10 Feb 2023
Easter Term 2023 - Sports Report Week 5

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Easter Term 2023 - Week 5 Sports Report

Running / X-Country – The Studland Stampede and South West Schools Championships

This week saw a medley of events on the running schedule. First up were the Prep School Cross Country races held on the beautiful Canford Park, then the annual Studland Stampede, followed by the South West Schools Cross Country Championships or a Triple SSS training session at Canford.

Sandbanks Stampede

Canford hosts this annual gallop along the Studland coastline, starting at the National Trust café running all the way to the chain ferry and back for the oldest competitors. A shorter 2 mile (3.2km) course is run by those in younger year groups. Canford impressed the visiting teams at a ‘home’ race taking 5 medals! In the Junior Boys race, it was a clean sweep of 1-2-3 with Henry first over the line with Harry and James next respectively. In the Inter Boys race, Santi had a sizable lead over second place and Alex finishing off the podium. Special mention must go to Jemima’s 5th place in the Inter Girls and Charlotte’s 6th place in the Senior Girls. Equally, James and Maiia should be very proud on making their debuts for Canford and each put in great performances.

South West Schools Cross Country Championships:

The South West Schools Cross Country Championships took place on Saturday 4th February at Blaise Castle, Bristol. Two of Canford’s best runners made the cut to represent Dorset after the Dorset trials. Abi ran in the Senior Girls’ race and put in an outstanding performance where she finished 40th overall. This result when combined with the other Dorset senior girls meant they won the team competition on the day. She will return to Canford with a medal, a joint trophy and a strong chance that she will make the Dorset team for the Nationals to be held in Nottingham later this year. Tom took part in the Inter Boys’ race and ran an impressive sub-20 minute 5km time. Unfortunately, the competition was just too good with the winner crossing the line at around the 17 minute mark. Tom can be very proud of his efforts and he will certainly be representing Dorset in the future.

Rowing – Hampton Head

The Boat Club enjoyed the first outing of 2023 at the Hampton Head. A strong field took to the water on the day including senior crews from both Canford’s Senior Boys’ and Girls’ squads.

For many this would be their first race of the season, after so many races had been affected by poor weather conditions and cancelled. The W.J18 8+ was made up of Mia Ulyett, Maddie Nickel, Amelia Frost, Daisy Pinner, Sophia Whelan, Eliana Covell, Susie Jones, stroked by our Captain Jess West, coxed by Millie Gardiner. The Canford crew were up against some very steep competition this year, finishing with a time of 9:33.00 over the 3km course. Surbiton High School BC finished with a winning time of 8:36.00, with Wimbledon High School BC and Molesey BC finishing in second and third place respectively.

Calming cox Millie absolutely ‘smashed the calls' to inspire her crew to race their utmost best and we were proud of the girlies as it was our first race in this line up after only one training session together. The rate did not drop and the power was beautiful! I think we can all agree the last island seemed to get bigger and bigger and we had to dig deep in the last kilometre. Can't wait to see where the rest of the season goes.’ Report by Captain Jess West

Next to come down the course was our W.J18 4+ crew, made up of Jasmine De la Hay, Imogen Whitehead, newcomer Beth Laker, Jess Burke and coxed by Ed Porter. The crew gave it their all on this stretch of river, some having never raced before. They came off the water having learnt a great deal about how to race a Head race. Ed Porter did a great job encouraging his crew and pushing them to leave nothing behind.

The Senior Boys’ squad entered three fours and enjoyed fierce battles against Molesey, Emanuel School and Eton College. They were able to hold off each of these crews and gave themselves a strong baseline speed on which to build.

With all the hard work which has been put in by the crews at Canford it is encouraging to see them so competitive on the national stage. This Head race has served as a fantastic benchmark to work from, we can now go back to the drawing board and fine tune for the next up and coming events. They will get the chance to race many of these crews again at Schools’ Head in March and all will be aiming to make even more strides in the weeks to come.

