27 Nov 2019
Christmas Term 2019 - Sports Report, Week 10

Christmas Term 2019 - Sports Report, Week 10

Monday 11th November Rugby: D&WRFSU U14 County Cup v Thomas Hardye’s School (h)

This proved to be an outstanding game to watch from two teams on a clear but very windy day at Canford. The game started with a strong ball possession from Canford and a great try from Eddie Jack but the opposition managed to score immediately using their big forwards after a five-metre penalty which they duly converted. The game was close in core and an even battle for both teams. Canford maintained the majority of possession and territory but too often multiple phases put together they ended in a handling error or a knock on. The first half ended 10-5 to Canford with Luca Freeman scoring in the last minute to provide a little extra confidence. The second half was quite similar to the first producing a huge effort for both teams striving to win the ball at every breakdown. As the match wore on the Canfordians looked more decisive searching for some spaces in the opposition’s defensive line and that kept Thomas Hardye’s school quite busy. Luca Freeman got close to their goal line but the opposition avoided conceding with some strong defence. Time went by and although the opposition managed to score and convert their second goal, Luca found his way to the try line again and the Canford team never stopped chasing for another score right up to the last play of the match. The final score was 15-14, taking this courageous team to the County Cup final. (ML)

Tuesday 12th November Dorset Schools’ County U16 Netball Tournament (a)

The U16s netball team progressed through the County Tournament at Budmouth College, finishing the day as champions! The girls' attitude from the outset was tremendous and it really allowed them to start on the right foot. First up were Beaminster, which saw a 14-2 win, followed by another 11-2 victory against St Mary's. After a quick break, we had our toughest match of the pool against Talbot Heath. After a tight start, the girls managed to pull away and win the match 11-6. The following two matches produced fine wins against Woodroffe (14-5) and Lytchett (14-6).

All this amazing netball from the girls meant they were through to the semi-finals where they met Bournemouth School for Girls. BSG were tough opponents and really challenged the girls, but they dug deep and pulled out some great netball in the second half, winning 11-6 and qualifying for Regionals next term! The final match of the day was against Parkstone Grammar School. Although we had already qualified, it was good to see the girls determined to play their best netball to try and win another county title. After a rocky start, we were down 5-1 but managed to pull it back to 5-4 at the start the second half. The girls then got into rhythm and played some of their best netball of the day, taking the victory 13-10 to become the County Champions! Not only did we see some great individual performances throughout the day from the girls, but their positive attitude, determination and hard work allowed them to play some of their best netball as a team. I am incredibly proud of their efforts and can't wait to see what they bring to Regionals! (DM)

Squash v Clayesmore (h)

A convincing win for the team on a cold afternoon at the Canford courts. Our top three had some tough battles and were just out muscled by the Clayesmore players, but our number two, Charlie Cameron, did get a big 3-2 win on the board. Mentions also for Jamie Lucas-Rowe, George Peacock and Marco Wyatt, who all had their debut matches for the school and all impressed with 3-0 wins. Player of the day has to go to Elliot Phillips. It looked like it was going to be a swift victory to Clayesmore, having won the first 13 points. However, Elliot never let his head drop, changed his tactics and astonishingly won 3-2! W9-2 (JRAR)

Real Tennis v Radley (a)

There were seven close matches with some excellent rallies in all. Tom Williams was integral to the success of the Canford team winning his matches with partners Jack Pocock and Tom Norman. Both the Radley and the Canford teams played well and in excellent spirit. W3-4 (SJR)

Dorset Schools’ U14 County Netball Tournament (h)

This was a great performance from a gutsy U14 team. In the pool stages, the team had five matches and were up first against St Edward's, the PEDSSA winners. This game was super close and Canford had their chances but narrowly lost 4-7. As the day progressed so did the team’s performances; Budmouth were beaten 14-3, Woodroffe 8-3, Highcliffe 9-2 and Sherborne defeated 10-7. This saw the girls into the semi-finals against Group 2 winners Talbot Heath. Canford started slowly but achieved greater parity in the second half with the defensive unit of Elle Mowbray, Dom Hudson and Poppy Speers turning over ball after ball but couldn’t stop them going down 5-10. In the 3rd and 4th play-off match the girls faced BSG, where they showed real determination winning 17-2 to claim 3rd spot in the county.

