06 Dec 2019
Christmas Term 2019 - Sports Report, Week 12

Christmas Term 2019 - Sports Report, Week 12
Tuesday 26th November Netball : ISNC Rd 4 v The Maynard School (U19) / ISNC Rd 3 v Marlborough College (U15)

This was an exciting day of netball with both the U19 and U15’s playing at home on the show court. The 1st team did not disappoint. There were a few nerves on display in the first quarter but these soon settled, resulting in a dominating second quarter scoring 18 and conceding zero. To not have a single goal scored against them in fifteen minutes is an impressive statistic and one that is rarely seen at 1st team level. This momentum continued throughout the match and with an unusually big crowd the 1st team continued with a constant barrage of interceptions and goals resulting in a 62-13 win. An excellent team performance enjoyed by all that witnessed netball at its best. The Players’ Player vote for this match went to Emily Cridland, well done.

The U15s were excited about their first ISNC home fixture. Having not experienced a home crowd on the show court before, the team were keen to get the match underway. Starting full of confidence the team produced a good lead 13-8. The second quarter was far closer and Marlborough brought the match to Canford with the U15’s only clinching the quarter by a goal but still ahead due to the strong start. The team worked hard but not all phases of play were going Canford’s way. With pure determination the team battled through to secure a 45-34 win. The opposition voted Daisy Brown and Lauren Corn as Players’ of the Match and this week’s Players’ Player vote went to Lauren Corn, congratulations.

Hockey: U14 West Finals at Clifton College

We took time to find our feet against Taunton who put us under considerable pressure in the first half. When we failed to clear our lines with enough conviction from a 16, they pressed hard and went one up with a decently worked goal. The second half brought a much better performance, and just when it seemed as though time might be running out on us Imi Marley popped up with a well struck equaliser from the top of the D which squeezed in off the right post. Drew 1-1.

Dean Close have been recording strong results all term, and were the pre-tournament favourites. They had strength throughout their squad and played with a pace and precision that we struggled to live with. They scored their first early on from a fast right wing break. Their second was very dubious, and before we could regain our composure they scored again after a defensive mix up, to give them a 3-0 half time lead. In the second half we were much better, and competed well to keep the score at 0-3.

Going into the final pool game against Kingswood, a win would have seen us into the semi-finals. Again, we were slow to start and their gifted ball carriers set up two tap in goals. Trailing 0-2 at half time, we desperately needed to score the next goal, and again pushed very hard to get back into the game. Kingswood scored a third on the breakaway, however, but it was pleasing that even with the game gone we continued to take the game to Kingswood. Elle Mowbray scored a super goal, combining well with Maya Doubleday, and firing back across the keeper, and the game ended with Canford pressing for a second. Lost 1-3. So this year it wasn’t to be. It’s a few years now since Canford won the U14 West (the current Upper Sixth being the last team to do so). We fight against the odds to do so - almost all of our opponents today either have their girls from Year 7, or have their own preps schools with their senior coaching staff delivering coaching from a very early age. That Canford have won this title more than any other school since its inception in 2004 is a real tribute to the coaching that Matt Collison and his colleagues deliver week in week out, year in year out. These girls will catch up their rivals over the next few years if they stick at it.

There were some really encouraging individual performances. Chloe Markham had three very strong games looking powerful taking the ball on the front foot and driving it forward powerfully turning defence into attack. Her partnership with Hatty Farthing at the heart of our defence is becoming a real strength for us. Jorgia Holtby goes from strength to strength between the posts - her salvo of three saves from a shot and two instant rebounds in the third game was superb. Less spectacular, but equally pleasing, is the incremental progress we are seeing in the other girls all over the pitch. Today we finished the day with a wonderful passing move, which set up Elle’s goal. That is real progress - it speaks of a growing confidence, of a better body position giving awareness of what options are available, and that the girls are listening to what we are asking them to do (sometimes!). They will have learned a great deal from today’s experience. (PDAR/JDL)

Thursday 28th November : Senior Badminton v JP Morgan

A much better effort from the team this week, although still too many unforced errors and inability to convert the close games into wins, losing 6/6 of the close games! L6-9 (CLF)

Basketball v Ferndown Upper School (h)