Netball v Millfield


Canford had a strong start to the match taking the first turnover and converting it and our centre pass to goal. Our man on defence put Millfield under pressure, however a few mistakes let them take the lead. Defence worked well with some new combinations and the mid court and attack worked together, despite missing some key players, to keep the score ticking over. Canford let Millfield get ahead in the second quarter giving them a large advantage, one we sadly didn’t come back from despite making turnovers in all three units. The final quarter was tough for defence with a new physical GS, however, Dom handled it very well and got a well-deserved OPM. Well done also to Charlotte Parkin who worked hard playing up. Overall, everyone put in a great effort despite the depleted numbers.

Report by Captain Lauren Corn


What a game for Canford seconds! After a close first quarter, Canford was leading just 6-5. However, with the help of Maya Doubleday’s incredible interceptions and Nookie Loveridge’s rapid drives onto the ball we managed to widen this gap in the second quarter. Tara King, who supposedly only dabbles in shooting, stepped up to play GS and she did not disappoint. Despite only having a squad of 7, morale and energy were high heading into the 3rd quarter in which no goals for were scored from midfield due to unstoppable defence from Poppy Speers and Elle Mowbray. Tragically, after a magnificent block, Elle took a savage fall. And then there were 6. With the fabulous help from Hettie Lloyd who stepped up from U16As we were back on the court for a final quarter in which player of the match Bella Rose popped up many a shot leaving the result at 36-14. Wishing Elle a speedy recovery!! Great play and stamina from the whole team! #cleansheet

Report by Daisy Bayles


We knew Millfield 16s were a tough opponent as they had qualified and done well at Regionals. That said, we set ourselves realistic goals and challenged ourselves to both try and put into practice things we have been working on in training, and to work hard particularly in defence. They were the goals that we stuck to and were things that made a difference to our performance throughout the game. Our shooters, Bea Woodward and Melisa Kose, steadily improved throughout the game against a strong defence, giving us targets to work to. In the first quarter, Charlotte Parkin controlled the tempo we wanted to play at as C so our team did not rush and lose the ball when carrying it up the court. There were some very good interceptions from Sophia Smith as she stopped the ball from entering D multiple times. Millfield had very strong shooters who were unable to shoot on various occasions due to Hettie Lloyds long reach over them, which they struggled to react to. In the mid-court, Eliza Miller, Grace Cecil-wright, and Layla Stannah worked hard to safely bring the ball down the court to our shooters and gained some important interceptions throughout as well.

Melisa Kose was the well deserved player of the match as her movement in the D was precise and she missed very few shots.

We ended the match with a score of 35-17, and although we lost we felt that we had really improved throughout the game, a thought reinforced by Mr E, who was delighted with our efforts, performance and noticeable improvement throughout the game. We all agreed it was the best we had played all season and it was a good experience to play against a stronger team.

U16 B

At the beginning of the match, Canford started strongly with the first goal from Serena Gow. Many more followed along with Hannah Jeffery, out of her natural WD position, scoring 2 goals. Ending the first quarter with a good start of 7-2, Canford - Millfield. Leading into the second quarter our defence came into action with some amazing interceptions by Joss Lee and Noémi Du Ry. Strong sprints from Megan Mowbray, along with Millie Martin and Ella Gildert (who was fantastic, moving up from the U15s), kept the pace down the court and for the centre passes, ending this quarter 16-3. Into the third quarter, Millfield's attack became stronger, meaning Canford had to strengthen its defence further. This was embodied by Bella Hurd-Wood (GK) snatching the rebound and successfully transporting the ball down the court. This quarter ended with 15-5. The final quarter saw Canford move away further, with the score 26-7 at the final whistle. A great win from Canford’s U16Bs. We also want to send our thanks to Miss Lines for encouraging and coaching us through the match.

