a try under the posts which was easily converted. Despite the odd break out from defence Canford were still struggling to sustain any real continuity and Ivybridge knocked over a penalty to extend the lead to 10-0. However, this seemed to kick start the Canford boys into action and strong driving play from the forwards began to make inroads, forcing Ivybridge to concede a penalty which Elwood struck to open our account. After a passage of phase play which went back and forth across the width of the field, winger Nick Milton finished off superbly in the corner to open Canford’s account and this was expertly converted from out wide by James Elwood. The boys were back in the game and momentum was maintained as centre Luke Mehson raced over just before half time to put Canford in front 10-15.

An immediate mistake by Ivybridge from the restart provided Canford with a midfield scrum from which to attack and from a No.8 pick up the ball was fed to scrum half Danny Beard who put through a clever grubber kick which allowed Mehson to outpace the cover defence to bag his brace. The third quarter of the game was dominated by Canford dominating field position and starting to stretch the home defence but as the half progressed Canford began to kick away a little too much possession and Ivybridge were willing to counter attack from deep. From one such counter-attack they were able to put multiple phases together and scored a converted try to reduce the deficit to three points. Another counter attack was launched by Ivybridge but strong defence saw Canford create a turnover and this allowed Luke Mehson to steal the loose ball and use his pace and power to hand off the last defender and race under the posts for his third try. Elwood added the extras and the lead had been extended to 10 points. With time running out the hosts launched attacks from deep and Canford resolutely held out but eventually ran out of defenders and Ivybridge scrambled over for their third try. Despite the conversion reducing the gap to just three points time was up and the win was Canford’s putting us into the quarter finals of the National Cup where we play Warwick school away. W24-27 (MSB)

Hockey: U16 West Regional Finals and block fixture v Clayesmore

Against Clayesmore on Thursday, the Canford teams played one team down across the board. There were three wins, four draws and one defeat. The 2nds won 5-2, in a pleasing display of attacking hockey against Clayesmore's 1sts, during which Melody Dean netted a quick fire hat-trick. The 3rds and 4ths both drew 1-1 in evenly matched games versus their 2nds and 3rds, respectively, whilst the mighty 5th XI were in fine attacking form, registering a 7-0 win against their 4ths.

Under the lights, the 15B girls were keen to avenge last year's defeat versus their A's. Clayesmore started the first half very strongly and tested our defence, and towards the end of the half we kept the ball more effectively and built confidence. In the second period we dominated possession and chances - and but for the width of a post and a talented opposition keeper, we would have nicked the win. The 15C’s travelled away and on the grass lost out narrowly, 2-1 v their B’s. However, the 14C/Ds won 2-1 against their B’s; Charlotte Mendelson dribbling past three defenders and slotting it into the left corner of the goal to give us the lead. Another quick goal followed as Emily De Veulle with a great bit of play and a wonderful pass into space for Mendelson to add her second. Great work rate and relentlessness showed by Captain India Herrington who kept the whole squad motivated to not fall off the boil. The 14B’s led 3-0 before being pegged back to a 3-3 draw in a six goal thriller v their A team.

Also on Thursday, the U16 team contested the West Regional Finals, as they attempted to emulate their feat of 2015, when they won the equivalent U14 regional competition. Expectations were high, for we arrived as one of the pre-tournament favourites amongst a good crop of fancied schools. A pre-breakfast run outside the Premier Inn set the tone for the rest of the day, and our preparations for what we were hoping to achieve were thorough and geared towards giving us the best possible opportunity for success.

Wycliffe were the first of our three opponents in the group stages, and after a somewhat nervy beginning, when Sasha Witter made several fine saves in goal, we settled in with an expertly executed penalty corner by Captain Martha Taylor, to give us a 1-0 lead. Taylor then doubled our advantage through another corner on the stroke of half-time, and we were up and running. A third followed soon after the break when Sophie Saunders showed composure and instinct to calmly beat the last defender and slot to past the keeper. We were good value for our 3-0 win, and as the squally showers ebbed and flowed, we adapted well to the change in playing conditions. Millfield had won their first match on the other pitch versus Redmaids, and they were our next opponents. A devastating six minute counter attack spell saw us score three times through a clever Molly Fairbairn backhand finish, an outrageous Saunders reverse stick deflection, and another successful Taylor corner conversion. More chances followed in the second half, with the post and the goalkeeper denying us as we looked to add to our 30 lead. With Millfield also winning their second match, we refuelled on various culinary delights provided by our army of travelling parental supporters, before playing them in the final pool match. Having both qualified for the knockout stages, but with the placings not yet decided, Millfield drew first blood with a close range finish in the early exchanges, in a rare defensive lapse in concentration. This was the first tournament goal we had conceded (County Cup and West Preliminary round included). As the hail lashed down and the pitch briefly turned into a sea of white, we grew in stature and started to take control of the game. We capitalised on this pressure to equalise through another text book corner routine with the final play of the half, Taylor netting her fourth goal of the day. The second period provided more good quality hockey and opportunities to size each other up for an anticipated potential meeting in the final later on. Chances for us to win it came and went, but even though we finished the match stronger, the game ended 1-1 to leave us runners up in the group on goal difference.

