07 Oct 2022
Christmas Term 2022 - Sports Report Week 5

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge

Christmas Term 2022 - Week 5 Sports Report

Girls Hockey v Ballard and Taunton

Last week there were matches v Ballard, as well as a block fixture versus Taunton.

2nds v Ballard U16A

Canford moved the ball with increasing purpose, pressing the opposition, and always looking dangerous. An early goal from Elle Mowbray boosted energy levels and a following short corner was skilfully deflected into the net by Grace Mansfield to give us a 2-goal lead. Some handy speed from Mia White led to a solid save but Varya Darling was there to push the ball in for our third. We headed into half time 3-0 up. Ballard continued to press hard after the break, but a strong defensive unit and good flow of passes allowed Mia White a shot that rebounded off the post. Portia Carrell and Mia worked hand in hand in the middle, eliminating players with a simple 1 -2, then feeding Bea Woodward in the danger zone to put in the final goal for a 4-1 win. Some great work by everyone and exceptional running from our midfield. Stand out performances from Mia White and Tiva Kent. (AGF/RHJH)

5th XI Vs Ballard U16B

We arrived at Ballard, in good time, ready to warm up – once we had dodged the free roaming chickens that occupy the school’s site! In the first half the match was very close, shots on goal for both teams and lots desire to get first to the ball. Olivia Sellers made some good saves to keep us with a clean sheet, as they started very well and had more shots of goal than us in the first half. At half time we reminded ourselves that the ball moves faster than we do and how to play against teams that just swarm around the ball. For the rest of the half, we kept the ball pretty much in our attacking D and played some fantastic hockey down the right-hand side. Although our best goal as a team came from the left-hand side. Sent out of the back by Lara Witter, to Cara Coulson who carried it to Harriet Doherty who passed to Hannah Jeffery, who moved the ball on to Jess Coughlan – Davis, with some great stick skill she managed to get the shot off and the ball thundered against the back board. A real team effort goal, it was great! Overall, we won 3-0, with a fantastic tactical performance from all the team. Huge credit to Jess C-D who took the hat trick and scored all 3 goals. Player of the Match – Jess Coughlan – Davis. Most improved of the week – Elisabeth Koppert. (EJB)

On Saturday against Taunton, the senior teams fared very well, with four straight wins and zero goals conceded.

The 1st XI were dominant, in a match that would see our industry and creativity produce 13 penalty corners, plus over 20 attempts on goal in our favour. A combination of inspired opposition goalkeeping performance and a lack of a clinical eye in front of goal meant we finished the game as comfortable 2-0 winners. Such was the quality of our individual and collective team defending, led by the outstanding Charlie Howell, we completed the match without conceding a penalty corner. Both goals came in the first half from penalty corners; the first smashed in from the top of the circle by captain Honoré Cutler, and the second cleverly worked at the near post by Lulu Thompson after she received the ball back as the injector and finished coolly under the advancing keeper. Thereafter, our pressing was decent and our work rate high, as we kept probing and the chances came and went. Anouska Loveridge was a menace up front, working to win the ball back and carry forwards at every opportunity, whilst Tara King weaved her magic on the left flank with skill and poise. It was also a welcome return to the playing squad for vice-captain Georgie Boon, who got through 30 minutes injury-free following a long lay-off. Her quality on the ball gives us a different dimension, as she cruised around like a Rolls Royce in the middle of the park. A very good day’s work, but with tougher opponents to come, we must learn to be more prolific and ruthless in scoring goals. (MDC)

The Canford 2s continued their winning ways with a 3-0 win. A slow but steady start, the girls should've grabbed one early but the Taunton keeper was up to the task. We continued pressing and stealing the ball in key areas, which lead to a Maddie Nickell break away down the right-hand side, squaring it to Elle Mowbray who one time slapped it like a rocket into the bottom corner; opening our account. We went into the half time break just 1 goal up; a quick talk, change of strategy and we were off again. A short corner smartly won by Poppy Speers meant that Chloe Markham could line up on top and she delivered, smashing it bottom corner, putting us 2 ahead. The rapid Mowbray sisters, a nightmare to defend against, managed to create a break away, younger sister doing all the hard yards, to then give it to Elle the eldest, who very calmly, as before, slapped it like a rocket into the bottom corner putting us 3 ahead. Special mention to Isla Knatchbull who defended her heart out and kept us from conceding. Her work alongside Jorgia Holtby in goal means we got our first clean sheet of the season. Isla Knatchbull gets our award for player of the match. (AGF/RHJH)