Report by Millie Martin

U15 A

We started strong throughout defence and attack with high pressure and some good turnovers. We kept our lead right through the game resulting in a score of 43-17. Poppy White and Matilda Appleby Ingram were awarded players of the match. Report by Jessica Taylor

U15 B

This week the U15Bs faced Millfield. With a few changes to regular positions on court the girls settled well and started to lead the game. The centre court; Ella G, Emily VS, Penny, Tilly and Tess made good transitional play and passes, with some fantastic feeds to both shooter Ellie and Rose. Emily K, Gigi and Hanna took what they learnt in training and made some good turn overs from rebounds and interceptions. The fought well to keep their lead winning the game 23-18. Opposition’s player of match: Penny

U14 A

Tensions were high before the match. We anticipated it would be a difficult one but one we really wanted to win. We were straight off the mark following the first whistle. We scored the first centre and then immediately overturned the next going 2-0 up. However, a dodgy centre pass fed their climb back. Throughout all four quarters we were in the lead and our calmed and controlled play was a key part in winning the game. Some fantastic interceptions from defenders meant it feel like we were constantly attacking and some early feeds into our goal shooter, Chloe Pletzer, fuelled our rapid goal scoring. The game ended 53-9 to Canford. I think we have learnt a lot since our last match and ready for our next challenge. Congratulations to Josie Carswell who was voted Players’ Player. Report by Willa Knatchbull

U14 B

Our last match before half term was a great 50+ to 5 win over Millfield. The game started with a Canford centre pass and we quickly passed the ball effectively to goal, managing to intercept many passes and defend when necessary. We took the lead after the 1st quarter. During the second quarter we settled down the pace of the play and safely got the ball even more to the goal. With excellent defence from Phoebe L, Matilda T and Ruby H. And feeds in from the D edge by Aoife T and Lily K. After an encouraging team talk at half time with our coach Ms Byng and Ruby H (our captain) we came back onto court all trying out different positions. Despite that we all worked well together and scored even more goals.

The game finished on a high with excellent shooting from Willa B and Esme K throughout.
It was a super game and we should all be very happy!

Report by Aoife Tarpey

Hockey v Dean Close and King’s Taunton

Last Saturday saw a block fixture versus King’s Taunton and the 1st XI playing Dean Close in the league in midweek.

1st XI

On Thursday, we hosted Dean Close in the Tier 1 league. Always an accomplished and a tough opponent to play against, we started positively on the front foot and for the majority of the match were in the ascendency. Against the run of play, Dean took the lead with a mis-hit effort that looped over the advancing Tom Barrett in goal. In the second period, we remained patient and created numerous chances, Ed Timberlake causing havoc on the outside channels and Dill Howell splaying passes from the back. Cards were exchanged as fatigue started to get the better of both teams. Barrett made a couple of good saves and then, still searching for an equaliser, with just two minutes remaining, another foray from Timberlake on the baseline was converted by Ed Schuster Bruce to draw the scores level at 1-1. We tried to win it thereafter, with a carbon copy move converted but an ‘adjudged’ back stick in the build up meaning the goal was disallowed. The game ended 1-1; very much a point gained but confident that on another occasion we may have nicked the win. (MDC)

On Saturday we welcomed King’s Taunton. The start of the game was delayed by half an hour due to the late arrival of the opposition, but we stayed focused and took the lead near the end of the first half following good work from Schuster Bruce, a fluent and calming presence in midfield throughout the game, and Leo Vorobyev, who squared the ball for Captain Monty Hooker to convert with his 6th goal of the season. In control throughout, King’s did have a spell when Tom Barrett made an outrageous triple save, but Hooker countered at speed and fed Will Pickard, who showed great composure to wrong foot the keeper on the edge of the D and fire a backhand effort into the goal at speed. With amore clinical corner conversion rate we would have added to our goal tally, but the game ended with a comfortable 2-0 victory and another pleasing clean sheet. (MDC)

2nd XI

A late Saturday under the lights, hoping to follow in the footsteps of the 1st team in their winning ways. The mighty 2s had a potential opportunity to extend their winning season and that's exactly what we did. Possibly the best we have played the whole season, moving the ball so well, defending with purpose and doing exactly as practised. We opened the scoring very early into the first half from a piece of individual magic from Freddy Warrack who took on 3 defenders and calmy placed it under a sliding keeper. Shortly after, our goal merchant, Jack Flegg, scoring in yet another game, picked one up one handed and put it in the top corner with a calm flick to put us 2 ahead. Once again, Fleggy found himself unmarked in the D and added to his tally with his 2nd of the game. Our 4th and final goal of the half and game, came from our debutant, Ross Jemmett, who after practicing his reverse sticks on the Thursday before, showed practice pays off, when he smashed a reverse stick from the top D, into the side netting. The score stayed at 4-0 after a much more even second half. Unfortunately, letting opportunities slip, but credit to Lucas who kept his clean sheet after some impressive King’s attacks. Keep it up boys! Player of the match: Jack Flegg. (AGF/RHJH)