A quick chance to refocus, regroup and try to warm up in the changing room was gratefully received, as we briefly prepared for our semi-final opponents, Marlborough College, who had edged hosts Clifton College into second place in the other group. Marlborough had been afforded the luxury of watching our Millfield game away from the elements, but our focus never wavered as we maintained our professionalism and started the game positively. We continued to show excellent decision making and increased tactical tweaks, with Beanie Culley showing skill and pace to carry a constant threat on the right hand side and exploit space effectively. Goalless at half-time, we took the lead from another Culley surge to the baseline, from where her cross-shot was turned into her own net by a last ditch challenge from an opposition defender. Marlborough responded, and we were resolute in successfully defending a string of penalty corners with disciplined and committed defending from the excellent Holly Hazzard, Lizzy Balls and Abby Childerley. We continued to search for a crucial second goal, and another positive attack saw us overload the Marlborough defence. Izzy Woodward had her initial shot saved, but Molly Fairbairn reacted quickest to pounce on the rebound; 2-0. We saw the game out knew that we had gained our place in the final with four fantastic performances. In the other semi-final, late drama saw Clifton snatch a controversial winning goal at the death to end Millfield's hopes of the title.

The team was buzzing for the fifth and final match of the day; the big one; the final itself. Acutely aware of their roles and responsibilities within the team dynamic, in order to achieve the ultimate aim of winning the competition and being able to claim Canford as the 'Best in the West', the girls grabbed the opportunity. A vocal home crowd lined the far side of the pitch, as the Clifton senior players added their support after their training session, but we kept our composure and worked tirelessly for one another, whilst being roared on by our own support. A first half penalty corner gave us the chance to take the lead, and Saunders saved her best for last as she first dispatched a trademark drag flick low into the bottom corner, before doubling our lead in the second half with a forehand deflection from another Taylor assist. India Still and Katie Ashcroft probed intelligently on the left hand side, exposing space and opportunities high up the pitch, while Martha Taylor dictated proceedings in the middle of the park. The aforementioned defensive unit showed fine footwork and vision in possession; Daena Shah, Imogen Fairweather and Hannah Fairchild gave useful support in midfield and Culley produced another inspired performance to worry the Clifton defence. As a squad, we showed maturity and character in abundance, and the 2-0 victory at the final whistle was met with jubilant scenes of celebration and joy on and off the field. Here, our 13 game unbeaten streak had culminated in the West regional title; as well as a richly deserved place at the National Finals at the end of February, amongst the top 8 schools in the country. A very proud day for all involved, and a reflection of the hard work and dedication which makes these types of moments both possible, and forever memorable.

Team of the week: 3-2-3-2
GK - Sasha Witter (U16)

RB - Holly Hazzard (U16) CB - Abby Childerley (U16) LB - Lizzy Balls (U16)

RWB - Beanie Culley (U16) LWB - Katie Ashcroft (U16)

RM - Hannah Fairchild (U16) CM - Martha Taylor (U16) LM - India Still (U16)

RF - Molly Fairbairn (U16) LF - Sophie Saunders (U16)

Subs Jess Rees (U16), Daena Shah (U16), Imogen Fairweather (U16), Bella Brown (U16), Izzy Woodward (U16)

Photos ready to view and download from Canford Media Hockey:

2nd XI v Clayesmore Hockey:

Shell girls v Clayesmore

Senior Football training

For this week’s fixtures please head to www.canfordsports.com

Sporting quote of the week:

Tuesday 14 th November Lacrosse: Canford v Milton Abbey The winter term Canford lacrosse players displayed significant advances in skills, strategy and fitness to score a victory over Milton Abbey last Thursday, beating them 12-9. The squad have worked hard, despite only numbering 15, in this lacrosse off-season. Considering half the players were complete beginners at the start of term, they did extremely well, notably Serena Chamberlain who scored two goals. Discipline in defence was maintained by Sophie Patrick, Lara Pilkington and Imogen Nichols while Nouri Khour was strong on the centre draw. Deya Shergill’s skilful side-arm shots evaded the Milton Abbey goalie time after time while Belle Woodman (capt) got some useful practice in goal for next term. (MXB) W12-9

Rugby: 1 st XV v Colston’s Collegiate School (h ) RFU Schools U18 National Cup Although the match against Colston’s was nominally the 3rd round of the National Cup for the 1st XV a combination of a bye and a walkover meant this game was actually our first foray into the tournament. The visitors from Bristol started well and certainly took the game to us and we seemed to be a little flustered in our play leading to numerous unforced errors. Fortunately a period of continuity led to a try for centre Luke Mehson which was successfully converted by James Ellwood to open up a 7-0 lead. Despite the lack of usual tempo in the Canford play the forwards managed to generate some efficient driving play with a series of pick and goes which eventually saw hooker Jonny Ireland barge his way over for try and give Canford a 12-0 lead at half time.

The interval provided an opportunity to take stock and refocus the minds on what makes this Canford 1st XV tick and the boys responded by generating faster ball and stretching the Colston’s defence. It was after some excellent attacking play which saw the ball used across the width of the field that Tom Sykes raced over in the corner to score a d excellent try. Colston’s didn't let their heads drop and bounced back with a fine try of their own which cut the deficit to just 10 points. Fortunately some effective decision making saw Canford reclaim both territorial and possession dominance and from a period of sustained pressure we were able to extend the lead through two more Mehson tries giving him hit first hatrick of the season. With an additional conversion from Elwood the final score was 29-7 and Canford now face Ivybridge Community College in the last 16.

Thursday 16 th November Squash v Clayesmore (h) Narrowly losing to Clayesmore earlier in the season meant we were keen to get out of the blocks fast! Ben Krips, Oscar McClean, Om Ramchandani and Max Wyatt all impressed with quick wins, taking us into 4-0 lead before we knew it and we never looked back. The mid-lower order are continuing to develop their skills and tactical play with big wins across the board, many are now cementing themselves as regulars in the team.

