11 Sep 2019
Christmas Term 2019 - Week 1 Sports Report

Christmas Term 2019 - Week 1 Sports Report
Summer Round - up

As always a large number of Canford pupils were busy over the summer months with their sporting endeavours and there were some excellent achievements amongst them.

Robbie Hemmings and Conor Cherrington both competed at the British and English swim championships. Robbie performed superbly achieving a new British age group record in the 50m and 100m backstroke whilst taking Gold medals in the 100m and 200m backstroke. At the English champs he claimed a bronze medal in the 800m freestyle and a gold in the 400m freestyle with a 6 second improvement in his PB. Robbie has firmly risen to the higher echelons of the national rankings and the future looks very bright indeed. At the British champs Conor finished 15th in 100m Breaststroke and 9th in 200m breaststroke but is a year young in this age group so ended up 4th & 3rd respectively amongst his age group. At the English championships he finished 8th in the U14 400 Individual Medley but 2nd in his own age group. With another year in this age group there are exciting times ahead for Conor.

Adam Phillips finished 4th in the Senior Boys discus at the English Schools’ Track & Field Championships in Birmingham back in July. Adam has another year within this age group and his distance of 46.98m broke the school record that had existed since 1977!

Abby Childerley competed at the World Junior Sailing champs in Canada finishing 14th in the U18 year group (4th amongst U17s) in the Laser Radial class boat – a category she only started racing this year. Three of our leading hockey players were very busy with England training and match play over the summer. Molly Fairbairn was part of the U16s team, co-captaining the final game of the tournament. Will Whitmore was also selected for the U16 boys’ home nations’ tournament but injury prevented him from taking part and he is working hard on regaining full fitness. 1st XI captain Martha Taylor played for England Hockey U18s in the European Six Nations tournament in Eindhoven.

Two of our recent leavers, Grace Hewett and Liv Imms, raced as juniors as part of the Welsh Rowing team in the Home International Regatta at the end of July, earning their International vests. This followed on from Canford’s 1st boats qualifying for both Henley Women’s and Henley Royal Regattas in June and early July.

Pre - season Training

A large number of pupils sacrificed some of the latter part of their holidays to participate in pre-season training camps for rugby and hockey last week. Almost 50 boys across the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Form spent three days developing their tactical, technical and physical skills in readiness for the start of the season. Eighteen members of the girls’ senior hockey squad travelled down to Cardiff Metropolitan University’s amazing sports facilities and participated in the Cardiff Met Hockey Club’s annual pre-season tournament and came away with the title for the second year running. Well done to all those pupils for investing that additional time and effort which I am sure will prove to be beneficial to them and their teams over the next few months.

First Week of Term:


Just one day into term Millfield brought their U14 boys over to Canford to play our annual progressive training game. This proves an ideal opportunity for all the boys to mix up and get used to the fundamental skills of catching, passing, attacking space and supporting the ball carrier without the potential physical mismatches which used to characterise the first match of the season. It was a very enjoyable afternoon and the boys can now prepare for their first match encounter of the season against Blundell’s on Saturday.

The Canford 1st XV opened the 2019 account on Higher Park last Saturday against a Millfield XV made up from a combination of their 1st and 2nd team. The contest started at a ferocious pace, a considerable step up from the run out versus Wimborne earlier in the week.

Perhaps a little shell-shocked early on by Millfield’s speed of thought and action, Canford found themselves on the wrong end of a driving lineout. Consistent pressure and territory from Millfield put them ahead by two scores before the Canford boys managed to string some phases together that put their opponents under sufficient pressure to elicit penalty opportunities. Tom Sykes slotted two of these and narrowed the gap on the scoreboard.

During the second half Canford were able to exert much more pressure and enjoyed good spells of possession in the Millfield half. Moments of overexcitement managed to upset the referee and two penalty decisions in threatening positions were overruled which released pressure to such an extent that Millfield quickly went up the field to score and extend their lead.

Canford bounced back with a concerted period of pressure which resulted in a try for Freddie Charles, closing the gap and giving the boys a sniff of a victory. However, thoughts of a win were snuffed out near the death when Millfield once more took a quick tap penalty and from resultant play scored their final try of the afternoon, final score 29-18.

This game was a massive step up from Tuesday and it’s clear that Canford can live at this level. This coming Saturday will be another physical challenge against Blundell’s but if we continue to improve we give ourselves every chance of notching up the first win of the season.

The 2nd XV squad benefitted from a gradual return to full match play against Millfield’s 3rd XV, allowing everyone to have a run out, and also to try out lots of people in different positions. The first half was touch with a contested breakdown, and the Canford boys held their own, showing good commitment at the ruck with Ben Parkin quick to the ball on many occasions. The Millfield boys were quick and strong, and I feared the outcome when the game went full contact after the break. However, the Canford defence was magnificent, limiting them to only two tries. Zach Fenwick, skipper for the day, led the defensive line from the front with relentless tackling, supported by many of his colleagues in the pack. Special mentions go to Ben Holland and Woody Millhouse who both stepped into new positions and acquitted themselves well. Going forward, there is work to be done in order for us to threaten as an attacking force, but in terms of commitment, energy and courage, there is much to be encouraged by as the season begins in earnest next week. (PAJ & WMD)

The U16s travelled up to Millfield for their progressive warm up game and put in a very promising display against a team devoid of Millfield’s main Academy players The initial two touch game saw Canford produce excellent attacking play, characterised by effective support lines but a few handling errors saw some opportunities to score missed. The build-up into grab tackles with a breakdown contest saw Canford display more shape and organisation to score some good tries and this soon escalated with enthusiasm form both sets of players to begin the full contact period.

