23 Sep 2022
Christmas Term 2022 - Sports Report Week 3

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge

Christmas Term 2022 - Week 3 Sports Report

Rugby v Hurstpierpoint , Bournemouth Collegiate School and Craighouse (Chile)

1st XV v Craighouse

We welcomed Craighouse School from Santiago back to Canford after an unusually long break, their 2 year visit put on hold due to the pandemic meaning we restart this sporting rivalry that dates back to the 90’s. Craighouse come to us off the back of their season which means they are already battle hardened as a group but pitched against a strong Canford squad we were hoping for a close fought contest. That is how the game started, for the first quarter of the game both teams probed without being able to gain a foothold in the match Canford’s defence was notable, allowing us to win a string of penalties and march the Chileans back towards their goal line. With the visitors 9 and 10 pulling the strings well and encouraging their team to play with intent the dam finally burst and what started as a trickle of points became a flood by the end as Canford sought to soak up wave after wave of pressure. Craighouse ran out deserved winners 32-0 and with a game against Hurstpierpoint coming in just two days there was some soul searching to be done by the Canford squad.

1st XV v Hurstpierpoint

Fast forward 2 days and the Canford boys took to Higher Park once more to play their 3rd match in 7 days, a shock to the system for any of the squad that might have skipped their ‘up downs’ during the summer break. As in the Marlborough match Canford started brightly linking phases well from the off, showing opportunities would appear if we could maintain our speed of ball from the ruck. It took just 13 minutes for Canford to break the deadlock, Felix Synott finishing a nice set piece play and Oscar Feingold duly converting. The first half continued in much the same way, Canford clearly on top but struggling to make the killer blow. Half time came at a slightly nervy 7-0 to Canford although 28-0 might have been a truer reflection of the half. Ryan Woodford was having his best game in a Canford shirt, Jack Janaway was as busy as ever, Sam Janaway was industrious in the tight and was linking well in the lineout with Mark Kosgei, who was all over the pitch making a telling contribution. George Burnell and debutant Tom Windsor were making a telling contribution in the back row. It looked like we might be running ourselves into some kind of shape. However, our visitors had other ideas and with a freshening wind at their backs they made they most of the conditions and camped in the Canford half, pegging the slender lead back to 7-7 before getting their rolling maul going and extending the lead to 12-7. We were now deep into the last moments of the match. Hurst, now smelling blood went on the attack once more but possession was pinched in the tackle by the Canford forwards setting up a last ditch attempt to score. First through was Jack Robinson who gained ground into the Hurst half up the right hand side of the field. With Hurst struggling to get back on side the Canford team now had an advantage and a free play to attack. The ball was whipped across the pitch to Ed Timberlake on the left wing, with players to beat he chipped ahead, managed to regather and somehow in the tackle keep the ball alive which set up Sam Janaway to barge his way over to tie the game. Oscar Feingold held his nerve to slot the extras and Canford were back in front. The restart was well wrangled and with Hurst infringing Canford looked set to run out the final few moments. From the ensuing Canford lineout and maul Hurst somehow managed to turnover the ball and win a penalty of their own. They in turn kicked to touch and once again looked to their maul. What followed was a helter skelter few moments of pressure, time and time again Hurst attacks were repelled in a breathless finale and Canford saw out the game, claiming their first taste of victory this season.

Off the back of the low two days previously this was a huge performance from the whole squad and one that should give them huge confidence going into the next block of games. A tricky exeat Thursday fixture at Dauntsey’s followed by a first-round cup visit to Bishop Wordsworth before returning back to Higher Park to welcome Devonians Blundell’s.