The basketball team faced their first match since half term and an opportunity to put into practice much of the tactical aspects they have been working on. A Relatively inexperienced team took to the court for the tip off and immediately Tommy Qian was on top form shooting 9 points in the first quarter. Ferndown’s team was a young group and so Canford were able to dominate physically with Tommy grabbing 4 rebounds and Henry Bailey particularly prominent on the boards with 6 claims to add to his 10 point haul. The halftime score of 29-11 reflected Canford’s dominance and allowed the squad to be rotated. Zac Prentice has his best shooting performance of the season with 12 points, Jerry Hu chipped in with 6 and Will Toosey was strong In ‘D’ with a pair each of blocks, steals and rebounds. The final score of 46-22 certainly boosts the team’s confidence before their final game of the term away to Gillingham school next Thursday. (MSB)

Saturday 30th November Football : 1st XI Oaks v Sherborne

With the WISL title already out of reach, the Oaks were hoping to show the leaders, Sherborne, that they nevertheless are one of the top teams in it. That is precisely what the boys did; playing composed and dominant football and absolutely owning the middle of the park. With Doug Rowlands, Luke Hett and latterly Joe Hollywood on great form, George Vessey was still the standout performer, dictating play, showing his fancy footwork to excellent effect and playing clever passes throughout. Up front, Adam Kwan had another one of those ‘unplayable’ days, where his blistering pace and trickery on the ball made him a real menace.

Alas, though chances were created, we couldn’t put them away, and while the Sherborne goalie had a great match, we will need to be more composed in or near the box. At the other end, a combination of bad luck (the ever-reliable Pav slipped in the goalmouth puddle when trying to clear and therefore miscued) and indecision (we were faffing rather than resolutely clearing for the second goal) meant we conceded two soft goals – and lost 2-0.

Still, we take plenty of positives from the match, especially the fact that we have the ability to vary our play intelligently and that we are more than competitive against the best teams on our circuit. L0-2 (SV)

Lacrosse 1sts v Godolphin 3rds (h)

Canford started confidently and established an early lead against the Godolphin 3rd team which they then steadily built on as the game progressed. Our team defence was too strong for the individual efforts made on fast breaks by the visitors while nearly all of the Canford attack were successful on goal despite valiant efforts from Godolphin's goal-keeper. W9-2 (MXB)

Hockey v Cranleigh

The 1st XI played with composure and purpose on Saturday against a well organised and resilient Cranleigh side. We dominated territory and possession for long periods, but were lacking a little bit of luck and connection between players regarding the final pass to open the scoring. Goalless at half time (Sasha Witter needed to make a sharp stop from a penalty corner strike at the end of the first period) we continued to press forward, with more effective passing and movement being complemented by a high work rate off the ball to regain possession. As can be the case, Cranleigh took the lead against the run of play when they reacted first in a goalmouth melée. However, our response was first class, Martha Taylor and Molly Fairbairn combining well on the base line before feeding Izzy Woodward who finished sharply to level the scores. We then deservedly quickly took the lead when Sophie Saunders was put through – her early and clever clean backhand finish outwitting the keeper. Jess Rees and Abby Childerley were also excellent at the back and a 2-1 victory was the very least we deserved. On to the final match of the season – our Tier 1 League encounter with Marlborough at home, as we bid to make the National quarter finals. (MDC)

Wow, what a game for the 2nd XI! Cranleigh's U16As scored in the first minute, but it still took us 15 minutes to get going … but boy, did we get going! Really good movement and one-two passing allowed Bella Hunter to slam the ball into the net. Half time 1-1. We suspected they would come at us hard in the second half but quick goals put us 4-1 down and left us a hill to climb. Fortunately, the girls responded brilliantly and their practiced skills took them to a new level of game play. Superb transitions, excellent midfield possession and quick passing enabled Bella to finish off a nice zig zag corner routine to make it 4-2. Not long after, a rapid counter attack using the two Maddies, and Flora Lingafelter created a third goal for Bella which put us only a goal behind at 4-3. The final whistle blew with us winning a short corner which alas we couldn't convert. The opposition coach (PDAR's son Ian) told their girls "I don’t know how we managed to win that!” This was the best game of the season by far. Ella Heffner (skipper) commanded the midfield in the second half and the girls’ fed off each other's determination impressively to make this a very entertaining afternoon and well worth the journey! (RHJH/RJCG)