The match-up between both sides in the full contact phase was a good one and both teams attacked with pace and enterprise. Canford scored a couple of quick tries and it was a mark of Millfield’s respect for us that they brought a few of their U16A “big guns” on to finish the match. This saw Millfield start to dominate physically and Canford started to fall off a few tackles and fail to push from the inside. A spell of three tries in a ten minute period saw Millfield take control but Canford bounced back and grabbed a try after a series of pick and goes. Unfortunately, three or four glaring overlaps were also missed by Canford as a few players got “white line fever” and that lack of composure is something which needs to be addressed before the Blundell’s game on Saturday. (MSB)

The U15As training match against Millfield saw three thirds of 20 minutes, progressing towards full contact. The first third was touch, the second third touch with the ability to contest for the ball on the floor and the last third was full contact.

The initial period saw a fairly even contest with Millfield opening the scoring and Canford responding through a Mark Kosgei try. Both teams appeared comfortable with the step up in intensity and so it was decided to shorten the middle period of progression to move into a longer full contact phase. Given the good state of play from both sides, the second third was shortened, allowing opportunity for a longer period of full contact. Canford made a great start to this final third, showing a tenacious determination in the face of full contact. The team worked on their shape and communication, achieving a number of phases, working to the game plan. This led to Canford’s second try; having attacked up the right, play came back across the pitch, with Chris Litchfield scoring on the left. This was followed by a successful conversion from Oscar Feingold. Millfield came back at Canford, reaching the home team’s “22” but a turn over and a good kick and chase resulted in a pick up by Monty Hooker, who managed to break through and run half the pitch to score under the posts. This was followed by another successful conversion, this time by Chris Litchfield, moving the score to 19-5. In the last five minutes of the game, Millfield came back strongly, pushing deep into Canford’s “22”. Canford then managed to repel a significant attempt by Millfield to score, showing some excellent defence, only for Millfield to recover the ball and again drive towards the line, this time scoring following a number of pick and goes. This was the last play of the game, with the final score 19-10.

It was an excellent start to the season, with the U15As showing some real promise. A number of players were voted for as man of the match, including Felix Synott, Jack Janaway, Monty Hooker, James Harvey, Chris Litchfield and Jack Robinson, but the title went to Mark Kosgei. Roll on Blundell’s next week. (RJC)

Though there was some skilful running with ball in hand from a significant number of players in the U15B match, Tyndale Kwan in particular; the overall attitude of the team needs to become more serious if all wish to achieve success. ‘Less talking, more walking’ will be our mantra as we move in to our second game against Blundell’s as Millfield were a little too strong for us this time around. There was a fair display of physicality from several players but more need to step up to the plate. (OTP)

Hockey: Sherborne Girls’ Warm up tournaments, U15 & U18

The Hockey club has made a positive start to the new term with the 1st XI and U15A teams involved in preseason and tournament play. A slightly different 1st XI squad from that which went to Cardiff for preseason training played in the Sherborne tournament. Without Martha Taylor and Molly Fairbairn who were both away at an England NAGS training camp, the squad recorded comprehensive successes over KES Bath, Warminster and Taunton but put in an off colour showing versus the hosts, which meant a semi-final match against KES Southampton. A flurry of early goals saw us fall behind and we were unable to overturn the deficit in a short time frame. Lots of areas to be proud of as well as opportunities for development within the current training squad of 19 players. (MDC)

The U15A team also travelled to Sherborne on Saturday for a parallel tournament at the boys’ school, giving a great account of themselves to win all five matches to lift the trophy. Wins over Sherborne, Taunton and KES Bath in the group phase were followed by a confident semifinal victory over King’s Taunton, before a rematch with Taunton in the final. Mia White netted five times, whilst Georgie Boon grabbed three during the afternoon. It was a combination of all involved to produce a genuine squad performance. The backline were very strong, with Charlie Whitmore really composed (as was Esther Browning). Erin Phillips and Tara King were great going forward as well as tracking back. We received great support from Canford parents who were equally pleased with such a promising start. (IW)

Important training sessions this week before our first block fixture of the term versus Blundell’s.

Football v Millfield

The mighty Oaks and Acorns kicked off the season against Millfield U18C and D teams respectively. The Oaks came out on top 4-3 but the Acorns struggled a bit going down 5-1.

The importance of being positive I’ve mentioned how a number of pupils attended pre-season training camps but I am also hoping a significant number of other pupils have undertaken sufficient levels of physical preparation to give themselves the best chance of starting the sporting term successfully. However, whether one attended pre-season training camps or not it is vital that suitable psychological preparation is also made before the season starts over the next couple of weeks. There are numerous fixtures against traditional opponents, as well as some schools new to our fixture list and a number of our teams will be competing in county and national tournaments at various points across the term. In some of these encounters our teams may well be favourites and in others we’ll be underdogs but regardless of the opponent it is essential all players apply themselves properly. Take a few moments across the week to reflect on your strengths and how you will utilise those skills in your matches; be bold and brave and envisage what you can bring to matches rather than fearing or worrying about making mistakes; be a positive source of inspiration to your teammates and support your peers with encouragement and praise; play hard but play fair and with respect to your opponent and the officials. As coaches, we want to see a positive attitude from all pupils towards the task at hand and if you utilise some of the ideas above there is every chance you will have a successful season. Good luck for the term!

For all this term’s sports reports and future fixtures please head to www.canfordsports.com

Sporting quote of the week:

“You can’t be so afraid of making a mistake that your fear causes you to make a mistake”

Mark Burley

Director of Sport

Twitter: @CanfordSport

11th September 2019