EH U18 Tier I Regional League, 1st XI Boys’ Hockey v Millfield (a)

The first match of the EH U18 Tier 1 League format saw the boys travel up to Millfield. A young and inexperienced team got off to a superb start playing some incisive and clinical hockey. A Will Whitmore hat-trick helped Canford into a 3-1 lead but Millfield piled on the pressure and managed to claw the game back to a 3-3 draw. With chances aplenty for both teams, this was a really pleasing first outing and sets the boys up well for their next League match next week against Peter Symonds Sixth Form College.

1st XI Football v Clayesmore

Thursday’s match against Clayesmore proved a useful reminder that the Oaks play their best football when keeping it simple. Though all were guilty of overdoing it on the ball, the prime example was perhaps the defenders; Oscar Webb and Alex Rogers both tried to channel their inner Beckenbauer but often found that too many touches and ball-carries isn’t the safest way to play centre back.

Canford didn’t allow the opposition many chances, but when they did, it was as a result of dawdling on the ball. It was a match the boys controlled from start to finish – with George Vessey particularly prominent as creative playmaker - but the propensity to try to do it alone meant it took longer than it should to find the back of the net. However, when they did play the simple give and go – which Mattie Effick and Adam Kwan did to great effect on occasion – it was hot knife in butter stuff and the Oaks looked hugely dangerous. In the end, Canford emerged with a straightforward 3-0 win, and with a clearer understanding of the fact that they are at their best when working the ball around at pace. (SV)

Rugby : U15Bs v Winton & Glenmoor Academy (h)

A cold start to the match for the U15Bs as Winton were late arriving. The match started with just twelve aside and saw an early try to Winton who exploited our lack of defensive cover on the wing. Winton converted this to make it 7-0. Whilst the match quickly returned to fifteen aside with the final arrival of the missing three men, this did not help the Canford side who were again exploited by space on the wing. Canford were definitely feeling the pressure very early in the game. Winton had two very strong backs, the fly half and centre, who needed to be contained. With heads down and still not really into the match, Canford conceded a further converted try.

The match soon turned with a magnificent interception from Tom Ling. He took the ball from Winton on our own twenty-two and ran it the full length of the pitch. Oscar Berridge converted it bringing Canford back in the game. At this point Canford stepped up their level of competition at the rucks, which allowed them to start winning the ball and get in control of the game. Special mention must go to Elliot Hilton who made some excellent tackles at full back preventing further Winton gains. A further two tries from Canford and one from Winton took the game to 21-24 in the last ten minutes. With the light fading, it got harder to get the ball passing through hands. Canford were dominant in the last stages to get to within yards of Winton’s try line. Although the support from the crowd helped keep the energy level up, Winton’s centre broke through in the last minute of the game taking the final score to 21-29. I hope to see a little more speed in the defensive line in the match against Seaford this Saturday with players tracking the opposition. (RJR)

Saturday 16th November Badminton v Sherborne Girls (a)

This fixture was very closely contested when played last year, Canford winning it by one point even though games won were tied. It looked like another competitive fixture as we went 6-4 up after two rounds of games. Our first pair of Izzy Place and Tamara Read-Ward started off quickly, winning 34-8 and 35-7 in their first two games.

Our second pair of Amelia Green and James Harvey-Hills really complemented each other's playing style, and despite not having played much together before, played some great badminton to win 4 of their 6 matches. Tia Yang and Amelia Merrick started slowly, taking time to adjust to the different format and the shuttles they use at Sherborne. After being unfortunate to lose their first two games, they came back with two good wins. Our 4th and 5th pair of Joe South / Doug Bowering and Ollie Baldwin / Jack Nui looked nervous in their first ever match for Canford, but they quickly got stuck in and really enjoyed themselves, both of them winning more than half of their matches. And finally, Harry Zheng and Thomas Luo gave it their all as they always do, ending their day with a fantastic 15-14 win in their final match to give Canford a convincing, yet slightly flattering victory of 23-12. Many of us still need work on footwork and shot selection as we prepare for the return fixture in 3 weeks. (OSL)