The 3rd XI vs Cranleigh’s 2nd XI saw a very good match between two determined sides. Both teams were weighing each other up in first half with very few scoring opportunities for both sides. Katy Jack and Grace Betts were in the thick of the battle at left half defusing their attack and creating turnover ball. Cranleigh were able to score first from the right after a good strike from their right wing making it 0-1 at half time. In the second half. Cranleigh were more clinical in the final quarter scoring twice on the break. Canford’s goal was well deserved and offered hope of a comeback from 1-3 down, but Cranleigh added a fourth late on. The hockey was of an excellent standard from both sides and very entertaining to watch. Although they lost, the 3rds should be proud of their efforts. (CHJ)

In the 4th XI game, Cranleigh’s 3rd XI proved themselves to be formidable opponents minutes into the match, making strong passes and fast breaks which put our midfield under real pressure. The first quarter saw Canford concede two goals, however they then settled into their game and produced some lovely sequences of play engineered by Lottie Speers and taken up the right wing at pace by Louisa Bornemann. The hard work paid off just at the right time as Bella Stanley wove her way skilfully into the D and lifted the ball beautifully into the back of the net making it 1-2 at half time. The second half saw equally skilful hockey, unfortunately Cranleigh made the most of their opportunities making the final score 1-4. Some excellent hockey played by all though and some real drive shown. (CHJ)

The 15As also travelled away and produced another excellent showing against talented opposition. Promoted from the B team following some good performances in training and matches, Alex Smith netted a debut winner in a deserved 1-0 victory. Georgie Boon was also instrumental in our success, whilst Honoré Cutler posed a constant attacking threat and worked her socks off. A very enjoyable afternoon. (EJB/IW)

The 15Bs bounced back on Saturday with a very impressive 3-1 win over Cranleigh. On a very cold afternoon, we were slow to start and found ourselves a goal down within the opening 10 minutes. As the game went on we began to grow in confidence and Annabel Seabrook managed to tuck away the equaliser just before half time. The second half marked the beginning of a turn around. In the fading light the girls’ work rate went right up in an effort to keep warm. This movement began to open up much more space on the pitch and we were rewarded with goals from Daisy Askew and Imogen Joll which put us comfortably in charge of the game. The girls have to be congratulated once again for going above and beyond. Well done. (JRM)

The 15Cs faced Cranleigh this week, a match that held the potential to threaten our 2-match winning streak. This was a match of sorts for two reasons: The first being that Cranleigh were short two players, so the 15Cs very generously offered to loan two players from our 17 strong squad to facilitate a fair match. 4 players were randomly selected to play one half each for the Cranleigh team (a special shout out to Eleanor Edwards, Elena Bantock, Millie Todd and Ruby Chan for stepping up, and playing well against their own team!). The second reason being that for the second match in a row, we found ourselves without a Goalie. Cue Tash Pettifer, who stepped up to follow in the footsteps of Lauren Corn the previous fixture. Despite these minor setbacks, the match got off to a strong start, possession being very much equally split between both sides throughout the majority of the first half. Taekwondo ninja Tash denied every single attempt the Cranleigh side had on goal, with no practice prior to this other than a brief stint as a GK at her previous school. Following much back and forth, the Cranleigh side got lucky, and slipped the ball to the back of the goal past our defence just before half time. Despite being 1-0 down, the 15Cs did not break stride.

Following a strong pep talk at half time, Canford marched back onto the pitch not ready to go down without a fight. The combination of Millie Heyman, Lauren Corn and Mimi Taylor in midfield was as smooth as butter; effortlessly the ball shot between the three of them, beautifully controlled all the way down until Hanna Neill, Topsy Holder and Nuala Binnion were ready to take over. It was on one of many phases like this, that Topsy Holder (resident goal scorer for the 15Cs) smashed the ball at the Cranleigh goalie, who had no chance of stopping it, allowing Canford to equalise. Captain Lucy Fitzgerald came back on after a short break in the second half to remind Cranleigh that there was no chance they would be able to get another one up on us, and she did so with determination, excellent technical skill and boundless enthusiasm. Despite some fantastic hockey played by all, the final score settled on a 1-1 draw. Huge well done to the 15Cs for displaying excellent sportsmanship to the Cranleigh side. A massive thank you must also go to the parents who came out to support, and to Jenny Ward for her fantastic umpiring. (MRW/JAW)

