16 Dec 2021
Christmas Term 2021 - Sports Report Week 14

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Christmas Term 2021 - Week 14 Sports Report

Hockey v Blundell’s, Dean Close and Queen Elizabeth’s, Wimborne

In the final week of matches this term we saw a couple of senior mid-week Tier 1 league games against Dean Close, a match v QE and then a block fixture across the age groups against Blundell’s.

Mid-week fixtures

The 1st XI girls played Dean Close on Tuesday. Knowing that a win would enable us to leapfrog our opponents in the league standings, whilst a draw would keep us in the mix after Christmas, when the final matches of the campaign take place, it was a very competitive match. Those who watched it would surely agree it epitomised the often overused game of two halves. The first half saw us dominant in territory and possession, whilst creating several excellent chances. Their keeper was sharp, however, and even though we were very much in the ascendency, we could not break down a disciplined side. After the break, the momentum shifted, and Dean Close were instead on top for long periods. Inspired defensive displays from keeper, Mia Ashby-Rudd, and Dom Hudson in particular repelled the Dean Close threat, and at the full time whistle, a resilient performance which had required a great physical and mental effort by all of the squad resulted in a very well earned point in a 0-0 draw. (MDC)

On Thursday, it was the boys’ turn, this time on the road and away at Dean Close. This was a more open affair, with both siders looking to apply pressure and win turnover possession in midfield. Dean Close led at the midway point of the first half through a penalty corner, before we deservedly equalised after a mazy run from Finn Craigen forced the keeper to make a save. Oscar Berridge pounced on the rebound and squared for Welly Johnson to finish from close range for his third goal in two games. Ed Timberlake carried a constant threat at right half back and we had chances early in the second period. However, slightly against the run of play, Dean Close finished well after we loosely surrendered possession, and then stretched us to capitalise on the counter as we chased an equaliser to lead 3-1. To the boys’ credit we kept pouring forward and on another day would have scored to draw level or even win, such was the nature of the game. There is plenty of potential within the group, however, and 3 points out of 6 in the league after two games leaves us well placed to kick on in the New Year. (MDC)

Also on Thursday, the U14Cs started their last match of the season away at QE versus their A team confidently, despite still having a handful of players away. The teamwork from defence helped deny some early chances from Queen Elizabeth School with Sophie Mburu making some important blocks. Ella Gildert showed her talent again, moving the ball through the opposition nicely. We had an 2-0 lead going into the second half, both goals scored by Zion Mutopo. The girls focused themselves to make sure the second half was executed well after the dip they had in their previous game. They were able to stay strong and continued to create opportunities, scoring a further 3 times, again all from Zion. Zion was rightly awarded player of the match but she wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the assists from her teammates. This was a great finish to the season from the team and it’s amazing to see how far they have come along from the start of term. Both myself and Miss Snooks are incredibly proud and look forward to see their hockey careers as they continue through the school! (ZLF/BS)

Block fixture against Blundell’s

On Saturday, the 1st XI started like a thunderbolt, in the last action of a very busy and successful term. We were dominant, and won an impressive 8 penalty corners. However, a mixture of excellent goalkeeping, hitting the woodwork, and lack of fortune and at times composure, meant that Honoré Cutler’s well worked corner deflection was all we had to show for our ascendency in a 1-0 half time advantage. After the break, Blundell’s started sharper, and equalised on the backhand. We recovered our patterns and shape and re-established our supremacy, with the impressive Tara King almost scoring the goal of the season having run past half of the Blundell’s team from the half way line only to be denied by a post. More chances followed, but their keeper was on fire and as can sometimes happen, with just a minute remaining Blundell’s counter attacked and bundled the ball into the net. The result, therefore, a 2-1 defeat, barely reflected the game, with our 12 corners not being capitalised on. One of those games – but nevertheless, we played some excellent attacking hockey and will come back next term after a rest to finish our league campaign against King’s Taunton and Millfield. (MDC)