Lacrosse v Sherborne Girls U18C (a)

Canford got off to a very shaky start finding themselves 4-1 down after the first quarter. However, some team reflection during the interval made them realise they could do much better and they went back on the pitch a much more determined side. Emma Crinks (capt) led the revival and her committed drives on goal with well-placed shots to finish put Canford back in contention. Yasmin Chadwick in defence and Millie Edwards in midfield were also key leaders in the fight back. With some nice goals from Flora Peddie adding to the tally, Canford gradually pulled ahead and finished two goals ahead. W9-7 (MXB)

Rowing: GB Junior Assessment, Boston (Lincs)

After a lengthy drive to Boston the weather looked favourable although the river Ouse was high from all the rain over recent days. Canfordians Rory Johnson and Charlotte Wittram were being assessed in single sculls over a distance of 5000 metres. This is also the venue where the senior team carry out trials and has proved to be the fairest stretch of river.

The morning division saw 245 different boys and girls from almost every school and club in the country race the course. Rory started 112 from a start list of 128 and finished 104. Charlotte raced in the afternoon amongst a start list of 117 and after some steering issues she completed the course but a little frustrated that she couldn’t build upon her first half of the race time which would have seen a top 80 finish. A good all round experience for the two with some work to done before the February trial. (ID)

Hockey v Wellington College

There were a number of fantastic encounters against Wellington College, with all match ups played positively and in a healthy competitive spirit.

The 1st XI match was a fine example of school hockey. Both teams went on the front foot from the outset, with the game demonstrating high levels of skill, decision making and pace. We took an early lead, Sophie Saunders converting our first short corner with a low flick. Wellington looked dangerous on the counter, and from one such foray, we were slow to pick up the opposition players and they equalised. However, the response from our girls was first class. Captain Martha Taylor was a constant threat with her direct carrying and vision, and a slick passing move was finished neatly by Beanie Culley, who also had a fine game, for a 2-1 lead. Recognising our increasing ascendency, another goal was converted by Molly Fairbairn, who carried along the baseline before a clever finish on the backhand made it 3-1 at half time. We continued in the same vein after the break, and should have gone further ahead but for a couple of loose passes at key moments. Knowing that Wellington would have their phase, we found ourselves under increasing pressure in the final 15-20 minutes, as the opposition pressed high in search of getting back into the game. With the run of play, they pulled one back for 3-2 from a well worked corner, but some stellar defending and resilience at all levels meant we held on for a pleasing victory – this year group’s first in their five year Canford careers. Daena Shah and Hannah Fairchild also contributed very confidently, in a very pleasing team performance for our sixth win on the bounce. All of these successes have been built on a resolute team defence and a quick passing game, which are both key attributes in such a chaotic invasion game as hockey. Well done to all involved – it was a memorable afternoon. (MDC)

Firstly, another big thank you to our two stand-in goal keepers – they are putting the hours in! Both Mr Centron and myself, were really pleased with the 2nd XI game. Personally, I was relieved that the score line didn’t run away too much as we dominated from the pushback. We were a little sleepy to begin with, possibly as we were not being threatened significantly, but we were 2-0 up at half time thanks to Molly Taylor’s first goal from a short corner. This was followed by excellent ball transference and vision, initiated by Talia White, who fed onto Maddie Harvey and Charlotte Brook, whose powerful cross was skilfully deflected in by Bella Hunter. A good half time talk rustled a few feathers and the ball movement in the second half was at a new level for us. Faster more accurate and more confident transfers meant that we were able to play some pretty hockey but also demonstrated more patience as we refrained from our old habit of trying to force the ball. A nice zigzag routine enabled Gemma Kendall to finish off a short corner to make it 3-0. The opposition didn’t give up and had a couple of dangerous counter attacks but our usual strength in defence kept them at bay. We genuinely could not come up with a player who particularly stood out (4 or 5 names spontaneously came up) but we felt that this was a real team win with everyone doing their thing! Well done all. W3-0 (RHJH/RJCG)