The magnificent 3rd XI chose to match the weather with sparkling performance on a sunny afternoon in Taunton. Our passing and energy reached new levels leading to consistent pressure on the opposing goal through the first half, with a score in the final seconds by Evelyn Young. This was followed by a high quality second half with our midfield dominant, led by the indomitable Fran Hensher. However, this was a real team performance with another goal from Evelyn Young and one from Bella Collier capping off a 2-0 win. Tremendous stuff! (RMBS)

On a stunningly beautiful summer afternoon in the Canford Park the 4th team produced a second 2-0 win with an improved performance from last week. Canford dominated the early on and were able to thread the ball nicely along both wings and with the occasionally transfer. Despite the early pressure, Taunton weathered the storm admirably clearing the ball sensibly from the danger zone in front of the goal. The second half was decisive with Amy Frampton moving to centre mid and Bella King driving the ball along the left wing drawing the defence with her leaving plenty of room at the top of the D for others to attack. The deadlock was finally over come with a lovely pass around the goalie from Amy to Bella to score at the far post. The second goal came from a similar combination from Cara Coulson to Freya Barrington who hit the ball with force past the keeper. Players of the Match: Bella King and Amy Frampton. (CHJ)


With an even start made from both teams in a balanced first half, Canford scored through Georgia Kenny in a well organised short corner. The defence and midfield coped well with the Taunton attack by keeping their shape and blocking any danger high up the pitch. With half time the team decided to press higher up the pitch to win the ball. This worked extremely well with the front five winning the ball back numerous times in their opponent's half. Tess Byng scored a goal on the back post after liquid hockey down the left-hand side. After a scrappy passage in play Emily Von Schirnding found space in the D and fired the ball into the bottom corner. With Canford dominating the game Penny Dirou added to the teams' tally to make it 4-0 to Canford. With a fantastic team performance with added pressure of vocal opposition fans and a huge improvement from last week. Player of the Match Penny Dirou. (BDD/IW)

The U15Bs started rather tentatively against Taunton on Saturday and gave the opposition the space and time to settle into a rather comfortable attacking position. Canford’s ball pace was not what we had set out to do and the distribution rather too repeatedly was sent straight back down the centre of the pitch. With Taunton having some tidy players down the central line, this wasn’t a particularly smart tactic. It looked like it may be a long game with the constant shout of “ball pace” and “wide” coming from the side-lines. The second half, however, was as though we had brought on a different side; the want to win, shone through and brains had switched on to what was required. The game was very even and although we eventually conceded a goal, we can at least say we gave them a run for their money to get it, losing out 0-1. Coaches’ player of the match: Emily Kiff. (CDB)

What a tough game for the 14A team away at Taunton, suffering a 0-7 reverse, but one which we will have learnt a good deal from! The first half saw us slow to get in position to defend free hits, not marking tightly enough when the opposition had the ball and gaps between attacking and defensive players. The opposition were quick to fill the spaces we left and exploit this, scoring 5 goals. Half time saw a chance to reorganise and this paid off. Although the opposition goal was not pressured often, there were less scoring opportunities created by Taunton and more phases of controlled play on our part. Confidence and structure grew. Having seen how to build good attacking and defensive plays we can now build on this next week at the county tournament. (NRB)

The U14Bs worked exceptionally hard in their first away fixture to Taunton. In training they have been working at the structure framework of play and it was exciting that they put this into action on Saturday. The opposition voted for Lily King as attacking player of the match, and both goalies Bea Benton-Jones and Ella Lane as a force to be reckoned with in goal. Although the team suffered a loss they were elated at the progress they have made in such a short time. Home again on Saturday for another tough fixture against Millfield. (NXW)

Next week sees a tough block against Millfield as well as other cup and league games.