The final outing of the Canford 2s saw us face Blundell’s this past Saturday. The girls turned out with a mixture of emotions, but excitement was the main one. The ball was moving better, shapes were great, linking plays together, and movement was outstanding. We thought we took the lead early on, only for it to be disallowed by the opposing umpire. We went into half time the much better team. A half time chat, unlike any other before, didn't involve a motivational pickup or formation change, but one of "keep going, it's going to come soon", agreed by every member of the team. We started the 2nd half, just like we ended the first, on top but still unable to grab that final touch in goal. Blundell’s had a break away which led to quite a questionable goal, however, we carried on. Being denied by their defence and goalkeeper many a time. After some messy hockey in the D, a short corner was given to Blundell’s, questioned by the Canford girls as they felt it should've gone the other way. Blundell’s then of course, went and scored from that set play. Emotions aside, we kept going right until the final whistle. Unlucky to not score. Safe to say, the scoreboard does not reflect the hockey that was played. Great performances from Millie Davey, Grace Betts, Maddie Nickell and Esther Browning. A big congratulations and thank you goes out to Phoebe Peters and Grace Betts who ended their Canford hockey career this past weekend. Phoebe was our leading goal scorer as well as captain this year. Grace Betts, our solid centre back, extremely reliable, and as always, the wall of our defence. They added a lot of value and our younger 5th formers, always were learning from them. They set a great example for those below them. Thanks for a great season! (AGF/RHJH)

The mighty 3rd XI saved the best till last with a tremendous performance against a good Blundell’s 3rds to win 4-0. From the starting whistle, we passed the ball superbly with decent pace and impressive vision, resulting in 3 well taken goals in the first half, including a wonderful solo effort by Sky Pilkington. The girls played with determination and physical commitment and our backs in particular quickly snuffed out attacks from their threatening forward line. Likewise the glittering midfield supplied our dynamic forward runners with excellent ball and maintained strong running throughout. A fourth goal in the second half rounded off a high quality final outing in what has been a challenging term. Well done in particular to our long term servants in the Upper Sixth who have been such great value over the past two or three years and continue to play in the true spirit of the game. Through hockey yoga and dazzling hockey skill sessions they have lived the dream. Huzzah! (RMBS)

The 4th XI finished off a pleasing season with a goalless draw at home at the weekend. All of those involved have played their part this term and should be very pleased with their development. (CHJ)

The U15As were in excellent spirits, excited for the final game of the season. Canford started strongly, showing defensive resilience before putting the opposition under pressure and breaking forward quickly. Conceding a goal, only inspired the girls to move the ball even quicker, with Grace Cecil-Wright finishing off an excellent team move. Blundell’s attacked more on the second half, however they couldn’t get past Layla Stannah who was once again, superb in goal. With Canford winning a short corner with only 5 minutes to go, Eliza Miller and Katy Clark combined, before Eliza flicked the ball into the back of the net with her new stick! Unfortunately the girls conceded with only 20 seconds to go, causing mass celebrations from the opposition, illustrating how well Canford played, as they couldn’t previously break through the girls’ solid defence. Thank you all for an excellent season, it has been good fun and you should be proud of your performances! Thank you to parents for all your support throughout the season. (CJK/WW).

What a way to finish the season! After a long journey to Blundell’s in wet but muggy conditions, the U15B squad was feeling excited but quite emotional for their last game together before going up to senior level Hockey next season. We started the game extremely well with Madeleine Brown scoring a great and skilful goal within the first few minutes. Momentum continued and the strong, Canford side maintained possession for most of the game with a few breaks from the Blundell’s side that were quickly shut down by Isla Young, Sophia Smith, Susie Jones and Bella Hurd-Wood. Just before half-time our second goal was scored by Jess Coughlan-Davies who positioned well throughout the game and was committed to getting onto the scoresheet this week. This was supported by Georgia Webb and Bella Collier who had great vision across the pitch passing the ball quickly and well placed around the defenders. After half time we had a run of a few short corners. Bella King had some lovely first strikes which were well saved by their goalie but great to see from Bella who has been working on this across the term with Bella Collier. Lottie Heyman and Jess had some great passages of play together in the circle which led to our third goal. Jemima Chappell and Charlotte Parkin were strong in the midfield and attacking play, passing the ball well and creating opportunities at goal for Madeleine and Lottie. Fran Hensher has been our midfield machine this season and showed this again at the weekend, transferring the ball back and forth well and turning the ball over at crucial points in our game, transitioning that into a shooting opportunity for one of our forwards. Special mention to Olivia Sellers who has been our goalie this season. It has been great to see Liv develop her skills and see her confidence grow. She has been a crucial member to our team and I know how much support Liv offered the rest of the squad in the knowledge that anyone facing her would have a tough time to get through. The final score was 3-0 and was a fantastic display of Hockey from the squad. Mrs Byng and I have loved working alongside you this season watching you develop not only individually but as a squad. Thank you to all the parents who have been able to come and support the squad over the season, it is always great having you guys there. I hope you all enjoy your well-deserved break this Christmas and have a Happy New Year! (RAC, CDB)