This was the most impressive 3rd XI performance of the season and at times we passed the ball superbly, creating real problems for our opponents. An early Canford goal in the first half was ruled out, but the girls maintained pressure and went deservedly one up after superb play down the left involving Serena Blake and Connie Doxat, eventually dispatched by Innes Mitchell. A second goal came from Evie Chippendale who caused constant problems with her fast running, ably supported by the hard working Ella Mitchell at centre midfield. Wellington stole one back late in the second half before Lucy Hancock hit home a short corner, struck beautifully into the bottom right corner. Orlagh O’Donnell played with her usual passion and skill from right back and Katy Jack was especially impressive and dominant at left midfield. A real team performance – well done. (RMBS)

After a clinical weekend at KES and knowing that harder fixtures are to come, it was really important to Mr Weir and myself that the U15As put in a good performance. The girls started very well in the first half; the possession was in our favour and the girls produced some fantastic link up play all over the pitch. We had a few chances but we just couldn’t find the goal. Wellington broke very quickly after we lost the ball from a short corner with our wingbacks / defenders high up the pitch, leaving us chasing back. We did our best to get back, but it was an over load of 3v2 and although Mia Ashby Rudd kept out the first shot, she couldn’t stop the follow up. Not long after, a brilliantly worked ball around the pitch allowed us to create space and Charlie Whitmore more slotted the ball home. For the rest of the game the girls hung on. Extending the width, moving the ball around and producing some very good hockey. Wellington got stronger, spent more time in our D but didn’t take their chances either. In the last ten seconds, Wellington got a short corner and sent all of their team to surround the D. A shot on goal followed by a flick up, allowed Mia Ashby Rudd to make the save of the day as the ball came off of her stick and hit the bar. In a panic for the ball, our defenders were able to clear the ball off the pitch. 11 was a good result against a side containing many players who train and play at Surbiton HC, getting a lot more hockey exposure than our girls. D1-1 (EJB)

It’s fair to say this was the U15Bs toughest match yet! The match got off to a promising start with us having the first centre pass. However, everything seemed a bit slow (perhaps we’d used up too much energy chatting on the bus!) and from the get-go, Wellington showed themselves to be a strong team, with a fast and feisty approach! Emphasis on feisty! By half time Wellington had managed to secure a 2-0 lead (worse luck!).

However, after a quick huddle and some words of wisdom from Mr Marston and Jemima we came back all guns blazing and made some skillful plays along the left-wing, with great movement and passing form Izzy H and Phia Russell, who were on top form! We were able to drive into their D and were awarded two short corners, however, we just couldn’t quite manage to convert these into goals. After holding Wellington off for as long as we could, the defence sadly started to crumble, and another two goals were scored. Although today we didn’t bring home a win, we can still be proud of our efforts and our perseverance even when faced with very strong opposition. Fingers crossed for a win next time … Massive thanks to Doc Ives for umpiring and Mr Marston for being an amazing coach as always. L4-0 (Celia Leavesley & Sarah Norris)

The mighty U15Cs played what was anticipated to be a difficult match against Wellington. This match was not without its difficulties from the offset. Upon realising we had no GK Lauren Corn stepped up to the challenge, and she did not disappoint. Two evenly matched teams) battled hard from the very start. Despite no goals in the first half – a shock to all of the Canford team given Millie Heyman’s (POTM) repeated impressive breaks towards goal, flanked by Topsy Holder (Captain) and Hanna Neill – Canford left the pitch at half time optimistic and ready to do battle again in the second half. We started well and with a confidence not seen in the 15Cs before. Lauren Corn denied every single attempt that Wellington had at goal, and the combination of some strong clears from Louisa a’Barrow meant that when the Wellington team got close to goal, it was never for very long. Topsy Holder graced Canford with an unbelievable first goal, one that will in no doubt go down in 15C’s history. It wasn’t long after this that Nuala Binnion scored our second goal – a remarkable feat – and a tense watch for all of the Canford supporters on the sidelines who waited with baited breath as it rolled past the Wellington Goalkeeper to secure us a 2-nil lead. At this point Wellington decided to up the ante, and the ball remained in their possession and close to our goal end for too long to bare for everyone watching. Lauren Corn kept them out, continuously rejecting every attempt they had, until a strong hit from a Wellington forward snuck in and earned Wellington their first and only goal. Canford picked up the attack immediately and held possession for the rest of the game until the final whistle, earning a HUGELY deserved 2-1 win against a good Wellington side.