Rugby v Bishop Wordsworth’s, Priestlands and Blundell’s

National Cup RD 1 vs Bishop Wordsworth’s W 7-31

Would the real Canford 1st XV please stand up? Five days after the forgettable outing to Dauntsey’s the 1st XV had a tough opening match in their 2022 cup campaign. Injury and illness forced a couple of back line changes, but we welcomed Charlie Hallam back in to the starting XV in the engine room allowing Mark Kosgei to revert to the blindside. However, this was largely the same group of boys who took to the field on the previous Thursday.

The difference was quite startling, a far more determined group of boys took to the field, evident in defensive linespeed and hunger as well as attacking intent and desire to support the ball. The lineout continues to grow in its efficacy and the boys added some ground and pound to their game with the addition of some effective mauling. Ryan Woodford made hay in the scrum against an opponent who struggled to contain him, and the pack was far more collective in its effort winning numerous feeds against the head. The overall result was a convincing win away from home.

Felix Synott continues to make telling interventions, Oscar Feingold took control of the reins well at 10 and both Jack and Sam Janaway work tirelessly upfront (Sam bagging a brace) freed up from the travails of locking the scrum Mark Kosgei shows us how effective he can be, with a dazzling run to score a try to go with a similar effort at Dauntsey’s. We did allow Bishop’s the chance to let the scoreline flatter their efforts for the afternoon with a couple of lapses in concentration that led to scores but the game overall result was never in question.

We look forward now to our 2nd round opponents, with a possible chance to re-play Marlborough but also this Saturday with tough Devonian opponents Blundell’s making their trip to Higher Park. The proof of the pudding will be to see if we can back up the physical and mental efforts so clearly evident in this solid performance. Our backing up from Craighouse into the Hurst match shows that we are fit enough. The winning at this level starts and ends between the ears!

1st XV v Blundell’s Won 26-22

The 1st XV played out a dramatic encounter on Saturday against a decent Blundell’s side. Starting once again in lively fashion the Canford boys were quick to press their attack, applying pressure nicely in the opposition 22. Somehow the Blundell’s side was able to repel the Canford attacks, the game remained poised at 0-0 and ebbed and flowed despite Canford exerting long periods of pressure.

Canford’s 1st score came after one such period of play that then turned into a Blundell’s breakaway down the other end of the field, the Canford back three working hard to make the tackle with the rest of the team scrambling hard, this then allowed Canford to be organized enough for Tom Kiff to get the intercept and score his first 1st XV try.

At this stage we were very close to breaking Blundell’s wide open - a lead of 20 points would have been a good return for the boys’ efforts but somehow, we trailed 14-5, the boys from Devon managing to hit us on the break to cross the whitewash and convert both efforts.

With both teams prone to playing from deep this was a wide-open schoolboy game and only 1 minute into the 2nd half Canford struck back from a well taken maul try, allowing Sam Janaway to bag another try to add to his seasons tally, Feingold converted. Blundell’s knocked a penalty to restore a 5-point buffer. It was then skipper Jack Janaway’s turn to scurry over to match his brother’s earlier effort and tie things up, Feingold once again adding the extras nudged the boys in blue back in front. It was then Blundell’s turn to exert some pressure and after spending time in the Canford 22 they scored out wide wrestling control once more of this topsy turvy match, without being able to convert the deficit was left at 3 points and with 8 minutes remaining the door was left ajar for Canford comeback.

The boys were able to steel themselves for a final push and were able to gain a series of penalties that swung momentum back in their favour, first of all wining possession around midfield before leading to a series of lineouts which allowed them to push the Devonians inexorably back towards their goal line. Once the game, by now well into injury time reached this 5 m area on the field it did feel like the boys were going to come up trumps and so it proved. Blundell’s were continually pressured into infringing and with every possession Canford looked more and more invigorated The final action fell to Charlie Hallam to land the killing blow muscling his way over from short range, Feingold once more adding the cherry on the top.

This was a good comeback for the boys to enjoy and we‘re starting to look more and more like a team that knows how to manage games and pressure opponents. Johnny Walster had an impressive full debut at 9 that lifted the tempo, challenging both Canford boys to play up as well as pressuring the opponents.