For their final game as Shells, the Canford U14As travelled to Blundell's to play a strong side that the girls had already faced (and beaten 2-1) in the Regional Finals in November. Despite a long trip to Devon, and drizzly December weather, the girls started incredibly strong, and in the first 10 minutes, the girls won 4 penalty corners, and had numerous shots from Daisy Timberlake, Georgia Kenny, Poppy White and Jess Taylor saved. Yet, despite this dominance, Blundell's grew into the game, and after 15 minutes went 1-0 up, and nearly went 2-0 up 5 minutes later, but for a disallowed goal for a Blundell's foot. After riding this wave of Blundell's pressure, Canford regained their control in the game, and 5 minutes from time, Georgia Kenny unfortunately had a goal ruled out, as a short corner had been prematurely awarded. Subsequently, Canford went into half time 1-0 down. After a tweak of tactics at half time, in which Daisy Timberlake was assigned to man mark Blundell's Captain out of the game, Canford only dominated from this point on, and after peppering the Blundell's goal, playing some of their best hockey all season, the girls got the goals they deserved. Georgia Kenny rounded off a great team move to draw Canford level, and 10 minutes from time, Georgia got her second from a well worked penalty corner. Mention should go to Connie Mowat, Alice De Laszlo, Annabel Reid, Tilly Brewer and Delilah Rees for shutting out any Blundell's breakaway and after astute game management from the girls, Canford ran out deserved 2-1 winners. While Georgia Kenny grabbed two deserved goals, special mention should go to Daisy Timberlake, who produced a genuinely outstanding second half performance to completely nullify any threat that Blundell's possessed. Daisy produced a performance that was one of the most disciplined, and tactically astute displays that I have watched from any player at any level, and she should be very proud. The U14As rounded off their season playing some of their best hockey, and despite being emotionally, physically and mentally drained after their first term at Canford, the girls gave everything they had. It was the perfect way to round off one of the most enjoyable seasons I've had as a coach, and the girls should be so proud of the exponential progress they've made individually, and as a group. The girls have been a pleasure and a privilege to coach this season, and I know that if they keep their infectious enthusiasm, their unwavering desire to learn, and most importantly, treasure their connections with one another, this will be the start of a very successful and special Canford hockey journey for them all. (JDH)

The U14Bs were excited for the last fixture of the season and even more excited about getting to spend time together on the coach. It has been a real pleasure for both coaches to be surrounded by such an enthusiastic, positive and hardworking team. We have both found ourselves constantly recognising how lucky we are to have such a delightful group to work with, each session has certainly made our days brighter, even the trip down to Blundell’s seemed to flash by. At Blundell’s the scene was set, with Felicity Alston stepping in as goal keeper and Martha Fehrenbacher and Ella Gildert all making their debuts in the Bs. The whistle blows, and within one minute Blundell’s score, Canford find themselves 0-1 down. At this point, after a two hour coach trip, you might expect heads to go down, but not the U14Bs. Tess Byng drives down the wing to slot the ball into the goal. Once that first goal from Canford was scored, there was no stopping them. Jenna Wilson followed, Ella Gildert scored two, Ella McMillian scored two and there was one own goal by Blundell’s. Before we knew it the final whistle had blown and the B’s had won 7-1. What a way to finish the season. Well done team, you were a pleasure! (NXW/IW)

Thank you to all of the players for their efforts in training and matches, staff for their coaching expertise and energy, and parents for their unwavering support in all sorts of weather! Well done all – enjoy a great Christmas.