Honourable mention goes first and foremost to Lauren Corn for stepping up and playing an unbelievable match as a first-time Canford GK, and to Millie Heyman (POTM), Topsy Holder (Captain) and Nuala Binnion for scoring two incredible goals. A massive thank you to all parents who came to support also. W1-2 (MW)

One of the best features of the fixture list is that it builds wonderfully after half term with some great fixtures against traditionally strong opponents. Wellington with their numbers and strong intake are always a challenge for the U14As. From the outset it was clear that we were going to need our “A” game. They had a number of confident strong runners who carried the ball powerfully out of defence and into attack with great speed. We faced a fair old onslaught for the first fifteen minutes, and on several occasions it looked as though Wellington would take the lead. Jorgia Holtby made one superb smother save when their centre forward was through on goal, and our clearances from everyone at the back went to much safer areas taking the wind out of the attacks time and again. Rather against the run of play we took the lead - the ball broke to Maya Doubleday at the top of the D, and she seemed to have an age to decide what to do with it before smashing the ball past the keeper’s left foot. Wellington took the game back to us and eventually forced an equaliser. I loved the response to this - Maya Doubleday and Elle Mowbray worked the ball upfield from the restart, allowing Elle to finish at the far post to put us back in front just 25 seconds after conceding the equaliser! A half time 2.1 lead to Canford was a fine return for a combative half of hockey.

The second half was a bit more of a struggle. We allowed Wellington to get away from us in the middle period of the game, scoring four unanswered goals to take a 5-2 lead. In the white heat of battle one or two of our challenges lacked a little conviction, and with our heads down we resorted to some of the bad habits that we have been working so hard to eradicate from our game. Lessons to be learned here - we do need to continue to play our hockey when under the cosh, and not resort to trying to smash the ball upfield. Against a good side it just comes back with interest! I was pleased though that we came through that period of the game, and finished the match on the front foot. Imi Marley scored the goal of the game, lofting the ball high into the Wellington net from the right top of the D, and we were pressing for a fourth when the whistle went for the end. This was a quality game of hockey. When the two sides meet again next year our target must be to be able to play our hockey when under pressure, and to be able to compete for the entirety. L5-3 (PDAR/JDL).

After another positive performance last week, the under U14B team were excited. For this game We arrived early to cheer on our 15Bs, which was followed by a quick warm up and then straight into the match. Canford showed no fear, pressing high early on to win the ball in good areas of the pitch however, we couldn’t capitalise. This led to Wellington having a large portion of possession in the first half, but our defence held strong, with Olivia Jackson tracking back superbly from midfield to help out. In the second half, the tables turned, Bella Rose showed her athleticism, consistently breaking down the left to get Canford into some good positions. However, we couldn’t quite get any shots away which led to a 0-0 draw, despite a nervous ending where we nearly conceded in the dying seconds. Thank you to Miss Lowe for umpiring the second half and a massive thank you to the parents, the crowd grows every week. D0-0 (CK).

The U14Cs travelled away and gave another excellent account of themselves, despite a 4-0 loss. Though we are still searching for that elusive first goal of the season, the girls continue to improve and learn new skills and tactical awareness, whilst playing with a smile on their faces. (CDB/BS)

This week sees the 1st team in EH U18 Tier 1 action away at Dean Close on Tuesday – likely to prove a crucial winner takes all affair with regard to progress to the National quarter finals.

Rugby v Seaford

Canford’s 1st XV played their best game of the year so far away at Seaford in a game that counted as a merit table and National Cup round 3 game. However, it took an extremely bright start from Seaford before the boys kicked into gear. Seaford contested and won possession of their own kick off and then moved and held onto the football well, gaining ground with each carry and working both sides of the ruck testing Canford’s defence. Following this muscular drive Seaford scored under the sticks but missed the conversion. They continued to apply pressure playing down the slope, and it was excellent defensive work from Stew Boyd which allowed us to stem the flow and begin to get a foothold in the game.