2nd XV

Score: L 7-35

Try: Tom Hopwood

Conversion: Isaac Gill

POTM: Jamie Elviss

Special Mentions: Henry Stear, Tom Hopwood, Zach Ashby-Rudd, Johnny Walster

Canford were on the wrong end of a well organised and hard-working Hurst team that punished our mistakes and made the most of our lack of discipline at the breakdown. The first 20 minutes of the match were evenly matched with both teams carrying hard and retaining ball, but without much effect as the defensive lines held firm, with some particularly impressive last ditch tackling on the Canford goal line. However, Hurst worked out that whilst we were impenetrable around the breakdown and in midfield (thanks to the likes of POTM Jamie Elviss and Henry Stear), if they moved it wide there were gains to be made. Two tries towards the end of the first half, and two at the beginning of the second sealed Canford’s fate as far as the score was concerned, but to the boys’ credit, they kept working hard and ended the match in the ascendency. Throughout the match Canford produced plenty of quick ruck ball, with Johnny Walster moving the ball well, and as the game went on, the ball carriers began to make inroads. Zach Ashby-Rudd made some good yards, with one big carry setting up the try for Tom Hopwood to pounce over from close range. The scoreline flattered Hurst a little, as we gifted them a couple of soft scores, but there is plenty of potential there to build on in the weeks ahead. We need to make sure when we get in the right areas we don’t let the opposition out so easily, we need to play in the right areas and we need to cut our penalty count down. Work to be done, but I think we have the players to do it.


Canford U16s had the huge privilege of being invited to the ‘U16 Rugbysafe festival’ at Millfield School, which was run and managed by the RFU. This afternoon aimed to support research into ongoing experimental law variations designed to improve the safety of all players, with there being a particular focus on tackle height and no late dip for the ball carrier into contact. Additionally, this would prove to be another opportunity for the Canford U16s squad to work on their game leading in to their first competitive match against Dauntsey’s this coming Thursday.

The afternoon consisted of three matches against three different schools: King’s Taunton, Clifton and Millfield. Three big names on the rugby circuit that would certainly offer up some stern competition for the Canford contingent but boy did they rise to the occasion. Across all three matches the whole squad demonstrated tremendous courage, teamwork and enthusiasm both in attack and defence. The tackling from 1-15 was immense and ultimately restricted some very strong opposition to minimal score lines. In the end, three losses were conceded, however they were valiant in defeat – (10-5), (5-0) and (10-0). The only score of the day from Canford came from a superb individual effort from Ciaran Amy, who pounced on an intercept in his own half and had the pace and awareness to finish off a length of the field try. Although the results didn’t go Canford’s way on the day, they learned a lot and improved a great deal, which has prepared them well for the next challenge of Dauntsey’s on Thursday.

U16s v BCS

Won 43-5

A strong U16s squad hit the coast last Thursday for a fixture against their BCS counterparts. From the very first whistle, the Canford lads showed their intent, moving the ball from deep in their own 22 and following neat interplay between forwards and backs, were only repelled by a last ditch BCS cover tackle in the corner. This very much set the tone for the first half, although through a combination of excellent - albeit at times desperate - home defence and attacking profligacy, the score was a relatively close 12-5 at the break.

The second half proved a different story; the sterling BCS defence which had been so strenuously tested during the opening period began to tire. This, coupled with much greater precision and indeed patience from the Canford side, resulted in 5 more second half tries. The pick of these was a quite splendid team effort, rounded off by winger Sam Wilson; clean ball won off the top of a lineout from the soaring Tom Fox-Pitt, swept into midfield where Finn Hunter-Smart proved to be a superb target man; quick ruck ball then moved swiftly to the left wing where Wilson rounded his winger, chipped the full back and scored under the posts. Picture perfect!

This was an excellent team effort with the interplay between bacs and forwards at times exceptional. Yes, sterner tests will come for this young, exciting outfit, but the early signs are wholly encouraging.

U15As v Hurstpierpoint

The U15As gave an excellent account of themselves against an organised Hurst side. Our defence was strong in the face of some athletic efforts and there was some strong running for Ben Jack and Massimo Brown to name but a few. Sadly we were not able to take our opportunities, while our opposition did in a 19-0 defeat. Ben Priaulx was the man of the match for a remarkable defensive effort, terrorising the opposition breakdown.

U15Bs v Hurstpierpoint

There was real excitement in the air as the boys got ready for their first full contact match of the season. The mission of the day was to work on our line speed in defence and to organise and communicate when in attack. James Law worked hard at 10, to create different moves with the backs. Our pack worked hard to keep pressure on Hurstpierpoint, Ollie Longrigg and Luca Bartlett were stand out in their relentless tackling and rucking. The game was hard-fought for the first fifteen minutes. A try for Hurstpierpoint then turned the tables, with the Canford team feeling a little deflated. Just before half-time a kick up field looked promising, but a knock-on meant the Canford momentum towards the try line was cut short. The second half saw a confident Hurstpierpoint come out and take the game to the Canford side. Good runs from their 10, 13 and 15 put us a few tries down. At this stage the Canford fitness and tackling was really tested. Some fought to the end, whilst others ran out of steam. A testing game but one which demonstrated a good level of rugby skill. Well done all.