Rowing – Christmas Pudding Races

On Saturday we had our Christmas extravaganza. The boat house was decked out in festive decorations, Christmas music playing, and people came down in festive dress. Line ups of four eights were randomly selected out of a hat. The eights competed in two exciting semi-finals and then a very close final.

The winner's prize was a pinata which was highly comical to watch.

The day ended with mince pies, Christmas puddings, more hot chocolate, and mulled wine and lots of smiling faces. Thank you for the parents’ support. Have a fabulous Christmas!!

Football v Millfield and OCs

Canford 1-1 Millfield 3rds

Goal: Litchfield

Unfortunately, the Sherborne result the previous weekend had meant that the boys were unable to win the league no matter the result. The boys started slow, with very little to say about the first half performance. However, the boys were still able to open the scoring, a lovely through ball from Akrami was met by Litchfield who dispatched the ball past the Millfield keeper. Millfield started to get into the game and were given a penalty which they finished.

Canford improved massively in the second half and were unlucky not to have scored from a couple of corners. Hill somehow had a goal disallowed for offside when it looked like he was on. Although the boys didn’t win the league, every single one of them can be proud of their performances over the season.

Canford 0-0 Old Canfordians (Pens: 3-4)

What a way to end the season this was, a high quality game of football that somehow produced no goals. The boys started well, pressing high up the pitch and playing some lovely football. Kwan had a brilliant first half, beating his man on several occasions, but just couldn’t get the goal. His curling shot came close but ended up just wide. Akrami and Hill both came close, but were unable to finish. Mills picked up an injury early on and although attempted to continue, couldn’t. In his absence Wittram stepped into midfield and had a cracking game, although he could probably have received a yellow card on 3 separate occasions from Mr Effick.

Young graced us with his presence in the second half and improved the mighty Oaks ball retention. Yet again Canford continued to turn the screw and it almost looked a certain goal when Jeffers rounded the opposition keeper, somehow we still couldn’t score. There was one huge scare as the OCs took a strike from near the half way line that Barham almost dropped into his own goal. The clock kept ticking and the whistle blew with the scores 0-0.

The penalties were impressive, Daubs thought he was playing rugby as his Panenka soared over the crossbar, ‘I should’ve taken my shoe off Sir’ in reference to his penalties in training. Barham kept the game alive saving a penalty from one of the Organ brothers. Canford missed the last penalty which gave the OC’s the win. A great game of football between two high quality sides.

Cross Country – PEDSSA Race at Ferndown

This week’s final PEDSSA race at Ferndown brought a win for Abi Crossley and a third place for Jamie Barrington. This gave Abi a superb win in the series and supported by Eleanor Crawshaw who finished 3rd, meant that Canford to a team victory in the series too. Jamie’s consistent performances gave him a 2nd place in the overall series. Jack Flegg finished in 5th position at Ferndown and this pushed him up to take 3rd in the overall series of races.

This week all the XC runners prepare for the annual house cross country races on Thursday.

Squash / Real Tennis v Wellington College

Result: Canford 3 - Wellington 3

David Offer beat Fran: 6/2
Tom Clark beat Tanish: 6/2
Will Timberlake lost to James: 6/2
David/Tom lost to Fran/Tanish: 1/6
Will/Tom lost to Tanish/James: 3/6
David/Will beat Fran/James: 6/2

We were pleased to get our previously postponed U18s fixture in before the end of term. We were looking strong from the off with two solid victories from David and Tom. However, the Wellington players seemed to get accustomed to the court and fought back admirably, winning the next three matches! David and Will managed to pull themselves together for the final doubles 6-2. Overall it ended honours even at three games apiece. Well done boys, superb effort this term!

Player of the day goes to David, he has now learnt the subtle art of hitting the ball harder which continues to pay dividends and surprise his opponents. His handicap continues to fall rapidly into the 30s and I am intrigued to see how far he goes in his final two terms at the school.

Other news ...

