05 Dec 2017
Christmas Term 2017: Week 12 Sports Report

Christmas Term 2017: Week 12 Sports Report
Last week’s sporting action was the penultimate set of block fixtures for the term and considering the significant amount of illness, injury and legitimate unavailability it was quite remarkable we were able to field 12 rugby teams, 11 hockey teams and 2 football teams against various opponents. Well done to all pupils involved and as we approach the final round of fixtures keep it going! This week also sees the 1st XV play away against Warwick School in the National Cup quarter finals and I am sure you will all join me in wishing them the very best of luck for this big game.

Netball: Smile ISNC U15 Plate Competition 1st Round v Red Maid’s School (a)

The U15A’s travelled to Red Maid’s School to compete in the National Plate Round 1 stage. After a quick warm up and team talk, the team were raring to go out on court and show off their netball skills which they had been practising all week. The girls got off to a flying start with 4 consecutive goals unanswered for; Molly Fairbairn was quick off the line showing some great team work with Talia White around the circle edge. Our shooters were slotting in goals with confidence which saw the score line increase. Throughout the game Canford were leading the way, GK Chessie Hellier started to force Red Maid’s to make errors in the shooting circle with Evie Corn making numerous turnovers to gain possession for the team. We got a little ahead of ourselves and forgot our game plan during the second half, playing almost too quickly. This led to a number of errors allowing Red Maid’s to crawl back and gain an extra 3 goals. However, Canford reacted well and with some more strong defence the girls seized the initiative from Red Maid’s and opened up a significant advantage.

The whole squad forced pressure upon Red Maid’s, turning the majority of possession over and sending it straight to goal. At the end of the game, Canford came out as winners with an incredible score of 5915. POM Milenka Soskin. (HXB)

Rugby v Bishop Wordsworth’s School

The final home match of the season for the 1st XV saw Bishop Wordsworth’s School battle against Canford on Higher Park. With the forthcoming National Cup quarter final on the horizon it was important for Canford to start well and generate a tempo and intensity in play which would act as preparation for that match. Unfortunately, an unforced error gifted BWS an interception under the posts and a 7 point lead early on, but the team responded well and a series of attacks saw full back Max Mallinson touch down for a deserved try which was well converted by James Elwood. Canford began to play to their strengths out wide and some enterprising play saw the BWS defence often stretched to the limit. From another period of continuity centre Luke Mehson continued his fine try scoring form with another touchdown to take Canford into a 5 point lead and this was further extended before half time with more fine play. A series of attacks and effective support play saw flanker Robbie Tolcher score and Elwood slotted a fine conversion to open up a 12 point lead.

The message at half time was more of the same but unfortunately there was a physical and psychological drop off in intensity which was capitalised on by the hungry BWS players. Tackles were missed, handling errors increased and the initiative was lost. Bishops made some strong bursts and displayed positive body language and support to score three unanswered tries in the second half. There were still chances for Canford to grab at least a draw but a lack of composure at key times definitely cost Canford their chance of remaining unbeaten.

Ultimately, the main goal of the season has always been to progress as far as we can in the National Cup and that hasn’t changed. If the boys have recognised where they went wrong last Saturday and can implement the appropriate solutions into Wednesday’s match against Warwick they will be one step closer to their goal. L19-26

The 2nd XV were once again on the wrong side of a close, tough, evenly fought match, as they conceded 12 points in the last 10 minutes. From the early exchanges it was clear that it would be a game that could go either way, with Bishops dominating territory, but Canford holding on well, with turnovers from the ubiquitous Luke Reid coming at crucial times, and good decision making from Josh Effick at the breakdown getting them out of trouble one more than one occasion. Canford however, showed enough with ball in hand to show they were a threat, with Bugs Mitchell creating havoc down the left as time and again he left defenders trailing in his wake.

However, territory eventually turned into points for the visitors as a prolonged period of pressure told, retaining the ball and running it on the short side over multiple phases to eventually score in the left hand corner. The 2nds responded well, and finally established good field position through Max Bingham’s boot, and got on the board with a Charlie Ford penalty after 25 minutes.

Despite losing a few key players to the 1sts at the break, the boys came out strongly in the 2nd half putting pressure on Bishops in their own half, winning a penalty on the left. Thankfully the kick to touch missed, as the right winger knocked it on, and the alert Mitchell was on hand to kick through and touch down in the corner. 8-5 up, game on.