After some tackling practice we hope to build towards a better final score line in the next match on Thursday. Final score 0-37.

U14As v Hurstpierpoint

The U14s hosted Hurstpierpoint on Higher Park on Saturday prior to the 1st team game. Despite the scoreline ending up 27-5 to the opposition the boys’ attitude and effort was not to be questioned as the second half played out as a 5-5 draw. Stand out performances came from Hector Hedges, who led the team well, constantly chop tackling and making yards with his carries, and Phoenix Wilson whose dominant hits relieved pressure on the Canford defence. It was a very promising first outing despite the scoreline and it is exciting to think where these boys will become the end of the term.

U14Bs v Hurstpierpoint

Lost 34-12

A robust Hurstpierpoint squad provided the opposition for the first ‘real’ home match of the season last Saturday. The early exchanges were understandably frantic, with some thunderous attacking and ferocious defence from both sides. The away side eventually broke the deadlock on 10 minutes with a well worked try involving their excellent playmakers at 9 and 10. Indeed, the Hurstpierpoint fly half proved a particularly spiky thorn in the Canford side all afternoon. Further tries followed and despite heroic defensive rear-guard from the home side, the teams turned around at half time with the Hurst boys 4 tries to the good.

A galvanising team chat at the break had the desired impact on the restart, with the Canford boys camped on the away team’s line. Some enterprising interplay between forwards and backs resulted in the excellent Tom Hakes finding an edge in the outside centre channel and he duly dotted down having shown a clean pair of heels to the defensive cover. This momentum continued and it wasn’t long before the ever industrious Aaron Blackman added the home side’s second try of the afternoon. Home tails were most definitely up. Despite conceding a couple of further tries late on, the response after half time was extremely commendable and certainly bodes well for the season ahead.

U14Cs v Hurstpierpoint

Canford U14Cs welcomed Hurstpierpoint for our first proper match of the season. With just a handful of training sessions under their belts, it was a steep learning curve for the home team as many of the new shells are either completely new to rugby or have never played in a match before. Although it turned out to be a rather one-sided contest against the much bigger and more experienced Hurtspierpoint, George Chetwood and his team showed great heart throughout the afternoon. Particular credit goes to Felix De Mounteney, Ed Scott, Jacob Van Wensveen and Jack Gao whose tenacious tackling set the standard to which others should aspire. The team certainly learned a great deal about the game and I am looking forward to seeing them develop in the coming months.

Girls Hockey v KES Southampton and Craighouse (Chile)

Last Thursday saw the inaugural match on the newly laid Rossiter Pitch (formerly Brook) as the 1st XI Girls played Craighouse, from Santiago, Chile. Before the game, Patrick Rossiter officially opened the facility, fittingly named in his honour for his 30 years of service to Canford School Hockey. In bright sunshine, the talented tourists, featuring two players involved in the national Chile U18 team, played a quick and aggressive style from the off, but we showed determination and guile to stay competitive. Despite going a goal behind, a swift counter attack saw Poppy White create a chance out of very little – crossing for Maya Doubleday to deflect in an equaliser which left the match tied at 1-1 at the break. The second half was just as compelling, with Craighouse still having the better of the possession and chances but Mia Ashby Rudd keeping them at bay in goal. Eventually the pressure told, as Craighouse countered and scored through an overload. A late barrage of penalty corners gave us hope for another equaliser but the game ended 2-1 to the visitors. The team are certainly beginning to take shape and all will have benefitted enormously from the experience. (MDC)

On Saturday, the first block fixture of the term saw us play KES Southampton. The 1st team were able to dictate terms much more effectively, as they opened the EH Tier 1 U18 League campaign. A sharp start saw the White-Doubleday partnership combine again for Maya to score another from close range, before a mazy and sublime individual carry from Tara King enabled Tara Hogan to finish smartly from the baseline, under the advancing keeper. A 2-0 half time lead was protected without too much drama after the break, with the defensive unit, especially Erin Phillips, looking solid and Daisy Timberlake terrier-like in midfield. Three valuable points were secured to get us up and running and on the board. (MDC)