A penalty from the skipper Tom Sykes (who had his best kicking game so far this year) seemed to steady any nerves that remained and when the boys had a chance at another penalty they had no hesitation driving the ball into the corner. Vice captain Archie VDF, throwing in for injured Pat Taylor who was out of action, made sure the lineout went to hand and he was on the end of the driving maul as it powered over. From then on there was only ever one team in this contest. Sykes kept the Canford pack going forward with great vision and accuracy kicking from hand. Archie VDF went over from another maul. Playing down the slope Canford set up camp on the Seaford line and squeezed the life out of the home team. Stef Perry, who gets better every game, benefitted from the pressure to dive over; Sammy Smith got on the end of a lovely short line and added a try of his own. Big Adam Phillips finished the job when he rounded off a lovely team effort, swatting defenders away as he romped in to finish what was an outstanding afternoon’s team effort. The reward for this effort is a trip to Abingdon on Wednesday in the round of 16, if they keep their heads and replicate this kind of performance it will take a good team to stop them progressing further. W41-5 (PTS)

Canford 2nd XV competed well against a big and strong Seaford side. Whilst the result was fair, the final score does not do justice as the boys. They created plenty of chances to score, but were victims of a couple of unfortunate tries against. It felt more like a 7-14 game, than a 7-33 one.

Canford got off to the worst possible start, with Seaford scoring under the posts in the first couple of minutes – although there was more than a hint of a forward pass as the home team broke through in midfield. They backed this up with a penalty a few moments later to extend their lead to 10 points. Canford, however, began to fight their way back into the game, but missed out on 3 points of their own as the kick came back off the crossbar and the bouncing ball was not pounced on. More chances came Canford’s way with Giacomo Perin and George Bilson getting in behind the opposition, but the try scoring pass that was needed never quite managed to go to hand.

Canford began the second half putting Seaford under enormous pressure, deep in their 22. Penalties came and went (with no attempts at goal, much to Mr Doherty’s chagrin). The try that looked inevitable did come, but sadly to Seaford, as they intercepted a pass almost on their own line, and ran the length of the pitch for a sucker punch to the Canford guts. To their credit, Canford came back for more, and got on the scoreboard, with Woody Millhouse profiting from a Seaford knock on near their own line, on hand to run over from short range. This score seemed to spur the opposition to up their game, and their power, and superior numbers on the bench, began to tell. Two more tries came in the last 10 minutes, but not without some outstanding Canford defence holding them off time and again – with the relentless Rob Thomas and his young ‘padawan’ Ben Parkin, both to the fore in chopping down the big men time and again. There was no shame in this defeat, against an impressive 2nd XV opposition. MOTM Rob Thomas. L 33-7 (PAJ & WMD)

After producing their finest performance of the season against Bryanston seven days earlier the challenge to the Colts was to reproduce the same level of intensity, physicality and focus in this match against Seaford. Having lost by 30 points to Seaford’s ‘B’ team in 2018 the boys needed to be “on point” from the outset and they did not disappoint. Strong carrying and clearing out from the forwards presented quick ball and the scoreboard started ticking over after ten minutes of play. Number 8 James Barker was a powerhouse all day and got the first of his brace to open the scoring and this was followed up by fly half Tommy Davies bagging a try which his performance thoroughly deserved. Winger Sam Thomson had his most accomplished game and scored a lovely try when linking up with centre Roman Gill. Gill put on a masterful place kicking display to convert the first three tires,

A 21-0 half time lead was a fair reflection and the boys were hungry for more. Soon after the break Roman Gill picked off a pass to race over from halfway which he duly converted to maintain his 100% success rate. The drift defence from the backline produced great defensive pressure where centre Joel Bibby put in some strong tackles and the back three of Thomson, Tommy Jack and Max Paget counterattacked well from loose Seaford kicks. Rampaging runs from forwards Ben Ashton, Luke ZamoyskiFreitag, Rory Smith and Tom Amy were supported superbly by Joe Bland and Hamish Ryan with the latter offering a deft offload or two out of the tackle. It was a blow to lose Matt Kosgei with a dislocated finger when he was having such a fine game too. Mid-way through the second half James Barker grabbed his second and after quick hands from the backs, Max Paget went over in the corner for the final try, again converted by Gill. A final score of 42-0 was as dominant as it sounds. (MSB)