Canford were good value for their lead, strong in defence, with Rees Powell particularly impressive in his first start for the 2s. However, we were making things difficult for ourselves by giving away too many needless penalties, especially from the lineout, where we failed to respond to the referee’s interpretation of the laws. From such an infringement, Bishops kicked deep into our half for a line out of their own. They actually made a mess of it, knocking it back untidily, but somehow Canford left a big hole in the middle which the oppo hooker nipped through gratefully and sprinted unopposed to the line for a converted score. Up against the game Canford started running it from all areas, but were again authors of their own downfall with minutes on the clock, when a scrum went against the head (not for the first time!) and the Bishops scrum half sniped through from the base of the scrum to score and hammer the final nail in the coffin and the game was gone. Once again, so near, yet so far! L8-17 (PAJ) Man of the match: Bugs Mitchell Special mentions: Josh Effick, Luke Reid, Rees Powell

The 3rd XV played in an enjoyable and closely fought encounter. Canford went into an early lead and looked good going forward when they had the ball. BWS were very strong around the breakdown and so Canford had little ball to play with. A resolute defensive performance from Canford meant that they were always in with a chance but a late try from BWS sealed their victory. L12-22

Things did not start well for the U16A’s and we once again found ourselves two scores down early on in the contest. This is the same opening as the last two match reports and Canford’s failure to switch on from the start once again cost them dearly.

The opening two tries came on the back of Canford coughing up possession in attacking positions with BWS then taking full advantage to go the length of the pitch. BWS were the better side in the first half and Canford struggled to get any phases going. The second half saw a more spirited display with the forwards getting success from pick and go’s and they kept themselves in it until the last ten minutes when BWS scored two unanswered tries. A big performance is needed on Saturday to finish the season on a high. L29-15 Players of the week Archie VDF & Patrick Taylor

Canford U16B
As we rode into town, the vultures were circling. The local bad guys were already out on the greensward, looking menacing. But this was a team (well, part-team) of hand-picked hombres who were ready for anything that ‘The Bishop’ could throw at them.

With a few recruits from the local pueblo, battle was joined and it soon became clear that this conflict was going to be a tough one. With the powerhouse of ‘The Row’ – Sean2 - and The Lone Massam, we started bossing the breakdown and although not convincing in the set piece (the local recruits not fully understanding the significance of the demonic call of ‘Silverback … do the Silverback’) there was still enough possession for the more fleet of foot to make some effective carries. ‘Fech’ needed to be quick with his hands at the base of the scrum as he was not always given ‘full metal jacket protection’, but our guest artiste at ‘10’ provided some penetration.

Flinn Tiefenthal was given a couple of opportunities to run out wide and made good yards, but he must learn to ‘pin back his ears’ and back his own ability. Meanwhile, out of position in the backs, Rob the Wrecking Ball made (as ever) tackle after tackle, and in the process made their flighty fly half look decidedly pedestrian – that’ll learn him to run sideways. Zach Fenwick took to the full back role with style and even had the temerity to run in a couple of tries – one from a kick off, when he caught the ball on his own 22 and took the most direct route from A to B to score under the posts. Finally, Alex the Boot stroked over all seven (YES, 7!!!) conversions and scored his own cheeky little try into the bargain.

So 49 – 10 was the final score, with a lot of tired but exultant limbs. Next week … back to Canford for a rendition of … The Big Country. (JPST)

The U15A team put in the strong performance they had been threatening all season and it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if BWS had been able to put out their full strength team. Canford scored from the kick off before showing excellent defence to ensure they only conceded one try, even though they had to defend their line for a lot of the game. Several of the tries scored by Canford contained impressive support play and offloading in the tackle. The whole 23 man squad played at least a half and were marshalled well by Tom Matthews, Cory Pepin and Freddie Charles who all captained at points during the match. W54-5

The U14A’s attempt to start a match better than in previous weeks did not come to fruition on Saturday. The warm up was loose and concentration levels low. There was no surprise then when we started the same way. BWS had 3 or 4 strong runners who all scored early ties and we did not tackle well. BWS didn’t really need to create tries, they all came from our mistakes which was disappointing.

We scored a very nice try from a scrum finished well by Max Paget. Too many small individual errors continued to cost us and it was only the second half performance that gave encouragement. We scored another very nice try in the 2nd half and the backs moved the ball really well creating opportunities every time they had the ball. We went through phases better and had to work hard for territory. A couple of sloppy tries in the 2nd half meant we finally lost 50-14 but had good possession and made some decent decisions but when big runners are not chopped down early we pay the price. Stand out performances were from James Barker, Ben Ashton, Joel Bibby, Roman Gill and Tommy Davies.