Bishop’s once more lie in wait this Saturday, they will be smarting after we dispatched them from the cup last week, this will be their chance to settle the score for the year. I have no doubt that if we turn up ready to exert control on the game at every facet then there’s no reason why we can’t make hay in this fixture. It would be a fillip to go into the cup game vs Marlborough having chalked up 3 straight wins in a row.

2nd XV

Score: L 19-40

Tries: Tom Hopwood, Jamie Elviss, Monty Hooker

Conversions: Samuel Symes

POTM: Jamie Elviss

Special Mentions: Tom Hopwood, Samuel Symes, Ivor Ritson, Frederick Bowater

Of all the three defeats this season so far, this was the most disappointing. On the positive side we scored three tries, the most so far, but this was far outweighed by the overall lack of intensity and physicality in defence, with whole swathes of the team going missing at key times to gift tries to the opposition. What makes this even more frustrating is that there was not a 21point difference between the two sides and for large periods of the game Canford matched Blundell’s. In fact, the first points weren’t scored until more than 20 minutes into the match, when a quick tap penalty in the middle of field was moved quickly wide to score in the corner. However, instead of doubling their efforts, Canford let the softest of tries in almost straight away, with a big lad running straight through our pack without a finger being laid on him – it reminded me of prep school rugby. To Canford’s credit they regrouped to score before half-time. Monty Hooker made a good sniping break in midfield to take us deep into the Blundell’s half, a penalty ensued and the kick to the corner resulted in a try for player of the match Jamie Elviss peeling off the line out drive to score. Jamie led the side bravely and by example, chopping down attackers all game – it was just a shame not everyone followed his lead.

In the second half the wheels came off for Canford, despite levelling the score almost immediately. Tom Hopwood chased a good clearance kick, and was first to the ball, beating the winger and the covering defenders to score in the left-hand corner. Samuel Symes slotted a brilliant conversion from the touch line. However, from then on Canford weren’t at the races, and were architects of their own downfall, for example, not securing the kick off, missing tackles to allow Blundell’s to make big yards, not having a full back in place and conceding a penalty try. Not everyone went missing on Saturday – Frederick Bowater put himself about, and Ivor Ritson deserves a shout out for playing with a dodgy ankle all game (and defending very well), but overall, as a team, we need to front up a bit more and make the opposition work for their points.

3rd XV

As has been the case with previous 3rd team matches, whilst we started with a team sheet of 15 on Friday evening, by the time we got to Saturday break, with some unfit to play and others required to step up and play for the 2nds, what was 15 ended up as a squad of 12 starting the game. Fortunately, Blundell’s found themselves in a similar position, 15 named and on 13 got on the bus. 12 a side was quickly agreed, 5 in each pack and uncontested scrums. 12 very quickly turned to 11 for both teams as a result of early injuries to players no both teams. In an exciting first half Blundell’s went ahead with a try, Canford then replied and converted and Blundell’s ended the half with an unconverted try to lead 10 – 7 at the change.

The second half, unfortunately was to become a war of attrition, with the 11 man squad initially dropping down to first 10 a side and then 9 a side. The Canford boys were brilliant, but unfortunately fatigue saw Blundells go round the outside of us a few times and so the score line quickly moved in Blundell’s favour. A final score of a 29 – 7 loss I don’t feel is a true reflection of both the nature of the game and the never say die effort of these on the pitch. Well done boys, you should be proud of your efforts.

MoM Henry Lane


On Thursday the U16s took on a burly and enthusiastic Winton Academy team who made up for their relative lack of experience with plenty of aggression. Canford ran out comfortable 38-7 winners in the end, with Jasper Bowley’s flashy footwork picking him up four tries, with Tom Fox-Pitt and Tom Low also powering over to touch down. Sam Wilson kicked 4 conversions, a couple of which from wide angles. It was a good experience for the boys to face some more rugged and fierce opposition than they are perhaps used to on their regular circuit, and a valuable opportunity for the Winton players to get a good run out too – the game was played in excellent spirit and I know their boys were grateful for the chance.