This was perhaps not the ideal fixture for the end of a busy and draining week of hockey for the 14As: Cranleigh have been sweeping all before them, and it was pretty easy to see why. From the off they played with a precision and confidence on the ball which we found hard to compete with. As we have done once or twice before we retreated into our shells in the early phase of the game, and allowed Cranleigh too much time to work the ball into the D. We found ourselves 0-2 down with just five minutes on the clock, which wasn’t the ideal start! We did eventually find the ignition switch and competed very much better for the remainder of the half. We switched to 4.4.2 by pulling Maya back into the midfield, and that had the effect of stemming the tide for much of the time. Cranleigh added a third, but not before Jorgia had made a string of superb saves - one with her left foot clearing the ball along the goal line into touch was an artist at work. We found it very hard to break Cranleigh’s press, but that will come in time. Gradually we worked ourselves into the game. One of the problems with 4.4.2 is that the front two can become very isolated, and have to have the skill to hold the ball up and wait for the runners to arrive, or hopefully go past them, from midfield. Towards the end of the half we broke Cranleigh’s very high line, and Elle Mowbray had a clear run on goal from half way. It wasn’t the first time we had broken their line, but this time she did enough to force the goalie and sweeper to help the ball over the line. A 1-3 deficit at half time was a pretty decent return.

The first part of the second half was a very good scrap - our best period of the game, and although territorially we were still on the back foot for much of it, we were really pleased with how the girls coped with the game. One thing about playing a gifted side like this is that you really notice when our girls are on their game; they have to be to make any sort of impression on the game. Dom, Maya, Imi (probably her best game for us), Millie, Chloe, Hatty all had really good phases of play. What we struggle to do against the better sides is to string the little individual bits of flair together - there are plenty of isolated cameos; what we want to work towards as we head to the last game and then to Holland, is turning these into decent periods of possession, and exerting pressure on the opposition. Cranleigh added a couple of late goals as we tired, mentally as much as physically I think. It has been a bruising week; we can only be hugely pleased with the girls’ efforts, in a fiery cauldron they have faced up and played with considerable courage. They will be all the better for it. (PDAR/JDL)

In cold conditions the 14Bs were ready to go after a good warm up. A positive start meant Canford played a lot of hockey in the opposition’s half. Cranleigh struggled to get out due to the press that Canford adopted, which was fantastic to see as they have worked very hard on that in training. Despite this, we were caught out on the counter attack to go 1-0 down. However, we responded quickly, with Lucy Stephenson slapping the ball powerfully into the goal after some quick passes through the midfield. Therefore at half time we were very positive and were ambitious about our second half chances. Daisy Cullinen constantly broke down the right with some powerful running, creating chance after chance for us. However our inability to put the ball in the back of the net proved costly as every time Cranleigh attacked, they scored. They scored four second half goals which meant the final score was 5-1, Canford played much better than the score line suggested and never gave up. Thank you to all the parents for coming to watch. (CK/NXW)

The 14Cs gave another great account of themselves against a strong Cranleigh opposition after a lively and busy warm up. It was a very close affair in the first half, with the Canford girls’ working hard for each other. We showed great sportsmanship throughout, and despite a 0-5 loss the girls were complimented on their manners and etiquette throughout. (CDB/BS)

This week sees the last action of the term, when our teams face up against Marlborough College. Well done to all players and staff for their efforts in a long term.

Rugby v Dauntsey’s / Downside

The 1st XV finished the penultimate Saturday of the season at School with a triangular vs Downside and Dauntsey’s

The squad was shuffled a fraction with Sam Downey and George Billson starting at 9 and wing respectively, James Longrigg also made a welcome return to the group starting on the bench following the ankle injury picked up in Ireland.

Joe Nalbantoglu capped a strong season with a great showing in both periods. Against Downside he calmly collected the hanging restarts under pressure from the Downside chasers. Canford rolled through the phases and two minutes later Josh Davies swept round the defenders to score. Skipper Sykes, once more enjoyed a good day from hand and tee added the extras. Nalbantoglu was next to score, powering over close to the posts to make the conversion a simple affair for Sykes. This interchange between forwards and backs continued, Sykes then bursting through a fragmented defensive line and accelerating away for his own five pointer which he duly converted. Harry Moores, back at fullback finished an excellent move off with a finish any premiership winger would have been pleased with. Adam Phillips finished the scoring flurry after a long sequence of possession allowed him to dive over from close quarters. The half and this section finished 33-0 in Canford’s favour. When Downside did have opportunities they were quickly quashed by excellent defensive efforts, in truth this was all within their comfort zone.