  • Wednesday and Friday squash and Real tennis club sessions continue to grow in popularity and now have a regular cohort of eager regulars
  • We should have a new Assistant Real Tennis and Squash Professional starting in the New Year having just finished the recruitment process

Rugby – House Matches

Canford’s Upper and Lower Tadmoor fields played host to senior and junior house rugby this past weekend. The senior side of the tournament saw five teams, Wimbury (Wimborne and Salisbury), Scholaster (School and Lancaster), Monteacute, Court and Franklin all competing for the prestigious title of 2021 House Rugby Champions.

Court finished 5th but displayed some great spirit and free flowing rugby with Felix Synnott, Jack Janaway and Jack Robinson leading the charge of the joue inspired rugby which would see Robinson score a magnificent try to get Court a draw against Monteacute. Scholaster and Franklin both displayed fantastic attitudes throughout. Scholaster utilised a powerful running game, led by Harvey Stocks, Ed Schuster-Bruce and Finn Raworth with Oscar Feingold creating space and distributing. Franklin on the other hand, relied on an aggressive defence and territory, looking to try and play in the right areas while their defence made them tough to break down. Mark Kosgei and Sam Lukaitis optimised this, while Fergus van der Flier led from the front and despite a moment of ill-discipline, early in the tournament, managed to recompose. Monteacute may have been the most entertaining team at the tournament, Roman Gill looking to attack from anywhere which led to James Barker scoring the try of the tournament. Ben Ashton and James Barker showing the skills of backs while honing in on their forward strength and Yansci Motsi displaying insane fitness, getting from ruck to ruck allowing Monteacute to play fast.

Finally, and the overall winners, Wimbury, played a great tournament, the attack led by Seb Gallego, showing his speed in finding gaps and Joel Bibby, showing himself to be a top-level two-way player with some big hard hitting tackles and the ability to offload out of the tackle to put Seb into space. Monty Hooker showed his scrum-half ability, moving the ball away quickly but always looking for the option to snipe which would result in a try against Monteacute, while Jamie Elviss was Mr Reliable, making all of his tackles and proving himself to be an attacking option with a wonderful solo try vs Court.

Overall, it was a great display of Canford rugby, with the Upper Sixth putting on one last display, while the Fifth Form and Lower Sixth showing they are more than ready to take up the mantle for the 2022 season.

The junior competition saw 6 houses participating: Franklin, Court, School, Monteacute, Lancaster and Wimbury (Wimborne and Salisbury). They participated in group stages which involved 2 pools of 3 teams with the winning team of each group going on to play the runners up in the other group.

School House won their pool with big contributions from Xan Brookes and Thomas Barrett. Court House, however, beat them in the first play-off game, playing with real spirit. Notable players were Sam Wilson and Isaac Ameyaw. Lancaster House who came out top of the second pool played well as a team all afternoon. Harry Serjeant and Archie Jones were standout performers and saw them battle through to win the tournament against Court 2-0.

A great fun afternoon had by all and a nice way to finish the main rugby season.


Drawing Millfield in the National cup competition we knew it was going to be a battle but we were up for a challenge.

The score line didn’t reflect the effort and drive that was given from the Canford girls. Defensively, we were brilliant, Lauren Corn and Alicia Hudson were coming out with turnovers and forcing errors. Esther Browning and Izzy Richards were applying the pressure outside the D, it was a great team defence performance. Our attack kept their heads and even though Millfield defence didn’t allow us to many shooting opportunities when we did we made sure that she scored.

Lots to take away and to be positive about and I am looking forward to regular training and fixtures as we head into next term.

Canford Sports Department – Team of the Week

See the photos / attachments for the new team of the week. Across all the sports and year groups those who made the team were nominated by their Heads of Sport for standing out in terms of their attitude, commitment and performance.

From the Sports Department thank you to all pupils, staff and parents for your efforts, help and support this term. It has been fantastic to see all back enjoying the large variety of sports both home and away and being challenged by the various oppositions. We wish everyone a Happy Christmas and New Year. Please have a great break, stay safe and we look forward to more of the same in 2022!!!

This sports report is published weekly and is available via the Twitter feed, on the Parent Portal and also on the News/Sports News section of the dedicated sports portal www.canfordsports.com.

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