The 2nd team started off very strong with Tiva Kent very quickly scoring our first goal of the season from a rebound. This was quickly followed by a second goal scored by Mia White from a cross from the right wing. KES then were very determined to pull back the score but with some excellent defending from our 4 defenders, they were unsuccessful. The second half also started strong with us getting several short corners, and we carried on with the high tempo game play but were unsuccessful with a third goal. With Jorgia making some excellent saves we came away with a 2-0 victory which was a very strong start to the season considering this was our first match as a team. We look forward to training where we can work on some key elements to improve our game play. Players’ player as voted by the opposition was Isla Knatchbull – well done! (Maddie Nickell, Capt)

This was a good opening performance with a large 3rd XI squad. It gave the opportunity for all 16 girls to have some match practice and they played with determination and enthusiasm. A hattrick from Bella Collier and goals from Bea Woodward, Freya Barrington and Daisy Cullinan resulted from near continuous Canford forward momentum. Increased ball pace both in passing and shots on goal will be the key to future progress, but this was a fine start, with a 7-0 win. (RMBS)

After a bright start by the U15A team, and some chances created by the midfield of captain Connie Mowat, Maddie Woodcock and Freya Coupe, KES took the lead after an overlap down the right hand side. With some incredible saves from Clementine Watts in the Canford goal, the half time whistle went at 1-0 to the visitors. In a balanced second half the Canford defence stayed strong which allowed the forwards to have the ball high up the pitch. At full time however Canford lost the game 2-0. With some things to improve on the team look forward to their next game after the exeat. Player of the match Clementine Watts for countless saves and controlling the defence well. (BDD/IW)

As a first match, this was really promising stuff by the U15B team! Despite some early positioning confusion, Canford gradually settled in to what turned out to be a nail biting, end to end game. Goals were scored by Emily Kiff (2) and Ella McMillan, with Kurumi looking very dangerous in the D a number of times and a goal of hers being disallowed for being struck just outside the D. Rose Sanderson was particularly strong in defence, whilst it not being her preferred position and Hanna Exley quickly adapted to centre midfield. Plenty to work on (fitness, for one!) but lots to work with, also.

Result 3-3. Captain Emily Kiff. Coaches player of the Match: Rose Sanderson. (CDB)

What a fantastic start to the season and to this latest U14A group at Canford. Skill, athleticism and determination were all on display. Despite going behind twice there was no way the team were going to settle for a loss, and great composure and team spirit were shown in securing a 2-2 draw. Over the next few weeks we will work on our tactical understanding and the ability to build attacking and defensive plays, rather than relying on individual brilliance or sheer guts. Well done, team, plenty to be pleased with but also lots to work on until we reach our full potential. The best comment of the day..... 'I don't like drawing. We need to win!' (NRB)

The U14Bs were raring to go as they donned their Canford playing shirts for the first time. Positions on the pitch were set and players were excited about the extra space of a full size pitch. A couple of brave warriors have only just experienced picking up a hockey stick for the first time last week, so all brains were full of lots of information. The first half saw KES struggling to penetrate the Canford ‘D’ and all players worked exceptionally hard and at half time the U14Bs could hold their heads high with being 0-1 down. We must remember that KES have been playing as a team for two years already! Captain Ella Dance pulled her team in for a pep talk before starting the second half to keep them motivated and keep energy levels high. Slowly KES slipped in some goals but Ella Lane and Bea Benton-Jones made some fantastic saves and should feel proud of their performance. Aoife Tarpey gained Player of the Match, with Ella Dance being voted best defender and Zoe Watson best in attack. A positive and encouraging first match, with many crucial lessons being learnt. (NXW)

This week sees various matches against Clayesmore, Sherborne Girls and King’s Taunton.

Football v Sherborne

Canford 1st XI 2-6 Sherborne

Goals: Sparkhall, Oaten

After a good week of training Canford took on a tough Sherborne side. Sherborne opened the scoring early on in the game. Canford equalised quickly, after some great work from Merrell in the middle of the pitch. However, Sherborne ramped up the pressure and scored 3 more goals in the first half.

Canford came out in the second half and battled much harder. Sherborne then scored another after Canford tried to play out from the back, and then another came soon after from a corner. Late on in the game Oaten scored a consolation goal, well deserved after his brilliant performance throughout the game at LB.