Player of the day has to go to Oliver Hilton; it was his first appearance for Canford and it was clear he wanted to make an impression. He ended up playing two matches at seed 10/11, winning a tense first 31 and completing the day with a comfortable 3-0 win. He will definitely be one to watch over the coming months! (JRAR) W9-2


U16 Dorset Schools County Netball at Budm outh College The Canford girls were ready to take on the challenge ahead to qualify for the Regional finals in January joining the 1st VII netball girls who have already booked their place. They were certainly up for the test with some pretty impressive score lines throughout the day. The ball travelled effortless through court with some excellent shooting from Charlotte Butt and Hannah Fairchild. The day saw amazing performances from the whole squad and despite limited preparation time the girls outscored their opponents 107-34 throughout the duration of the day. Great determination in the final was evident against Talbot Heath and even though we were trailing for the majority of the game, we brought it back for a nail-biting finish of 13-12. Well done girls!! (LER)



U14 Dorset Schools County Netball Championships The County Netball Tournament is always difficult in the Christmas term due to not having very much contact time. However, this team played some exciting netball through the pool stages and their improvement was clear to see scoring 60 goals and only conceding 12. A slight lapse in concentration in the semi-final against Parkstone Grammar saw a narrow loss so Parkstone and Talbot Heath qualified for the Regional Finals. Tournament play is always cruel but I am sure that this disappointment will only make this group of girls more determined. Roll on netball term and pre-season training in Wales!

Rugby: U16 D&WRFSU County C up Quarter Final (a) Canford U16A faced Bryanston in their semi-final county cup game. As is so often they started brighter than their opponents aiming to play their way from deep. Bryanston, perhaps more familiar to the surroundings of their big 1st team pitch opted to kick to space and pressure through their kick chase. They gained easy ground this way as there was a lack of urgency in the Canford support play that might have otherwise allowed the Canford boys to counter attack more effectively. This slight lethargy was also in evidence around the breakdown where neither side were fully able to exert their influence. Bryanston won the game with an effective one-two blow of two tries in almost as many minutes. For all their earnest effort on this afternoon Canford lacked a creative edge and cohesive teamwork to fully stretch the Bryanston side and should rue their indecisive breakdown work. A cup final berth would certainly have reflected this group’s ability and progress but they have still to learn to bring their intensity to every match, a tricky ask but one that will start to separate them from the ‘rest’ if they are to kick on as a group.

Hockey: U18 West Regional Champs On Thursday, the U18s travelled to Bristol to contest the West Regional Finals. In the group of death, we faced Dean Close, Clifton College and Millfield, so had our work cut out to progress to the knockout stages. We started well against Dean Close, but faded after half time to suffer a heavy defeat due to a skilful opposition and some poor decisions on our part. However, we recovered to play much more aggressively and effectively against Clifton and deserved a point, only to concede a last play



penalty corner and an agonising 1-0 defeat. Millfield, featuring several England U18 and National League regulars were made to work exceptionally hard for their 1-0 victory, which they scored 3 minutes for the end of play. Hannah Cox was magnificent in goal; making a number of high quality saves, whilst the energy all over the pitch was excellent. Millfield were the eventual winners and we gave a very good account of ourselves at a high level of competition.

Saturday 18 th November Football : 1 st XV v OC XI (h), 2ns XI v Downside 1 st XI With the Golden Generation of Old Canfordians returning, our 1st XI knew they had a battle on their hands. Battle they did, though, and they held their own admirably in a tight contest of the kind that would make Mourinho proud. Both teams were as tight as could be defensively, allowing no quarter to the opposition attacks. It was no surprise to the many spectators that the match ended 0-0 - even after extra time. Of the current XI, Freddie Martin was the pick of an exceptional defensive performance, bombing up the flanks and playing with remarkable calm and maturity. For the OC's, Felix Organ lit up the match with some splendid skill exhibitions - such as when he nutmegged his younger brother - and powerful surging runs.

The 2nd XI faced a very strong Downside team and, despite holding their own and only being one goal behind at the end of the first half, ended up on the wrong side of an 8-1 score line. Though it is never fun to experience a loss of that magnitude, the boys know that they competed evenly for 45 minutes, so there is something to build on - and a lot to learn from.

Rowing On Saturday we welcomed Bryanston and Lymington to some racing on our stretch of the Stour. This was a friendly meet to allow for some racing against crews outside of Canford. Our experienced girls raced in a combination of double and quadruple sculls mixing our J17 and J16 girls. Several senior girls, who only took up rowing in September (with the return of Poppy Pinner to help) were able to race for their first time with experienced cox Kitty Arnold. The boys took on singles sculls for two of the races before jumping into an Eight and Coxed Four for the third race. Lymington enjoyed the chance to race on flatter waters compared to their usual coastal racing, whilst Bryanston provided some good bench marks for us, with their J18 2x recording times only beaten by our J18 Eight and J18 Coxed Four. Friends of Canford provided some tasty warm treats for all involved, making for a lovely end to a great days racing. We look forward to some more meets with Bryanston in the future.

Rugby v Seaford College The first ever visit for Canford 1st XV to Seaford College was marked by wet and blustery weather and a pitch which was heavy and probably the minimum width allowed so it was not going to be a game for expansive rugby! Faced with the wind in the first half Canford defended manfully repelling wave after wave of Seaford runners. Some good close driving play from the forwards and powerful surges from centre Will Butt provided some respite but it was the impressive defensive effort which kept the boys all square at the break.