The 16s faced a long journey down to Devon last weekend, which was always set to be the biggest challenge of the season so far. This was reinforced heavily in the first half with a dominant display from the opposition scoring 19 unanswered points. The Canford young men continued to fight hard until the half time whistle where they had chance to regroup. The second half started in a similar fashion with three tries from Blundell's. However, huge credit to Canford, they stuck at it and finished the game out with three tries of their own. Debutant Isaac Hung bull-dozing over from a pick and go, followed by a swift intercept and dash for the line by Sam Wilson and finally a superb individual effort from Ciaran Amy with a length of the field runaway try. The game ultimately ended up in a 36-17 defeat but the Canford contingent can hold their heads high with effectively a 17-17 score line in the second half. Onwards and upwards to Bishop Wordsworth’s next week.

The U15A’s were drawn against Priestland’s in the first round of the National cup. The Priestlands side boasted some outstanding quality that posed significant threats throughout the game. Nevertheless, our side did an excellent job of nullifying these threats throughout the game. This allowed us the opportunity to be clinical in attack. We scored some excellent tries from the catch and drive as well as from disciplined kick chasing. This lead to a 24-10 victory. The player of the match was Seb Rowland for his game management and heroic defense.

On Saturday the U15As started slowly after our long bus ride. This led to conceding a try early on against a well organised team. After this shook the team awake we played some good rugby with our catch and drive from the lineout proving to be a real strength. We were unlucky not to score twice from this and went into the break 10-5 down. The second half into the wind negated some of our strengths and we could not escape our half effectively. Nevertheless, our goal line defence was excellent on a 22-5 loss. Archie Lappin was our player of the match for a tireless display and controlled aggression.

U15Bs vs Winton 12 -24

Even with several As players playing down, the Canford B team had a challenging first half against a physical Winton side. The Winton fly half, centre and winger were difficult to bring down and early run in tries meant the boys felt downbeat.

A conversation at half-time about committing to tackles and holding our defensive line saw a more confident team emerge. Two later tries demonstrated that Canford could pull together and make it happen despite the score line. A good match with excellent individual performance from Oscar Ingarfield, Joe Stephenson and Fred Blackburn.

U15B’s v Taunton

It is clear that the U15Bs are keen to play a high standard of rugby this season, which is great to see. The first fifteen minutes of the game was a joy to watch, with the mighty Bs taking the game to Blundell’s. The forward pack were keen to run trailers and the backs were organising well. As timed ticked on, it was evident that Blundell’s were a well-drilled team with some fast runners. Having worked their way up the field, Canford lost shape allowing a Blundell’s winger to run in the first try. At this stage heads went down a little and the Canford boys lost confidence. Scrumming was hard work with Blundell’s putting pressure on and dominating. This was compounded by Canford’s gradual withdrawal from the rucks, giving Blundell’s a significant advantage which they exploited with further converted tries.

At half-time the boys did regroup and started to commit again to the winning the ball at the breakdown. Unfortunately, the boys didn’t manage to turn this renewed effort into points. There were some great individual performances; notably Fred Blackburn in the backs, who tackled from the start to the end of the game. Thanks also to Hector Boyle who stood in at fly half when needed. We need to revisit jackling and organisation in defence this week, as we look to two more matches on Thursday and Saturday.


The Canford U14s hosted Blundell’s at the weekend in a competitive contest that Canford managed to win 15-13. Blundell’s took the lead with a penalty in front of the posts but Canford responded shortly after with a powerful run by Hector Hedges. However, some poor decision making led to a Blundell’s first try just before the break, leaving the half time score at 8-5 to the visitors. Canford came back out firing in the second half though as Tom Hakes managed to dot down in the corner. Yet, again though, one moment of lost concentration and Blundell’s regained the lead after a scramble over the line. However, not to dwell on their mistakes, Canford scored in the corner with ten minutes remaining. 15-13 up, with the clock winding down, the boys defended well in their own half to withstand the pressure applied by Blundell’s and ultimately come out on the winning side.


With a few games under their belt, the B team is starting to take shape and it was really encouraging to see them front up against a very athletic Winton side. In a far closer contest than the score (14-47) suggested, Canford were courageous in the tackle and dominant in the rucks. However, Winton were quick to make the most of any loose play and unleash their powerful back line to secure their first win of their season


All the Canford rowers took to the water in a mix of different boats and amongst the others Monkton School came and joined into the time trials held here on the River Stour.