Running (X-Country)

This week saw runners continue to build on their fitness and enjoy the local area no matter the weather. Tuesday’s drizzle had DWH pacing runners on his mountain bike but it was made up for by the glorious sunshine on Thursday where runners ran along the beach starting at Sandbanks and headed to Bournemouth Pier (and back). Different groups ran different distances, with some pupils running 10k, notably Abi W finishing in around 46minutes and Tom C taking half a minute off his PB (44:08), whilst a whole group of 4th form ran their first 5km non-stop in sub-35minutes. Saturday saw runners take to Canford Heath for the first time this term and enjoyed a little variety and decent views. Next week Canford host the first PEDSSA race of the season and it will be a great opportunity to gauge fitness levels. Keep an eye out for Canford runners as they wizz past…

Golf v Winchester College

In preparation for our upcoming HMC Foursomes match, the golf team played Winchester away. Only having 5 players after a last minute drop out meant that Leo V had to play his best ball against his two opponents better ball, which is not an easy ask. The other pairs Suzy C and Tom W, and Max W and Arthur K both started slowly and were 4 holes down very early.

Suzy and Tom then started to gel as a team. Foursomes is a difficult game as the alternative shot format means that you struggle to get into any rhythm. This might account for why Max and Arthur continued to struggle all afternoon. In the end Suzy and Tom lost 4&3 and Max and Arthur lost 8&6 (although, perhaps optimistically, they said that they would have won if the match had been played at home!).

Leo’s game was much closer and he did incredibly well to win 3&2. The pressure of always having to count his score against the better of his opponents two, means there is no margin for error and no let up. But by shooting 1 under par on an unfamiliar course was mightily impressive.

Unfortunately when we returned to school, I received an email that our opponents in the first round of the HMC Foursomes could not raise a good enough team, so we have got a bye into round 2. This will be played later this term, or next term.


On Saturday the Canford Boat Club ran an internal time trial involving all the athletes at the club. In a variety of boats from an eight down to singles, the crews took to the water for three 1100m pieces. Despite being early in the season, the quality of rowing was high and everyone exerted themselves to the max over the races. Steering has already greatly improved as coxes and rowers navigated the tricky bends in a manner which would have done Formula One drivers proud. Special mentions must go to the quad of Jess West, Sophie Martins, Valerie Roberts and Eliana Covell who held off a charging pair of Ollie Stuart and Rex Batt to set the fastest times of the day in each piece. Anton Cox and Adam Driver set faster and faster times in their singles throughout the afternoon, their final runs in particular showing how much potential they have as they continue to learn their craft. Finally, a big welcome to Ntemi Ngwenya who joined the club for her first session and hopefully the first of many.

Lacrosse 1st Team v Marlborough 3rd Team

The Girls’ 1st team kicked off the season with a very convincing 11-6 win against Marlborough. Some of highlights of the game included captain Ana Queiros and Evie Johnstone dominating the centre draw, which lead to the team controlling possession from the very start of the game. Freya McDough and Nuala Binnion continued this dominance lower down the field in attack, displaying confidence within the fan. Hester Child and Lottie Heyman also impressed in their very first games, with Hester scoring the first goal of the match. Verity Warner and Mimi Taylor exhibited some fantastic defensive prowess, displaying brilliant communication whilst under pressure, and Annabel Seabrook impressed with her confident interceptions and man on man defence. Furthermore, Sophia Smith stepped up to the plate as goalie and stunned with not only her co-ordination and ability to anticipate the ball's movement, but also with her positive attitude off the field. All in all, the entire team played amazingly well in their first game, and we look forward to further seeing what else these girls can do.

Badminton v Sherborne Girls

Canford 28-8 Sherborne Girls

It was a fun and competitive fixture once again vs Sherborne girls. Whilst their top 2 players (county standards) were a little too strong and experienced for our team, we had more depth in the squad to come out overall winners.

Forest had to drop out due to not feeling too well after just losing out in the singles match vs their top seed 17-21, and James Yuan, who came along to watch and support, did a wonderful job filling in for Forest as a sub. Clare Robinson, Emelia Butler and Joey Zhou were outstanding in their debut matches, whilst our more experienced players Michael and Doug led by examples.

Whilst everyone from both schools looked a little rusty after a long summer break, there were lots of positives to take away. We should all be looking forward to a positive season.

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.

Photographs ready to view and download from Canford Media

Rugby v Craighouse

Hockey v Craighouse

This sports report is published weekly and is available via the Twitter feed and also on the dedicated sports portal www.canfordsports.com.

Twitter @CanfordSport Instagram @canford_sport_and_wellbeing