Canford immediately started the second half on the front foot and began to exert pressure in the opposition "22" but some sloppy play allowed Seaford to break out from their own half. They launched attacks of their own and pegged Canford back and from a series of rucks Seaford powered over the line



to open the lead to the joy of a very vociferous crowd. Nevertheless, Canford again gained good field position and began to attack the Seaford line. Continuing to be a thorn in the Seaford line Will Butt came extremely close to scoring but was adjudged to have been held up. Another attack saw a 3-1 overlap blown but thankfully the referee was playing advantage for a Seaford infringement and we were able to attack again. Another burst by Butt was held up and it looked like it might be one of those days but more forward driving saw prop forward James Priaulx squeeze over in the corner. Having lost James Elwood to injury young replacement fly half Tom Sykes took over the kicking duties but his effort drifted wide, although inexplicably the conversion was not retaken despite a clear and audible shout from one of the onrushing chargers. Both teams continued to put their bodies on the line as they went after the decisive score and courageous work from flanker Tom Patrick in slowing the ball down at the tackle resulted in him picking up an extremely unusual but desperately painful hip dislocation injury for which we all wish him a speedy recovery. With Tom unable to be moved and only four minutes remaining it was felt the best course of action was to call the game a draw which was probably a fair result on the day. (MSB) D5-5

The 1st XV now face their last 16 cup match on Thursday 23rd but the depth of the squad is being tested significantly and it is hoped we can get through this game successfully and without further injuries.

For the first time this season, the 2nd XV came across an opposition that dominated them for most of the game. Up front, the Seaford pack towered over the Canford lads, and the result was a scrum that went backwards at great speed all afternoon, balls turned over in the contact, and a massive defensive effort required to keep them at the gain line. For most of the afternoon, Canford stuck to their defensive task very well, with Ed Kendall and James Norris featuring high on the tackle count charts, and Alex Robertson likewise showing aggression in midfield. However, going forward we were living off scraps, and failed to get good field position to launch concerted attacks. Charlie Ford and Alex showed glimpses of creativity and cutting edge, but it was in the context of a collective inability to retain the ball for a significant number of phases and the lack of opportunities in the danger areas. There was one chance in the 2nd half when Josh Effick found himself in space in the Seaford 22 and chipped through to the dead ball area, but nothing came of it.

Given the way that the lads stuck to the task throughout the afternoon, it is a shame that 17 of the 22 points were gifted to Seaford. In the first half, their only try, came from a strong run by their left wing from inside his own half – however, he was missed on 3 occasions by players who should have made the tackle, allowing him to cruise under the posts for a 7 pointer. They also kicked a penalty from a rookie error of Canford players in front of the kicker not retiring when waiting to be put on side from a routine clearance. Seaford constructed a good try out wide on the left midway through the second half to make it 15-0, but their last points didn’t come until the dying minutes when a member of the Canford pack opened his mouth once too often, got penalised, and then was marched back a further 10m for continuing the ‘discussion’ with the referee, to give Seaford a penalty 5-10m out from the line. The pressure told and they scored 7 more avoidable points.

It’s hard to say how the lads could have won the game, given the size differential and the conditions, but if the scoreline had remained tight, perhaps the pressure could have told on the Seaford XV and chances may have presented themselves. A tough day at the office. (PAJ) L22-0


With an away game to Seaford I was once again given the privilege off looking after the mighty 3rd XV. Having been with them twice so far this season it was going to be an opportunity for me to see if they were still enjoying their rugby as much as they had at the start of the season, and to see how much they had progressed. I was not to be disappointed on either front.

The pitch had more than a gentle slope on it and a prevailing breeze that also ran downhill. Having lost the toss the boys found themselves playing up the hill and into the breeze. This has been a side, in my previous outings with them, that has never been afraid of defence and this was to show in the first half. With line pressure and first time tackling, along with more than a degree of defensive organisation we managed to deny Seaford space and the gain line; basically we tackled them back into their own half, indeed into their 22 and kept them there for most of the half. It was only when down to 13 due to Rees going up to the 2nds and Tom Suddards picking up an injury from his own man (I should point out Seaford matched us 13 v 13) that Seaford got the little bit of space that they needed and ran in a try that they converted just before the half time whistle.

The boys were disappointed to be down given the effort that they had put in but if they continued to in the same vein the second half would provide reward for their efforts. Put simply, the boys were relentless and were quickly on the front foot. Great rucking and ball retention, along with some great positional kicking were to see us put continued pressure on the Seaford boys in all parts of the park. Four well worked tries were scored during the course of this half, but two in particular were worthy of mention. The first saw Nat Todd, who had been immense at the breakdown, made the most of not being securely held to get to his feet and make a line break that turned out to be over half the pitch. When winger and full back came to make a cover tackle he calmly drew both players to him, slipped the pass to a supporting Tom Armstrong and the Canford boys were on the board. The second excellent try was our third, when a rainmaking box kick from Jack Sherborne was knocked on and we had a scrum inside their 22. A dummy number 8 pick up by Angus Colqhoun that had the whole Seaford back row following him, allowed our backs to execute a great set piece play which saw Jack Phillips walk through the largest of gaps to score under the posts.

Between tries 3 and 4 Seaford scored, but we managed to reply which at 24 – 12 and minutes to go managed to put the game beyond reach. Seaford sneaked one at the death, but the game was over by then and Canford can take justifiable pride in a very fine win. (PAE) W12-24

Following a bruising encounter against Bryanston just 48 hours earlier, this fixture against a strong Seaford outfit was always going to be tough for the U16A team. As in the previous week against Sherborne, things did not start well and we once again found ourselves two scores down early on in the contest. There was not a great deal between the two sides but the Seaford XV were more streetwise and took advantage of any defensive lapse in concentration. With the score at 15-0 at half time it would have been very easy for the Canford side to roll over but that is not what this side is about. Despite missing four of the starting side from Thursday and losing two more through injury in the second half, the boys showed great character and heart to come back at Seaford and leave them scrambling in defence to keep us out. A special mention to Patrick Taylor who tackled everything that moved and to the boys who came up for their full A team debuts – Cameron Powell and Ben Holland. Both acquitted themselves brilliantly. (RGJ) L0-15