3rd XI

Drew 1 – 1

On a different day this was a game which the 3rd XI might have won by a hat full of goals. Instead we contrived to go behind in the first half against the run of play, having initially dominated possession and looked much the more skilful side. Unfortunately we forgot to pass the ball with any real conviction and decided to run ineffectually at our opponents instead. Their goal keeper made a number of impressive saves but we frequently rushed opportunities and lacked any sort of accuracy. A well taken goal by Xan Brookes gave hope towards the end but sadly we were unable to achieve the necessary score. There is much we can do to improve tactically and the key to success will be improved basics of pass and move. (RMBS)


The U15As headed off to a mild and dry King’s Taunton. The boys were keen to make up for mistakes in previous games. With a lengthy warm up done, King’s Taunton pushed back. Straight from the off Canford applied pressure and forced mistakes from King’s. The first 15 minutes Canford controlled midfield and were continuously in King’s’ half. We didn’t have to wait long before the Canford opener, a well worked counter was finished by Massimo Brown who redirected a great attempt by Gabriel Davey. Unfortunately for Canford, a miscommunication from a 16 allowed Taunton to level the score. The lads were now fired up after conceding and the attack continued, some lovely long balls from Seb Rowland allowed Bertie Cutler a through ball, he then pulled it back to Gabriel Davey who on the reverse fired it towards the back post where Massimo Brown was on hand to guide it home for Canford’s second. Heading into the break Canford we’re 2-1 up with lots of hockey skill on display on both sides. Canford continued to dominate the attack in the early stages of the second half winning an early short corner. The short corner routine was magic, a proper textbook routine and one which the lads had practised in training. It was expertly finished off by Bertie Cutler after getting past several players. The boys were high in spirit and 15 minutes into the second half Canford scored yet another from an interception using the ‘W’ press, Toby Lemans found himself fire away into the bottom right corner of the goal. Canford’s focus took a downturn which allowed King’s back into the game, and with some long aerials King’s managed to get one back from a deflection. Their press was high and an untracked man back post managed to sneak it past our keeper Charlie Allen who up until then had done a fantastic job keeping, Taunton’s attack out. From a strong position Canford now found itself 4-3 up. With 10 minutes left the game was end to end until a Canford short corner allowed Gabriel Davey to settle the score to 5-3 with an amazing dragflick into the top right corner of the net. The boys were extremely happy with the result and overall, a great half term of hockey and they look forward to some more challenging fixtures after half term. Report by Massimo Brown.


The U15B side put on a professional performance against a spirited King’s side. We managed a much higher tempo that our opponents and subsequently applied a lot of pressure to their D. They defended in numbers but we produced several cool finishes to win the game 4-0. Wakely Ives scoring twice. (JEA)


Canford produced a pleasing performance in a hard fought and skilful game. King’s pressured effectively in the first half, scoring a finely executed goal 15 minutes in. We weathered the storm that followed and went into the break feeling positive about our performance. Soon into the second period they scored again and, rather than heads sinking, we picked up the pace. This resulted in a goal from us and then them hanging on for the remainder of the game. Rather than being disappointed we can be pleased that we competed successfully with a team that had drawn with Taunton School, who had beaten us 7-0 at the start of the season. There is no doubt our game has developed over the last five weeks and we are on an upward trajectory. The key to further success will be sustaining those good periods of play for a longer amount of time. Tom Dempsey and Phoenix Wilson were both very effective and kept driving the team forwards. (NRB)