The Christmas Term is our preparation period giving athletes, coxes and crews a chance to get used to different boat classes and speeds. Just the chance to line up and marshal before the “Go” is great practice for everyone, which makes all the difference when it’s for real.

Canford girls raced in the eight, coxed and coxless quads and the boys in coxed fours and coxed and coxless pairs and single sculls. Monkton raced in a girls’ coxless quad and boy’s coxless pair.

About 50 rowers in total raced downstream over 1300m course with fair performances from everyone who took part.

An enjoyable afternoon with parents viewing from the riverbank.

Football v Clayesmore and Millfield

Clayesmore 3-1 Canford

Goal: Reeve

Canford travelled to Clayesmore on Thursday, hoping to get their first win of the season. The game started pretty evenly, with both sides enjoying several chances. Sparkhall’s pressure from the front paid off, when he robbed the Clayesmore defender. He ran through but at the tough angle it was almost impossible to score.

The boys came in at half time at 0-0 but looked to be slightly edging the fixture. However, shortly into the second half Clayesmore took the lead. A through ball from the Clayesmore 8 was finished well by their striker. The boys then stepped up, with some great play down the left hand side, a cross with 2 or 3 deflections somehow found its way to the back post, where Reeve was able to smash it home. With Canford back in the game it looked like the tie was only going to finish one way. A sucker punch was delivered close to the end when Clayesmore won and dispatched a penalty. With Canford going for the game, Clayesmore got another and ended up victorious, 3-1.

Player of the match: Sam Reeve

Millfield 1-1 Canford

Goal: Wittram

Two days after the Clayesmore game, Canford travelled to Millfield for our fourth league game of the season. The boys started brilliantly, with real intensity and a constant attacking threat. Ransom-Esposti, Oaten, Wittram and Sparkhall were brilliant on the right hand side and caused Millfield all kinds of problems. We could’ve scored several goals but some strong blocks and GK saves kept the score at 0-0. Unfortunately, Millfield broke the dead lock, pressing high they were able to nick the ball and score, completely against the run of play.

The boys came in at half time and knew they had been the better side. It was very much a story of, keep going and doing the simple things well. Canford soon had their goal back, some lovely play from Merrell down the left was followed by a weak foot dink to the back post where Wittram was there to head in. Canford continued to press high and were finding a lot of joy, but a second goal just didn’t come.

Landale put his body on the line time and time again to stop a second Millfield goal. Bolland and Lockyer put in brilliant performance out of possession, with Ransom-Esposti showing his quality on the ball throughout. Reeve, Merrell and Samra put in their usual, leave everything out their performance. Oaten was up and down all game, and constantly showed his quality. Branston got better as the game went on. Wittram stole the show first half, and the second Kwan was back to his best, being direct and a constant threat on the left. Sparkhall was so unlucky not to get the goal he deserved. The boys were all brilliant, to pick one player of the match is far too difficult.

Lacrosse – South West Rally

The girls had a challenging day on Saturday, coming up against some of the top schools in the country, but tackled the day with spirit and determination. The girls displayed impeccable sportsmanship and maturity when faced with some of the challenges that the day had to throw at them. Captains Lottie Heyman and Ana Quieros were instrumental in the maintenance of the team's positive attitude, and both exhibited some fantastic lacrosse playing across both midfield and attack. Evie Johnstone displayed skill and confidence in the centre position and Sophia Smith stunned in goal, making some incredible saves and driving the communication within defence. All in all, the girls exhibited some fantastic lacrosse playing and an even better attitude throughout the day and have done the school proud.

Running (X-Country)

This week saw Canford’s runners take part in their first fixture of the season. This was at home with the course winding around the beautiful Canford park. Approximately 450 runners from 29 local schools ran in races ranging from Year 5 up to Year 13. Our boys team came 5th out of 10 teams and strong performances from Tom C (7th), Cammy C (17th), Alex F (20th) and Elliot A (21st). Unfortunately our girls team was one runner short to make an official team but Abi (6th), Ellie (21st) and Ella (23rd) all put in gutsy efforts on the day. Special mention must go to Ethan Y who played in his Shell rugby match and then ran over to take part in his year group’s race! Saturday saw many tired legs take various length loops around the local SANG to recover from Thursday’s race efforts.

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.

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