The U16 Barbarians (Colts B XV) found themselves facing a range of boy-mountains, hewn from the heights of the Sussex Downs; and their tenacity and resilience in containing a ferocious onslaught was commendable. Many individuals made courageous and even incisive contributions – a fine try by Ollie White following an arcing run; more tackles than I have fingers and toes to count by Rupert Thomas … the list could go on. But like Cnut trying to hold back the tide, it was always going to be ‘an ask too far’. Passages of containment, plenty of ‘cut and thrust’; but Seaford were just too strong (and large). Inevitably they found the holes in our defence and we succumbed. However, pride was maintained and stout hearts were revealed. We may have lost … but we lost with heart and dignity intact. To fight another day? (JPST) L5-44

Heartbreak for the 15A’s on Saturday as they took on Lord Wandsworth College in round 2 of the national plate. After a promising start to take the lead the Canford went to sleep for the rest of the 1st half. Leading to imprecision at the breakdown, defensive line and tackle which then allowed Wandsworth’s ball carriers to generate some momentum for their side. This they did and were able to go ahead with two well taken tries of their own. By no means were things beyond the Canfordians control even though the score got a little worse straight after half time when their opponents re-started smartly to make their lead 3 scores. Canford then rallied extremely well with excellent interplay throughout the team. Will Whitmore carrying well, Joba Agbedejobi stretching his opposite number with his searing pace and forwards Pepin, Matthews and Philpot notably to the fore, linking and carrying effectively. This allowed Canford to go back into the lead and wrestle complete control of the game exemplified by an excellent passage from a tapped penalty where Toby Philpot went crashing over the line. At this point Canford still attempted to play rugby from deep, when pressing higher up the field may have been the way to see out the game. Just at this moment the imprecision began to creep in once more and following a kicked penalty to touch and resulting line out, Wandsworth squeaked over in the final play of the game and with it snatch the win. The Junior Colts can be justifiably pleased with their efforts, even though the result ultimately didn’t go their way, they supported each other firmly to the end and some of the interplay between forwards and backs was of real top quality. Of course the challenge is to repeat these passages of play as much as they can. Onwards and upwards! (PTS) L28-29

A spirited performance by the under 15B’s saw them draw the last hour of the match 5 -5. Unfortunately, we were 19 – 0 down after 5 minutes due to our tendency to stand off and watch to see how good the opponents are before we play. A major improvement (after the opening 5 minutes) was our line speed and general pressure and it was agreed that our intensity at warm-ups needs to improve to avoid falling so far behind quickly. Man of the match was Will Priaulx for some fine tackling and an improved willingness to pass off the wrong hand. (OTP) L5-24

Seaford 14A's were the strongest side we have faced this year. Well organised, they blended strong runners with the ability to attack at pace out wide. Our defence which had improved in recent weeks was found wanting in the first half. In the latter stages of the match, we pressed on the Seaford line and had plenty of possession and should have come away with a couple more scores.

A tough day but with 2 games left of the season we must try to piece together decent performances to make sure an able team do themselves justice. (DFL) L55-5

The 14B’s showed their ability and perseverance with what proved to be a game of 2 halves! Playing up the slope and against the wind in the first half, the U14B’s has their work cut out for them as they faced


a Seaford side who had the size advantage in the forwards and some rapid pace on the wings. Despite digging in and working well as a team, the first half ended 24 – 0 to Seaford. There were plenty of positives to talk about at half time though and Canford came out in the second half ready to play. Their perseverance and impressive physicality was eventually rewarded as the ball was spun out wide for Sam Jefferson to touchdown in the corner. The second half ended with 1 try a piece and certainly a performance the 14B’s should be proud of. Particular mentions go to Sam Jefferson who was awarded MOTM by the supporting parents and Joseph Bland who led from the front with a brilliant defensive display. (JN) L29-5

With Charlie Mason returning to his former school, the 14C’s were keen to demonstrate the improvements they have made during the season. Captain Richard Hare’s team did not disappoint their coach or watching parents; treating them to a highly entertaining match with lots of tries. Canford weren’t intimidated by their slightly bigger and more physical opponents, and I was especially impressed by the quality of the forwards’ play in both the set piece and ruck. The latter has been a problem area in the past, and so it was very encouraging to see that our improved organisation and commitment paid dividends as we secured some good ball and slowed Seaford’s attack. It was a similar story with the backs who, through more aggressive pressure in defence, forced Seaford into making a number of handling errors.

Canford’s attack play is also improving as they begin to make better use of support runners, although there is still a tendency for individuals to carry the ball for a little too long. There were some very impressive tries, not least from debutante scrum half Nat Davey who danced through to score under the posts and winger Tommy Qian who showed a good eye for a gap in the latter stage of the game. The team left the pitch pleased with their performance if not the overall result and will head to Clifton keen to build on the progress they have made. (NHJ) L48-28

Team of the Week 1. Tom Ralls 2. Pat Taylor 3.James Priaulx 4. James Norris 5.Nick Newton 6. Toby Philpot 8. Joseph Bland 7. Rupert Thomas 9. Will Priaulx 10. Luke Johnson 12. Will Butt 13. Jack Phillips 11. Tommy Qian 14. Joba Agbedajobi 15. Charlie Ford

Hockey v Kingswood On Saturday we faced a block fixture with Kingswood. Our teams delivered 10 victories out of 10, but in the senior team matches, there were some closely fought matches. The 1st XI, back to full complement with the U18 and U16 squads being combined as normal, were keen to get back to winning ways. We started slowly with our first touch failing us, trailing 2-0 after 12 minutes. A goal mouth scramble saw some committed but composed last ditch defending, and a third Kingswood goal was averted. This proved to be a turning point, as soon after we halved the deficit when Sophie Saunders fired in after good approach play involving several players. A stern half time team talk addressed the need for improvements in our decision making, core skills and connections amongst


players, and the reaction was fantastic. We upped our intensity and dominated territory as we probed the Kingswood defence. The work rate was first class, with India Still creative going forwards and steadfast defensively, whilst Bea Fairbairn and captain Emily Balls were unruffled and disciplined defensively. Good chances came and went, and the partisan crowd were roaring us forward. India Still capped a player of the match display with a clean reverse stick strike from the top of the D to draw us level at 2-2 with less than three minutes remaining, and we poured forward thereafter in search of a winner. In the dying seconds we won a penalty corner to give us one final chance of victory with the very last play. An attempted deflection was blocked, but Martha Taylor reacted quickest to find space in a crowded D and evade the goalkeeper before unerringly slotting the ball home from close range on the backhand! Cue wild celebrations for a dramatic 3-2 victory full of endeavour and character.