The second half, this time played against Dauntsey’s, started in strong fashion with the boys comfortable to play their way out from deep. Dauntsey’s were altogether much more testing, able to apply pressure at the breakdown and force errors in the tackle. Canford did go ahead through good use of the lineout maul, Archie Van Der Flier once again the beneficiary. Dauntsey’s immediately hit back with a converted score of their own and then went ahead through a well worked move and had numbers to burn when the ball was moved out to their winger. The score with time running out was now 12-7 Dauntsey’s.

This sparked renewed energy in the Canford ranks. Determined not to sign off their playing days on Higher Park with a defeat the intensity ramped up with Sykes and Stew Boyd both capitalising with incisive runs from over-zealous defenders leaving small chinks in the defensive line for them to burst through but on both occasions decisions on offloads looked like they might cost us dear. Similarly, Thomas Matthews was just edged into touch when it looked like he might streak away for a score. It was Sykes who made the telling breakthrough though. With the clock running towards full time Canford were able to capitalise on Sykes’ break and heavy duty carrying from Archie VDF for Freddie Charles to make his mark on the game with a final sneak attack giving captain Sykes a straight forward attempt to seal the win, which he duly did.

The squad has been nothing short of outstanding, the ability to hold their nerve and go through the gears when necessary was impressive indeed. They demonstrated ability to attack through a variety of styles and, if they can defend like they did versus Marlborough and Bryanston this coming week against much fancied Cranleigh then they give themselves every chance of signing off by claiming a huge scalp! W14-12 (PTS)

It seems that victories are like buses for the 2nd XV. You wait for ages for one and then you get 2 together in one afternoon! The first match in our double header was a one-sided affair against a lacklustre Downside team. Canford got off to the perfect start, with Cam Powell burrowing his way over the line, after a good carry in midfield by Eddie Stirling and some patient popcorn play by the forwards. Almost from the kick off, Finch Massam then found himself in the clear after a pick and go round the corner, showing great pace (and stamina) to sprint clear of the cover to score from inside his own half under the posts. By this time it was all Canford, and Woody Millhouse was the next to capitalise, rushing across to a penalty mark fifteen metres out, taking the quick tap and powering his way through the disorganised Downside defence to score. Despite only being a 30 minute game, there was time for one more Canford try, and it was probably the most entertaining. Deep in the Downside half, there was a massive overlap on the right and plenty of space. The ball came to Will Hobden, who, ignoring Mr Doherty’s despairing cry, opted for the cross kick to the corner, instead of the traditional, catch and pass to the man outside. It turned out to be a piece of creative genius as Alex Nikopolous gratefully galloped across to the corner to dot down for the meat pie. Game over. W22-0

Dauntsey’s proved to be a much stiffer opposition than Downside, and Canford can be delighted to have come out on top in this tight encounter. The first 15 minute period was almost exclusively played in Canford’s territory with Dauntsey’s taking the game to them. However, the defence stood firm, restricting the visitors to a missed shot at goal. The ‘half time’ break gave the lads a chance to regroup and they came out with a bang, scoring perhaps the try of the season. Oli Taylor, at full back, collected a Dauntsey’s clearance inside his own half, with the kick-chasers bearing down on him. Keeping his composure, he took the play back to them and put George Bilson through a gap who tore up the field into the 22. With the ball in both hands and his head up, George executed a 2 on 1 perfectly to put Joba into the clear, but with work to do, and he showed strength and pace to brush off the covering tackler to score the only try of the game. Dauntsey’s came back strongly, and had a period of concerted pressure on the Canford line, but this was a victory the boys in blue were not going to forfeit. Defending as if their lives depended on it, they held firm. It was great to see many of the lads having their best games of the season, including Nat Cranton, who carried and tackled with power, and Oli Taylor, who was a threat with ball in hand either at Fly-half or Full back. All in all, a very satisfying afternoon after many frustrating Saturdays this season. W7-0, Player of the matches: Woody Millhouse (PAJ)

The triangular format provided the Colts with an opportunity to rid the demons from the last match against Sherborne and enhance their readiness for the forthcoming County Cup Final. The first match against Dauntsey’s saw a dominant performance with forwards and backs working in tandem. Skipper and full back Seb Gallego used his pace and power to fine effect and grabbed a hat-trick within twenty minutes. Prop forward Matt Kosgei resembled a fleet-footed winger to race down the touchline for his score and centre Roman Gill scored a lovely try and slotted three conversions to help compile a 31-0 victory.