Canford 3-4 Taunton

Another Saturday another trip to Taunton, but King's College this time. Our previous trip to Taunton had not ended well but with 4 more weeks’ training under their belts the boys were determined to give a better performance. With a slightly depleted team due to injury Teddy McSheehy and Hector Chissell stepped up from the Cs and played a vital role in midfield and defence respectively. Ethan Crorie donned the captain’s armband. It was a tight first half with each team exchanging goals, ending 1-1 with Seb Chapman scoring the first goal. The second half started with a goal from King’s but that didn't dampen Canford's spirit. Felix Inglis went on to score two more goals to set the score at 3-2. King’s came back strongly however and the game ended 3-4. George Chetwood got a ball to the ankle so retired injured. Luke Pusaz was once again players’ player of the match for some truly outstanding saves. Overall a frustrating loss but lots of positives to work on in training. (VOG)

This week sees the U16s away at Sherborne in the third round of the National Tier 1 Cup, whilst the 1st XI are also on the road, away at Clifton for their latest league game. Well done to all players and staff on what has been a busy first half of term.

Football v Taunton

Oaks 0-3 Taunton

The boys struggled to get going at all in the game and went 1 down fairly early into the half. Going into half time, we were still in the game. Despite having kick off in the second half, 30 seconds in it was 2-0. Then a third followed late on from a corner. A lot to work on in Tuesday's session before a tough game to Bryanston. Both Max Williamson and Isaac Gill provided a bit of hope with their strong second half performances.

Acorns v Taunton

It’s been a while, but the Acorns are back. A Christmas break and some frozen football pitches has prevented Canford’s finest sports team from playing for a while, but the Mighty Acorns made up for lost time with a resounding victory over Taunton School.

From the very beginning the Acorns were on the front foot. Tom Norman and Thomas Sparkhall led the press immaculately, pinning the shellshocked Taunton in their own half. But for all their pressure, the Acorns couldn’t find a goal. This all changed roughly 15 minutes into the first half, when Alex Geng was standing over a corner. He whipped an immaculate cross into the box, which Jocelin met with his head to thump the ball into the top right corner. 1-0 Acorns.

After that the deadlock was truly broken. Soon after Alex Geng made a trademark burst down the left hand side, he was uncontainable before he was hastily called up to play for the Oaks in the second half, and he fizzed the ball across to Thomas Sparkhall. Sparky didn’t panic, instead taking a few touches to set himself before whipping the ball exquisitely from outside the right hand side of the box into the bottom left hand corner. 2-0 to the Acorns.

2-0 is regarded in football as a dangerous score line, but not for the Acorns. Instead of dropping the intensity, the Acorns kept on pushing. A goal of the highest quality was scored after Sparky dropped from up front into midfield in order to pick up the ball. After a fabulous turn he spread it wide to Geng, who didn’t hesitate as he fizzed a first time cross into the box. His cross was beautifully flicked on by Ed Crutchley, and the Tom Norman finished from within the box first time with aplomb. In the blink of an eye it was 3-0 to the Acorns.

At this point most teams would start to get complacent and think about consolidating their lead, however the Acorns only had one mindset: Score more goals. Following more incessant pressing – the back line of Ben Fowle, Jamie Elviss, Isaac Gill and Jocelin barely let Taunton into the Acorns’ half – a fourth goal was but an inevitability. Following yet another corner there was a loose ball in the Taunton six yard box. Jocelin audaciously tried to backheel the ball in, but his miscued effort fell straight to Tom Norman. He produced his own ridiculous backheel to make it 4-0 to the Acorns and solidify his place as the Acorns’ most prolific goal scorer by scoring his second in this match.

Although Taunton were begging for the half time whistle to blow, the Acorns were in no such mood. Ed Crutchley had been untouchable in the middle of the park, but there had been criticisms from coaches and the back line about his tendency to dribble rather than shoot. He decided to silence these critics by thumping a left footed shot from outside the box into the back of the net. This made it 5-0 moments before the half time whistle. A near perfect display from a squad that is the epitome of perfection.