The 2nds followed up with a copycat 3-2 victory, although we led throughout the game and had control of the game for long periods. Lucy Chapple played well in midfield and Izzy Woodward posed a constant threat, grabbing herself a brace of goals, whilst Emily Witter completed the scoring. The 3rds won 2-1. It was a tight game and tested the girls’ resilience. No score at half time, but the girls came back out strong and a nice bit of teamwork from Izzi Toovey and Ines Mitchell allowed the latter to nick the opener. A second goal followed, which allowed the girls to relax. Our player of the match was Ella Sutton, Alice Davies played neatly in midfield and Cece Rogers put in a very strong performance as captain. It was an accomplished performance from the 4th XI against an unbeaten side – our best performance so far. The final result was a 2-0 win; goalscorers were Larissa Kosinski and Jess Crossman. Jess fired an incredible shot in from the top of the D from a short corner, whilst Lara popped in a smart rebound after her initial shot cannoned back off the post. Iqra Iftikhar didn't miss a single tackle in defence and was hugely reliable.

The 15A’s started strongly, played passing hockey on the flanks to outwit the opposition. Molly Fairbairn and Gemma Kendall put their defence on the back foot with effective high pressure. We scored twice on the break through Molly and Gemma and added a third before the break through another Fairbairn strike. Kendall grabbed her second and Lucy Norris made it 5-0 in the second period. Sasha Mowatt carried well from the back setting up countless attacks. Eve Hewett and Polly Yule remained strong in defence dealing with any threats from Kingswood. The 15B’s started off as a very odd game; not much possession, loose balls and an unusual opposition style of hockey to contend with. A short corner came, opting for the simple straight strike Chessie Hellier hit the back board. From this point on, we stayed calm and worked hard off the ball. Before the half time whistle a combination of a Milenka Soskin and Serena Blake added a second. After the break we were all over them, stringing passes together and attacking whenever we could. Due to a short corner and a very good eyes on a rebound, goals came again from Chessie and Lulu King. Even though with a few players of the opposition being physical it was great to see Canford not dropping any standards and just realising, it’s so much easier to just play better hockey and get the win. Player of the match at right midfield was Sydney Brown, whilst Sana Iftikhar made her debut.

After a successful win last week, the 15C team was raring to go! A quick turn of possession from the team led Flora Peddie to score the first goal. Another break from Canford gave Amelia Green the chance to strike at goal to lead 2-0. With the team focusing on short corners in training, an opportunity to show this came when two short corners were awarded and two more goals were scored (one a team effort and the other from Stella Jarvis off the post). Canford looked strong and with the half time whistle about to go, Flora scored her second to make it 5-0. In the second half, the girls looked very

strong with the defence making some great tackles and spreading the ball out wide allowing the midfield and attackers to work as a team to create space for Green to strike at goal again. With Kingswood digging deep and making a break from the midfield, it was up to the defensive four of Canford to make sure no goals were conceded. This led to Green making a break and gaining herself a hat trick by scoring the last goal of the game for a 7-0 victory.

The 14A game was over as a contest within ten minutes, though the opening exchanges didn’t really suggest the one sided game that ensued. We stood off Kingswood in the first five minutes and some pace through midfield got them in behind us, some last ditch cover tackling from Rosie Ireland and Orlagh O'Donnell preventing an early goal. When Flora Lingafelter latched onto a rebound off their keeper it was somewhat against the run of play, but we were quickly two up, with a carbon copy goal after a shot by Alicia Hudson. When Juliette Quick showed great composure to rifle home a shot after a lengthy advantage five minutes later we were out of sight. Half time was 4-0, Lingafelter completing her hat trick with a shot that bobbled home slightly apologetically. We were in control, but playing at only 60%. A big challenge therefore, as last week, to play with more precision and focus in the second half. To their credit the girls upped their game, and lifted their ball pace. We were first to the ball all over the pitch, stepping in front of opponents and driving the ball forward. The goals continued to come, 5-0 from a very crisp corner strike from Hudson, 6-0 a composed reverse stick strike by Charlotte Brook, and 7-0 from the best team goal of the day, O'Donnell powering the ball up the right touchline before releasing Bella Hunter who drove round the back and found Lingafelter for her fourth. Hunter scored the 8th from a switched corner routine and the 9th from a textbook determined run, the ball breaking to her for a crisp finish from close range. There were good moments all over the pitch. Sky Pilkington stepped up to ‘A’ team hockey — she reads the game very well and looked comfortable at this level. We played the girls out of position in the second half which was very interesting to see - some great left midfield play from sweeper Rosie Ireland. Kingswood never gave up to their credit, and had a great chance to snatch a consolation at the end.