On Saturday, the U15As travelled to Seaford, playing on a boggy and sloping field, starting down the hill. Seaford kicked off to Canford and through good pressure recovered the ball. The U15s managed to keep calm through this early pressure and a great steal from Mark Kosgei regained possession allowing the game plan to develop. Seaford soaked up this early pressure and put together their own period of pressure. Canford had a number of players working hard, but their efforts felt disjointed, lacking the usual organised balance and as a result, the team were far less effective than we have grown used to. Seaford’s efforts were rewarded with the first points of the match, through nicely worked phase play, working their big ball carriers well, before spinning the ball and scoring a try. They did not manage to get the conversion. The third 10 minutes was back and forth, with Seaford generally on the front foot, particularly in the scrum, where their line out was regularly pushing the Canford pack backwards. Canford’s defence lacked a little urgency and robustness, generally hitting high, rather than first tackles going low. The half ended 0-5 to Seaford.

The second half started similarly to the end of the first, with Canford’s pack struggling to get on the front foot. Seaford’s dominant scrummaging lead to a couple of penalties for offside and other misdemeanours. During this time, Jack Robinson made a number of critical tackles and secured ball that was kicked over or through, saving the team from potential points against. Canford managed to weather this early pressure and about ten minutes into the second half managed to find some grip on the game, led by acts such as Jack Janaway’s dominant tackle that drove a big ball carrier five metres back. From this toehold, the team rallied working through a number of phases with both forwards and backs managing to have some impact. Tyndale Kwan should be noted for some excellent footwork on the left, while his opposite winger, Ollie Glen put in some excellent defensive work, stopping the Seaford wide runners. This period was controlled by Monty Hooker and Oscar Feingold at half back and soon enough Canford were into the Seaford ‘22 and threatening the try line. Canford eventually scored following some well-structured play across the park, sucking in players and making yards, before spinning back in the other direction and scoring in the corner. Chris Litchfield then slotted a very difficult kick from the right side of the park to take the lead 7-5. This period of play raised the game for both sides, with Seaford trying to regain the lead and Canford working exceptionally hard in defence to hold onto their slender lead. In the end, Canford won the game 7-5, grinding out their second hard fought win in as many weeks. While this wasn’t the prettiest display of rugby, the U15s have shown that they can take a win under pressure and this is something to build from. Man of the match – Chris Litchfield. (BIHC)

Both U15B sides were evenly matched leading to a great game of rugby. In many ways, this was the Canford’s best performance of the season.

Playing on a small pitch put pressure on our ability to run with the ball in hand from the start. Seaford made some good runs but Canford’s defensive line was strong. The team tackled well and were committed from the start. Unfortunately, Seaford persevered and succeeded in scoring two tries. Seaford’s line speed was particularly aggressive. The referee picked them up for being off side toward the end of the first half, giving Oscar Berridge a penalty kick just before the first whistle. This took the score to 3-12.

In the second half Canford rucked and counter-rucked well, allowing us to control the ball and to spend a lot of time in Seaford’s half. Despite this, a try proved hard to come by. Seaford scored a further try from a pick up off a scrum near our try line. With heads up and good spirit, Canford kept fighting and a well-deserved try came in the final part of the game through a pick up and run. This left the final score 8-19. This week we will work on moving the ball with quick hands when under pressure from good line speed. A few wild passes in this game lost us the ball. L8-19 (RJR)

This was a day when the 15Cs learnt two important lessons: one familiar and repeated; the second a new one … for this season at least. First, it is always easier to bring a strong yet elusive and undoubtedly fast runner to ground if they are tackled EARLY. That is, before they have got into their stride and built momentum. The second is that if you have had a long and tortuous coach journey (as it was for our first away fixture of the season), then it is essential to ‘blow away’ any cobwebs during the warm-up. For if left to the first phase of the match itself, then the home team are likely to exploit the stiff limbs and lack of focus to score ‘soft’ tries. And thus was the case here. Take out the ‘double whammy’ leaked in the first ten minutes, and the score line suddenly looks a lot more competitive, and this would be a fair reflection of the rest of the game.