Canford 14B’s Triangular vs Bishop Wordsworth’s 14B’s & Ryde 14A’s Canford 7 – 29 BWS Canford 0 – 12 Ryde BWS 24 – 5 Ryde

Canford 14B’s once again found themselves outsized as they came up against two strong sides in Bishop Wordsworth 14B’s and Ryde 14A’s. Up against BWS in the first game, Canford were well beaten in the opening 10 mins as BWS showed their strength and speed up front. However, Canford were well rewarded in the second half of the game as a great set of hands from the backs and strong carrying from the forwards finally paid off with Joseph Bland touching down just right of the posts. Final score Canford 7 – 29 BWS.

The second game was a much tighter affair with brilliant defensive displays of rugby shown by both Canford and Ryde. However, strong scrummaging and dominate tackling from the Ryde side saw them run out as winners with the final score of Canford 0 – 12 Ryde.

Canford 14C ’s Triangular vs Bishop Wordsworth’s 14C’s & Ryde U13s Canford 14C v Ryde L7 – 10
The opening match of the triangular fixture was a close run affair, with Canford and Ryde being evenly matched in stature and speed. Canford’s attacking play centred around individual breaks, but too often these came to nought due to either a lack of support or a tendency to hold onto the ball for too long. There was greater evidence of team play in defence though, with Canford pressurising the Ryde back line into a number of handling errors, but in spite of this pressure Ryde were still able to squeeze a narrow victory.

Canford 14C v BWS L5 – 29 BWS proved to be a quicker, larger and more aggressive opponent who in spite of an improvement in rucking by Canford, secured a lot of possession to unleash a speedy back line that took advantage of some rather timid defensive play from Canford. Our cause wasn’t helped by the departure of Harry Young with a head wound and, whilst there was some impressive tackling from the likes of Nat Davey and Hamish Ryan, BWS were quick to exploit our weaknesses to run in 3 tries as Canford tired in the closing stages of the match.

Football v Millfield (h)

Meeting Millfield in the depths of December is always a challenge, and it proved so this year too. Having had the upper hand for the past couple of years, our young team was on the back foot from the off in this fixture, chasing a slick-passing Millfield side and simply trying to get hold of the ball. When we did, we were sharp on the counter, though, and the Oaks created some excellent chances. Unfortunately, the crossbar, a goal line defender and an inspired goalie prevented us from scoring. Our goalie, Thomas Mallinson-King, was also playing exceptionally well, commanding his area and producing some impossible saves. Still, despite his heroics, and the excellent discipline of a team marshalled by the inspirational

Lewis Wyatt, we conceded three goals and failed to score. Despite the 3-0 loss, they boys have every reason to be proud of a strong performance and about the fact that they now really play as a team.

The 2nd XI were unfortunately outclassed by their Millfield counterparts, conceding six goals and creating little of note. They battled hard, and produced, again, a solid first half performance, but the difference in class became evident in the second half. Now it is all about resetting and getting ready for a season finale against Taunton, a must-win match for a 2nd XI that is much stronger than their recent results suggest. L0-6

Rowing v Bryanston

The rowers enjoyed an afternoon of fun racing at Bryanston. Coxed quads were raced in a knock out regatta, with 18 crews made up from Bryanston, Canford and Christchurch. Crews were a mix of all ages, genders and ability, emphasising the focus on fun and inclusive racing before the end of term. It gave a great chance for our more serious rowers to enjoy some light hearted racing, whilst giving our new rowers to this term the opportunity to race with some more experienced rowers. We donned our Christmas hats but didn’t come away with any best dressed prizes, but Natasha Treagust and George Vaughan went on to win the racing overall with their crew. Kitty Arnold and Lucas Gater were commended with a sweet treat for their coxing of the majority of races throughout the day, which was no mean feat in the cold. Well done to all those involved. (ERD)

Hockey v Cranleigh

Last week saw the penultimate block fixture of the term for the Canford Hockey Club, against one of our strongest opponents, Cranleigh. There were a number of closely contested matches, with the overall return producing three wins, two draws and six defeats. Our teams scored 13 goals, but conceded 25.