Unfortunately after half time things weren’t as smooth sailing. Isaac Gill and Alex Geng were (deservedly) called up to the 1st XI in order to help them out. This, however, was not an excuse for the goal the Acorns conceded immediately after half time. Despite Madame Saurel insisting that her team keep up the intensity of the first half and not get complacent, that message clearly fell upon deaf ears. A poor pass back from kick off led to Zac losing possession from kickoff, and then Ben Fowle got turned inside out, with Jocelin lacking the awareness to cover, before Freddie Homer let in a relatively tame effort to allow Taunton to get off the mark and regain their confidence. A disappointing goal to concede as it was a complete calamity at the back, but it was ultimately inconsequential to the overall result.

The rest of the second half lacked the quality of the first half, which is understandable when taken into consideration the fact that all of the Acorns’s substitutes had disappeared off to the 1st XI squad. Charlie Hallam excelled at the back in the second half, and Luca Freeman showed an incredible display of versatility – playing Left Midfield, Right Midfield, Left Back, Centre Mid and Central Midfield all in the space of one game. However the man who stole the show in the second half was Freddie Homer. The Acorns throughout this year have been dabbling with the idea of playing Freddie outfield whilst Jocelin covers in between the sticks since Jocelin was forced to don the gloves after Freddie’s injury vs King’s Bruton, but this was the game when this idea really paid dividends. Despite being mocked by the opposition for his agricultural style of play, Freddie was first to react to Jamie Elviss’ low corner, striking a volley into the bottom right corner. Pandemonium ensued, as Freddie’s elation was matched by the reactions of the entire team, as he performed an iconic “roly-ploy” celebration in the centre circle whilst being mobbed by his adoring teammates. This was to be the final goal of the match, which culminated in a comprehensive 6-1 win to the Acorns, who are starting this term as they mean to go own.

The one problem with such a great display is that it is nearly impossible to pick a Man of The Match performance as the whole team arguably deserved one. And because every member of the team deserves a mention, they will all get one. Isaac Gill in the first half was imperious defensively in the left back role, as well as contributing a lot going forward. His call up for the 1st XI for the second half was more than deserved. Jocelin captained well and marshalled the back line well, as well a popping up with a goal. Ben Fowle had the most composed performance form a right centre half ever seen. The amount of times he sold an opposing striker with a chop turn was simply mesmeric. Jamie Elviss hadn’t played for the mighty Acorns since the Easter term of 2022, but he more than picked up where he left off, as he was solid in defence whilst also providing an assist for Freddie going forward. Alex Geng, as he always does, had the opposition left back on strings throughout the first half, before being called up to the 1st XI and putting in a huge shift for them. Zac Oaten marked his Acorns debut with a spectacular performance, as his progressive passing from the midfield was vital for the attack, whilst he also screened the defence expertly. Ed Crutchley, in his first match post injury, was outrageously good on the ball – Taunton simply could not win the ball off him and it was only fitting that he capped off his performance with a fabulous goal. Jack Robinson put in a huge shift on the right flank, as although he was only called up very late he aided Jamie in his defensive duties on the right hand side whilst also having the better of the Taunton left back. In attack,, when Sparky was on the pitch he pressed relentlessly, dribbled past defenders with ease, and his performance was as ultimately rewarded by a well taken goal. Tom Norman also continued his fine scoring record, once again gambling successfully to secure himself a brace. Charlie Hallam, fresh from a gritty performance for the Mountjoy’s on Thursday, played well in every defensive role he was required in, and his long throw ins would make Rory Delap himself shed a tear. Finally Luca Freeman proved once again that he is an invaluable utility player. It is not a glamorous role, but Luca’s selfless attitude- always putting the team first – is a vital component of the Acorns’ success, as his versatile offers the Acorns invaluable in-game flexibility.

However despite all these performances, there can only be one Man of The Match: Freddie Homer. In many an Acorns match Freddie’s heroics have gone under the radar, making huge stops and sweeping outside of his box as effectively as a prime Manuel Neuer. However today, following a switch outfield as Jocelin donned the gloves for the last 10 minutes, Freddie had his crowing moment. A well-worked Jamie Elviss corner was expertly tucked into the bottom right corner by Freddie, to the utter delight of the entire team. Freddie’s passion for the team cannot be underestimated, and it is about time that he received his crowning moment as an Acorn. Freddie Homer – MOTM – we salute you.