There were some real positives to be had. In spite of missing their ‘speedster’ on a few occasions, there were plenty of other big and important ‘hits’ put in. Ben Fowle joined us for the first time this season, racking up a significant tackle count, and joining the line with pace and intelligence. Joss Child gains confidence to ‘run the game’ from 10. Jack Martin showed nous to put in a couple of darting breaks from the base of the scrum and made ground beyond the gain line; their flankers had to pay him a lot more respect from then on. George Bolland is turning into a useful, ‘in-your-face’ flanker. And heads never went down; for the last ten minutes, Canford exerted plenty of pressure, with the ball being retained well, swung from side to side, and Seaford did very well to hold us at bay; but it couldn’t last and eventually Michael Huang ‘sniffed whitewash’ again in the far corner as the final act of the match. MoM: Ben Fowle

Moments to Savour??? After shipping the two early tries, our first foray into the Seaford 22 saw us winning good ball fifteen metres out and Lucas Francis ran a lovely line so that Joss Child’s short, sympathetic pass saw him running against the drifting tide of the Seaford defence. The knife sliced proverbially through the butter, and with a little touch on the afterburners, he was through the second and third lines of defence to score.

Meanwhile, ten minutes from the end and close to their line, Hugh ‘Wild Dog’ Blake – lurking with intent as a support runner as we cleaned out another ruck got himself in a wonderful position to block our 9 to 10 channel – wonderful, that is, if he were playing for the opposition. He could not hold the sharp pass and the inevitable knock-on meant Seaford had an uncontested scrum on their five metre line to allow them to clear their lines. Yet their control at the base of the scrum was dodgy and somehow the ball squirted out of the side nowhere near their scrum half, but underneath the referee’s nose; he waved play on. Wild Dog pounced and snaffled the loose ball and, in spite of the attentions of two Seaford players (Hugh will tell his grandchildren that it was at least seven), he managed to drive, burrow and force his way over the line for the five points. Redemption tastes sweet. L22 – 36 (JPST)

It was a tough game last Saturday for our U14A Canfordians against Seaford. The team had some debutants starting full of enthusiasm and everyone was set for a lovely afternoon of rugby. The game started abruptly for Canford, with a strong pack from Seaford dominating and quick backs showing off great plays either from scrums or lineouts. There was not much Canford could do in the first half to threaten apart from a few situations which managed to create three phases of continuity and so it ended 22-0 for the visitors.

A lack of patience with ball cost us and Seaford showed an impenetrable defence but the second half was different. Although the score finished 32- 0, Canford played a completely different game changing their attitude towards contact and trying to contest the ball in a higher range that in the first half. Now with more confidence and teamwork the rest of the match was played mainly in Seaford’s hallf of the pitch. The whole team, kept their heads up in a difficult second half, showing some resilience and notably improving their performance despite the result. (ML)

The U14Bs had a tough match against Seaford. Canford started slowly, conceded a try very early in the game and struggled to win enough clean ball to put a lot of pressure on the opposition, losing a number of rucks. Seaford led 14-0 before Canford started attacking space and scored two nice tries to make it very close at 14-10. However poor discipline cost the Canford team and conceded two more late tries to make the final score 28-10 to Seaford. (WLA)

ADVANCE NOTICE!!!! Next Tuesday (26th November) sees an important day of cup action for several of our teams and your support would be hugely appreciated by your peers involved in these matches. The action starts with the 1st team netball girls in their 4th round national cup match against Maynard School in the sports centre at 1.45pm. The boys 1st XI footballers have their 2nd round county cup game up on MTs after that and at 4pm the U15 netball girls have their 4th round National Cup match against Marlborough, back in the sports centre. The last match of the day sees the 1st XI hockey boys take on Peter Symonds Sixth Form College up on Adby in their National Tier 1 Group game (push back 4.30pm).

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

Sporting quote of the week:

“ Players that learn the value of hard work, commitment, teamwork and sacrifice are the ones who make their teams great. ”

Mark Burley

Director of Sport

Twitter: @CanfordSport

19th November 2019