With injuries and illness hitting the 14B squad this week, we travelled with 12 girls. Rebecca Morris filled in as goalkeeper, and Canford started well, with captain Lucy Hancock, winning the toss at the start of the game. Canford dominated from the off with all the girls starting to show more confidence on the ball. Some nice team play helped create our opening goal with Evie Chippendale tapping in at the back post for an easy goal early on. Tabby Fuery shortly followed that goal with one of her own and put us in a strong position early on. With a two goal cushion, the girls started to play with some more freedom, with some great passing play creating a further two goals before half time from Millie Keen. 4-0 up at half time was fully deserved and the girls decided they weren’t finished there. Milly Keen fired in two more after the break and this match showed the improvements the team has made in the last few weeks. The defence were calm on the ball and distributed very well, with the midfielders constantly running to provide options to finish with an 8-0 victory.

The 14C team started their match with a goal in the ninth minute from Alice Herbert. This gave confidence to the team who then went on to score a further seven goals. India Rose and Clara Doubleday each slotted in two and Honor Williams netted a hat-trick. Captain India Rose was voted Player of the Match from the opposition. It was pleasing to see Emma Jeffries represent the C team with great effect. Jo Salmon and Amanda Cross Court were solid in defence, winning 8-1.



Wednesday 22 nd November, Smile ISNC U1 9 Plate 2 nd Round v Churcher’s College (h) The first quarter was a shaky one for both teams with the ball swinging from team to team continuously. However, in the second quarter the Canford girls were slowly getting into the game. Their transitions became smooth and with some clinical attack the score line was beginning to stretch. Great athleticism from Bethan Burley trying out a different style of defence lead to clean and impressive turnovers. Lydia Harvey, Holly Hewitt and Sophie Nichol worked hard to try and take the GA out of the game which then forced errors. The attacking end really came together in this match and with some simple but effective feeds with great movement and holds by Lucy Stalker and Lilly Lloyd the goals were flowing. Amazing team performance by a group that has gelled together so quickly. W38-24 (LER)

Thursday 23 rd November Squash v Bryanston (a) The standout performance in this match was from Joe Hollywood. Having lost the first two games 2/11 and 8/11, he sneaked the third 12/10, and went on to win 11/8 11/0! Om Ramchandani, I am afraid ran out of gas in an epic 5 setter and Ben Morris also lost in 5. Billy Pocock and Oli Hilton managed to win their five setters though. L10-6 (JRAR)

Rugby: 1 st XV v Ivybridge community College, Last 16 of RFU National Schools Cup (a) After a long journey down to Devon the 1st XV were quickly made aware of what this match meant to the opposition as hundreds of pupils congregated on the bank above the pitch to support their team. A heavy, muddy pitch certainly suited the large Ivybridge pack and they began the game in determined fashion using the strong breeze at their back to pin Canford back into their “22”. The first 15-20 minutes of the first half saw Canford invite pressure onto themselves with some sloppy handling mistakes which kept giving the hosts a chance to exert pressure. It was from such a mistake that Ivybridge took the lead with a try under the posts which was easily converted. Despite the odd break out from defence Canford were still struggling to sustain any real continuity and Ivybridge knocked over a penalty to extend the lead to 10-0. However, this seemed to kick start the Canford boys into action and strong driving play from the forwards began to make inroads, forcing Ivybridge to concede a penalty which Elwood struck to open our account. After a passage of phase play which went back and forth across the width of the field, winger Nick Milton finished off superbly in the corner to open Canford’s account and this was expertly converted from out wide by James Elwood. The boys were back in the game and momentum was maintained as centre Luke Mehson raced over just before half time to put Canford in front 10-15.

An immediate mistake by Ivybridge from the restart provided Canford with a midfield scrum from which to attack and from a No.8 pick up the ball was fed to scrum half Danny Beard who put through a clever grubber kick which allowed Mehson to outpace the cover defence to bag his brace. The third quarter of

the game was dominated by Canford dominating field position and starting to stretch the home defence but as the half progressed Canford began to kick away a little too much possession and Ivybridge were willing to counter attack from deep. From one such counter-attack they were able to put multiple phases together and scored a converted try to reduce the deficit to three points. Another counter attack was launched by Ivybridge but strong defence saw Canford create a turnover and this allowed Luke Mehson to steal the loose ball and use his pace and power to hand off the last defender and race under the posts for his third try. Elwood added the extras and the lead had been extended to 10 points. With time running out the hosts launched attacks from deep and Canford resolutely held out but eventually ran out of defenders and Ivybridge scrambled over for their third try. Despite the conversion reducing the gap to just three points time was up and the win was Canford’s putting us into the quarter finals of the National Cup where we play Warwick school away. W24-27 (MSB)

Hockey: U16 West Regional Finals and block fixture v Clayesmore Against Clayesmore on Thursday, the Canford teams played one team down across the board. There were three wins, four draws and one defeat. The 2nds won 5-2, in a pleasing display of attacking hockey against Clayesmore's 1sts, during which Melody Dean netted a quick fire hat-trick. The 3rds and 4ths both drew 1-1 in evenly matched games versus their 2nds and 3rds, respectively, whilst the mighty 5th XI were in fine attacking form, registering a 7-0 win against their 4ths.

Under the lights, the 15B’s girls were keen to avenge last year's defeat versus their A's. Clayesmore started the first half very strongly and tested our defence, and towards the end of the half we kept the ball more effectively and built confidence. In the second period we dominated possession and chances - and but for the width of a post and a talented opposition keeper, we would have nicked the win. The 15C’s travelled away and on the grass lost out narrowly, 2-1 v their B’s. However, the 14C/Ds won 2-1 against their B’s; Charlotte Mendelson dribbling past three defenders and slotting it into the left corner of the goal to give us the lead. Another quick goal followed as Emily De Veulle with a great bit of play and a wonderful pass into space for Mendelson to add her second. Great work rate and relentlessness showed by Captain India Herrington who kept the whole squad motivated to not fall off the boil. The 14B’s led 3-0 before being pegged back to a 3-3 draw in a six goal thriller v their A team.