The five senior teams travelled away, with fifteen players unavailable due to a combination of injury, illness, university visits and other school commitments. Some creative selection allowed us to field five balanced teams, and after a long journey we were ready to go! The 1st XI started a little on the back foot, as we struggled to contain a couple of free running ball carriers in the Cranleigh midfield. We improved our footwork and competed at a more effective level as the game went on, especially after half-time when we had a number of chances through penalty corners. However, Cranleigh scored two corners of their own and we were left to rue the cost of not being clinical enough in both Ds as Cranleigh ran out 3-0 winners. Captain Emily Balls was resolute at the heart of the defence, making a number of excellent interceptions and using the ball effectively, whilst Hannah Fairchild made some fine decisions under pressure in the centre of midfield. The 2nds trailed 3-1 before a rousing comeback saw us draw 3-3 in an entertaining game. Izzy Woodward scored twice and Melody Dean scored the other, whilst Sophie Nichol was rock solid at centre back in her tenacious tackling and distribution. After a first half that Cranleigh dominated, the 3rds drew 1-1. Emilia Milner made a number of good saves to keep us in the match, and after half time we played more expansively and with greater control. Sophia Francis equalised through a penalty corner strike and after that both teams went in search of a winner with both goalkeepers thwarting the attempts to score. The entire team kept fighting until the final whistle. The 4ths won 3-0 with Alex Eyre playing fluidly following her return from injury and the whole team pulling together to produce a very pleasing result. The 5th XI also had some good moments, but were outplayed by a decent side, losing 4-1. At home the 15A’s produced the performance of the day, starting with a strong first half. Cranleigh had a strong counter attack but it was dealt with well by the defensive unit, particularly Polly Yule and Abby Childerley. Two goals came from excellent open play through the ever busy Molly Fairbairn, clinically finishing both. We benefited from a high transfer and moving the ball on early, whilst strong midfield play from Imo Fairweather created space in the D. In the second half Cranleigh were a completely different team; moving the ball and playing attacking hockey. They had numerous short corners which we defended well, coupled with some strong saves from Sasha Witter in goal. Another gritty performance saw us work hard under pressure and a refusal to give up lead, resulting in a very good 2-1 victory. There was a really competitive end to end match in the U15B encounter, with lots of chances created. Possession and opportunities in the D were all in our favour and Cranleigh spent most of the time on the back foot. However, they were organised at the back and a lapse in concentration meant we ball watched a little too much as Cranleigh scored, resulting in a 0-1 defeat. Good opposition and lots to learn in the week ahead before Marlborough. Player of the Match was Sana Iftikhar, for great defensive work in the back line and pushing high and offering help often in attack. The 15Cs were a little off colour, as they went down 0-3. The U14A team had the archetypal bad day at the office, visiting an end of the sporting spectrum that we haven’t seen much of this term, producing our worst performance of the season against one of the strongest teams we have played. Cranleigh were good, but we responded, unusually for a Canford side, by standing off and allowing them space and time to impose themselves on the game. The first five minutes actually looked as though we were going to take the lead, and in the context of the game we needed to. Cranleigh’s first two goals came largely against the run of play, and when we went 0-3 down we switched off massively. Huge lessons to learn – mental toughness being one of them! 0-4 at half time saw us asking for a different game in the second half, and for ten minutes or so we got one. Charlotte Brook reduced the arrears to 1-4, but rather than spark a fight back we let Cranleigh run the ball half the length of the pitch to score twice more in three minutes. It is common knowledge that you learn nothing in a cricket score against some other opposition we have faced this term, but the refiner’s fire of being on the end of a 1-7 reverse is what forges character and tenacity. The 14B’s played a team with a very similar record to ourselves. It was a fairly evenly matched game with both teams having chances to take the lead. Some impressive saves from Becky Morris teamed with some solid defensive work from Lucy Hancock, Darci Reeve, Lucie Marns and Amber Howard allowed our midfield and attackers to push forward throughout. Lucy Hopwood fed passes up to Millie Keen and Louisa Borneman, leading to Tabby Fuery going one on one with the keeper, which she calmly finished into the bottom left corner with a few minutes remaining, to win 1-0. Another impressive performance from the girls, who have held the Canford Fortress safe this year, winning every home game this season; a tremendous effort. The 14C team had a close encounter and could have nicked the win, but alas lost out, 1-2. This week sees the final block fixture of a busy and successful term, against Marlborough College.

Team of the week: 4-3-3

GK: Emilia Milner (3rd XI)

RB: Sophie Nichol (2nd XI) CB: Emily Balls (1st XI) CB:Sana Iftikhar (15B) LB: Polly Yule (15A)

RM: Alex Eyre (4th XI) CM: Hannah Fairchild (1st XI) LM: Lucy Hopwood (14B)

RF: Tabby Fuery (14B) CF: Molly Fairbairn (15A) LF: Izzy Woodward (2nd XI)

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

Sporting quote of the week:

“Don't look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at time. That's the only way it happens - and when it happens, it lasts.”

Mark Burley

Director of Sport

Twitter: @CanfordSport

5th December 2017