The second game against Downside allowed plenty of rotations of personnel and positions and this did not disrupt the dominance of possession and territory. Gallego, roaming in the unfamiliar position of flanker scored his fourth try of the day and before James Ashurst had a run out at hooker he grabbed his customary scrum half sniping try. Ben Ashton went over for a deserved try and unsung hero Rory Smith also piled over for his five pointer. Max Paget kept up his fine try scoring form to race over for a score and Roman Gill grabbed another to add to a further three more conversions. The match was blown ten minutes early with Canford up 36-0. (MSB)

Canford’s U15As travelled to Dauntsey’s on Saturday depleted; due to the side’s Fly Half and Captain breaking his leg in the Inter-House matches. As a result, the team sported a new look back line, with Oscar Berridge at scrum-half, Chris Litchfield at fly half and Monty Hooker slotting into outside centre. The format of Saturday’s rugby was also new, with the U15s taking part in a triumvirate of 30 min matches against both Dauntsey’s and Downside.

Canford vs Dauntsey’s was the second game on the billing. Canford started brightly, with an effective kick chase, which put Dauntsey’s under pressure from the start, forcing a turn over. Play led to a Canford line out just inside the Dauntsey’s 22. Following a catch and drive, the backs put together a simple move, with Felix Synott running a hard, deft line, scything through the Dauntsey’s defence for the first try. Dauntsey’s came back at Canford and moved into our half, but the U15s got organised and through quick line speed and good pressure started to drive them back. Jack Janaway then managed a turn over, found himself in a bit of space and took it, a few passes later putting Monty Hooker into a bit of space and over the line for Canford’s second. This try was followed up by a conversion from Chris Litchfield.

The second half again started brightly, with some good, hard carries from the forwards, working well, with pop passes in the tight and working forward. Play was then dragged one way, before coming back across, with Tyndale Kwan going over in the corner for our third try. Dauntsey’s then got the bit between the teeth and started attacking narrowly, pushing Canford into its back right corner and making good use of its powerful No. 8, who went blind off both line-out, scrum and ruck, going over for their first. The U15s need to remember to close the gap quickly, hit low and hunt in pairs when up against larger opposition. The game was finished off with Canford’s fourth try, but this didn’t stop Dauntsey’s repeating their earlier efforts in the bottom right corner, getting the last points of the game. Final score, 22-10 to Canford.

Our second game and the third of the afternoon was against Downside. Whilst Dauntsey’s had already beaten Downside, the format meant that the opposition were now rested and the U15s needed to be wary. The first half got under way with Canford looking the brighter more dominant side, with some flowing play and some excellent work from Freddie Homer, scampering back in defence, collecting a ball that had been kicked over the top, turning, beating his man, making ground and then cutting in to find support. This set up a series of phases that ended with Jack Robinson going over for his first of the day. Not long after this, Canford were working back in defence and Charlie Hallam took a knock that sadly took him out of the play. Soon after Tristan Fulton also injured himself in the tackle and suddenly the side started to look a little shaken. After half time, the team tried to get things going again, but with a biting wind, failing light and a number of players out, the team had lost its structure and was struggling to put the phases together. This didn’t stop further tries from Ollie Fox-Pitt and Mark Kosgei, but they never managed to properly get going again. Final score 15-0 to Canford.

Man of the match went to Henry Martin, who carried hard, scrummaged well and tackled like a man possessed. The team rolls onto its next national cup match on Thursday, away against Churcher’s College. Work is required this week to rebuild, given injuries, to ensure players are comfortable in their new positions and know their new roles.

A convincing win for the U15Bs this week. Our boys were dominant in the pack and in the back line. Our strategy of big first tackles saw Dauntsey’s a little shy about the game from the off.

This was the first match that Canford found themselves with lots of ball in hand. At first we were a little unsure of what to do, favouring a pick and run approach rather than getting the ball through hands and out to the wingers. At moments, we had five on two and yet were still struggling to get the ball over the line. As the ‘white line fever’ wore off, we started to move the ball through the hands more convincingly. This led to tries for Rohan Samra, Tom Windsor and Angus Brown. Rucking and tackling remained a strength of the U15Bs game. Tom Windsor demonstrated excellent commitment throughout the first half.