Also on Thursday, the U16 team contested the West Regional Finals, as they attempted to emulate their feat of 2015, when they won the equivalent U14 regional competition. Expectations were high, for we arrived as one of the pre-tournament favourites amongst a good crop of fancied schools. A prebreakfast run outside the Premier Inn set the tone for the rest of the day, and our preparations for what we were hoping to achieve were thorough and geared towards giving us the best possible opportunity for success.

Wycliffe were the first of our three opponents in the group stages, and after a somewhat nervy beginning, when Sasha Witter made several fine saves in goal, we settled in with an expertly executed penalty corner by Captain Martha Taylor, to give us a 1-0 lead. Taylor then doubled our advantage through another corner on the stroke of half-time, and we were up and running. A third followed soon after the break when Sophie Saunders showed composure and instinct to calmly beat the last defender and slot to past the keeper. We were good value for our 3-0 win, and as the squally showers ebbed and flowed, we adapted well to the change in playing conditions. Millfield had won their first match on the other pitch versus Redmaids, and they were our next opponents. A devastating six minute counter attack spell saw us score three times through a clever Molly Fairbairn backhand finish, an outrageous


Saunders reverse stick deflection, and another successful Taylor corner conversion. More chances followed in the second half, with the post and the goalkeeper denying us as we looked to add to our 30 lead. With Millfield also winning their second match, we refuelled on various culinary delights provided by our army of travelling parental supporters, before playing them in the final pool match. Having both qualified for the knockout stages, but with the placings not yet decided, Millfield drew first blood with a close range finish in the early exchanges, in a rare defensive lapse in concentration. This was the first tournament goal we had conceded (County Cup and West Preliminary round included). As the hail lashed down and the pitch briefly turned into a sea of white, we grew in stature and started to take control of the game. We capitalised on this pressure to equalise through another text book corner routine with the final play of the half, Taylor netting her fourth goal of the day. The second period provided more good quality hockey and opportunities to size each other up for an anticipated potential meeting in the final later on. Chances for us to win it came and went, but even though we finished the match stronger, the game ended 1-1 to leave us runners up in the group on goal difference.

A quick chance to refocus, regroup and try to warm up in the changing room was gratefully received, as we briefly prepared for our semi-final opponents, Marlborough College, who had edged hosts Clifton College into second place in the other group. Marlborough had been afforded the luxury of watching our Millfield game away from the elements, but our focus never wavered as we maintained our professionalism and started the game positively. We continued to show excellent decision making and increased tactical tweaks, with Beanie Culley showing skill and pace to carry a constant threat on the right hand side and exploit space effectively. Goalless at half-time, we took the lead from another Culley surge to the baseline, from where her cross-shot was turned into her own net by a last ditch challenge from an opposition defender. Marlborough responded, and we were resolute in successfully defending a string of penalty corners with disciplined and committed defending from the excellent Holly Hazzard, Lizzy Balls and Abby Childerley. We continued to search for a crucial second goal, and another positive attack saw us overload the Marlborough defence. Izzy Woodward had her initial shot saved, but Molly Fairbairn reacted quickest to pounce on the rebound; 2-0. We saw the game out knew that we had gained our place in the final with four fantastic performances. In the other semi-final, late drama saw Clifton snatch a controversial winning goal at the death to end Millfield's hopes of the title.

The team was buzzing for the fifth and final match of the day; the big one; the final itself. Acutely aware of their roles and responsibilities within the team dynamic, in order to achieve the ultimate aim of winning the competition and being able to claim Canford as the 'Best in the West', the girls grabbed the opportunity. A vocal home crowd lined the far side of the pitch, as the Clifton senior players added their support after their training session, but we kept our composure and worked tirelessly for one another, whilst being roared on by our own support. A first half penalty corner gave us the chance to take the lead, and Saunders saved her best for last as she first dispatched a trademark drag flick low into the bottom corner, before doubling our lead in the second half with a forehand deflection from another


Taylor assist. India Still and Katie Ashcroft probed intelligently on the left hand side, exposing space and opportunities high up the pitch, while Martha Taylor dictated proceedings in the middle of the park. The aforementioned defensive unit showed fine footwork and vision in possession; Daena Shah, Imogen Fairweather and Hannah Fairchild gave useful support in midfield and Culley produced another inspired performance to worry the Clifton defence. As a squad, we showed maturity and character in abundance, and the 2-0 victory at the final whistle was met with jubilant scenes of celebration and joy on and off the field. Here, our 13 game unbeaten streak had culminated in the West regional title; as well as a richly deserved place at the National Finals at the end of February, amongst the top 8 schools in the country. A very proud day for all involved, and a reflection of the hard work and dedication which makes these types of moments both possible, and forever memorable.

Team of the week: 3-2-3-2
GK - Sasha Witter (U16) RB - Holly Hazzard (U16) CB - Abby Childerley (U16) LB - Lizzy Balls (U16) RWB - Beanie Culley (U16) LWB - Katie Ashcroft (U16) RM - Hannah Fairchild (U16) CM - Martha Taylor (U16) LM - India Still (U16) RF - Molly Fairbairn (U16) LF - Sophie Saunders (U16)

Subs Jess Rees (U16), Daena Shah (U16), Imogen Fairweather (U16), Bella Brown (U16), Izzy Woodward (U16)

Photos ready to view and download from Canford Media Hockey: 2nd XI v Clayesmore Hockey: Shell girls v Clayesmore Senior Football training

For this week’s fixtures please head to www.canfordsports.com

Sporting quote of the week:

“ Learning from your mistakes, making adjustments and going out and competing again – that's the mark of a Champion"

Mark Burley

Director of Sport

Twitter: @CanfordSport

27th November 2017