The second half saw some excellent runs from Elliot Eyre at full back. Dauntsey’s came out a little more competitively in the first part of the second half. Canford again proved too strong for them with further tries from Freddie Miller, Alex Hu and Lucas Francis. The game ended with further run away tries from Canford leaving the final score W49-0, Man of the match – Elliot Eyre (RJR)

On a freezing Saturday the U14As reluctantly left warm clothes and braved the harsh conditions in order to take on not one, but two competitors: Downside & Dauntsey’s – in the form of a triangular tournament. The U14 A’s were victorious in both of their games, displaying some excellent rugby skills, and an even better attitude.

Two games. Two victories. 19-0 and 17-0 respectively. Both games were surprisingly similar, due to all three teams opting to play an open, attacking, and creative style of rugby. The two victories were set up by a tireless pack of forwards, fighting for every inch of the pitch. When up against opposition of a similar ability and style, the U14As showed an impressive skillset and mentality by making less mistakes, and ultimately coming out of the day with two victories. This mentality will stand them in good stead for their final match of the season. (ML)

The U14Bs played two strong games on Saturday against Downside and Dauntsey’s. To begin the Bs faced Downside first in a 10-a-side game, Downside had a team with much bigger players, but that did not stop Canford securing a 31-12 win. Canford used their speed and passing to find space and gaps within the Downside Defence. Canford’s own defence was on point, with Canford tackling the bigger Downside boys in pairs and controlling their attacking phases well.

The second of the two opponents presented a greater challenge for Canford, but was also the best game of rugby I have seen them play so far. The level of rugby form Dauntsey’s was far greater than Canfords, however the 14Bs were determined and stayed strong, placing more effort in their defensive sets to hold off the endless waves of Dauntsey’s attacks. Man of the match has to go to Arthur Keene, who has returned from injury to solidify the Canford defence with his big tackles and ability to keep rucks secured. The game ended in a 5-12 win to Dauntsey’s who in the last phase of play forced themselves through a tired Canford defence to the try line, however the mighty 14Bs had battled well against one of their toughest opponents yet. (FS)

Sunday 1st December Indoor Hockey Regional Finals

On Sunday, the boys 1st VI travelled to Wellington School to compete in the Indoor Hockey West Regional Finals. The day started against a Millfield side who we had already drawn with in the outdoor Tier 1 league. Captain Charlie Peplow opened the scoring before doubling our lead with a superb individual goal, before Millfield scored twice in quick succession to draw level. Tom Doyle immediately responded with a quick counter attack. With the game in its dying moments, Millfield scored again to bring the final score to 3-3. Next up was a South Dartmoor Community College side who were there for the taking. The boys struggled to get a foothold in the game, forcing the defence to work hard. However, Tom Doyle scored a goal just before half time. Tom then continued his fine goalscoring form to add another before Will Whitmore flicked a corner past their keeper to seal a regulation 3-0 win. The final group game was against King Edward’s Bath, with Canford needing only a draw to progress. The pressure of needing a result meant the game was tense to start with, the opposition sat back waiting to pounce on any mistakes from Canford, as they had to win. The boys broke down their defence, creating a few chances, however we couldn’t establish a lead. This lead to KES taking the lead, despite the best efforts of Max Paget who made some good saves in goal. The team showed their resilience, however, with a late Luke Hett finish meaning the boys qualified for the semi-final after a 1-1 draw.

A fixture reschedule allowed Canford to have a break before the big match. A quick, concise warm up, followed by a tactical briefing on the opposition, ensured the boys were ready to go against defending champions, Dean Close. An accurate press meant that although Dean Close had the majority of the ball, they struggled to break us down. Midway through the first half, the boys countered, with strong carrying after a turnover, giving Luke Hett the space to fire the ball in to the back of the net. We led 1-0 at halftime. Unfortunately, a penalty stroke was awarded to the opposition who scored at the start of the second half. Their confidence grew and they therefore scored again. The boys showed immense spirit to come back, this time Charlie Peplow fired a flick into the far corner to draw the scores level at 2-2. However after a tiresome day, it was not to be, with Canford conceding two late goals to lose 4-2 to the eventual winners. The boys showed good skills and a fantastic mentality throughout and should be proud of themselves. (MDC/CJK)

In a final bit of sporting news, congratulations to Jamie Barrington who has not only been running well for the cross country team across the term in the PEDSSA series but also recently claimed the Dorset Road Race League Title for the 15-17 age category.

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

Sporting quote of the week:

“ There are no excuses. There are reasons, but no excuses. Reasons are opportunities to get better. Excuses are why you never will be. “

Mark Burley

Director of Sport

Twitter: @CanfordSport

5th December 2019