Finally, the Acorns would love to say a huge thank you to Taunton for the sporting way in which they played the beautiful game. It is not easy being on the end of a convincing defeat, but Taunton were admirable in the way they were gracious and humble in accepting it, and so the Acorns would like to formally thank them for being such lovely opposition. Finally the Acorns would like to thank the referee for today, Mr Parkin. It is not easy to referee a school football match – especially when there are questionable challenges and people backchatting to the referee – but to his credit he let the game flow and managed to keep it a well-tempered affair. Thank you very much.

To summarise, this was a glorious return to action for the Acorns, and there is great excitement and expectation for the season ahead. With the tactical genius Madame Saurel at the helm and her fine bunch of footballers – and gentlemen – at her disposal, anything is possible for this group.

Lacrosse v Downe House


After having their first few matches cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions of January the girls returned triumphant from Downe House with a very convincing 11-2 win. Evie Johnstone dominated in the centre draw, gaining possession of the ball at every opportunity, and Ana Quieros showed both brilliant stick skills and impressive speed when driving the ball down the pitch working well with both Lucy Vrettos and Katie Clark. Laura Edwards, Topsy Holder and Millie Heyman all controlled the attacking third extremely well and scored some fantastic goals. In defence Serena Chen exhibited the just the right level of aggression towards the opposition to keep them out of the attacking third, and Annabel Seabrook and Freya Coughlan exhibited excellent man on man defensive positioning. Grace Mansfield amazed in her debut performance as a Goalie, managing some incredibly impressive clears, throwing the ball well over halfway down the pitch. To conclude, the score reflects how brilliantly the girls played this week and I hope that they keep it up on the road to Nationals.


Canford 5 – 6 Downe House

Many girls played their first ever lacrosse match against Downe House this weekend after only picking up a stick for the first time a few weeks ago. Lottie Heyman was menacing, determined and on it and shared the position of player of the match with Nuala Binnion. Ella Webb exhibited clear aptitude on the field and in goal, as did Jess Coughlan-Davis. Suzy Cribb was deft, fast and always a threat to the other team. Harriet Doherty was impressive at intercepting the ball and plucked catches out of the air that were destined for the opposition. Isla Young, after only beginning lacrosse this week exhibited a great determination to get involved, whereas Verity Warner and Mimi Taylor displayed clear experience and knowledge in defence. Overall, the girls played convincingly as a team and came out with a very close score against a much more experienced team.

Rugby at Portsmouth Grammar School (South Coast Sevens)

Our Rugby 7s teams were in action this weekend. The U16s had a run out at Clifton College and the U18s enjoyed a rare calm and sunny day at Hillsea playing fields in the Portsmouth Grammar South Coast 7s.

Drawn in the cup competition in a very tough group, the Canford boys laboured through the morning games. The results were relatively close, losing 12-7 to group winners Epsom and 21-15 to tournament winners Millfield (conversions were the only difference between the two teams) albeit it felt there was more to come. Only Brighton got away from us in the group matches and that was also a close run thing until a poor decision shifted momentum late in the game.

After lunch we faced Marlborough in the cup quarter-final. A much brighter display from the off put a different spin on the day. Again, our missed conversions cost us dearly and Marlborough scored on the last play of the game with the result in the balance.

This put us in the plate semi against Whitchurch from Cardiff who we were way too strong for, setting up a Plate final against Bishop Wordsworth School. The Canford boys put on a dominant first half display yet still managed to turn around 7-0 down. Playing on the ‘big’ pitch for the first time in the day meant we weren’t using the space as effectively as we might, playing into a limited Bishop’s team’s hands. We did however regain our composure at half time and an early Sam Martin try steadied the ship with Max Firth sealing the win with his score and seal the Plate win.

These outings are a useful step to determine the shape of the squad as we work towards Rosslyn Park.

On the XVs front the U15 boys had a run out vs a Bath DPP squad on Wednesday night in preparation for the National Cup quarter final this Thursday. It was an excellent test for our boys against a physical and pacey opposition. Whilst we came away beaten in this exercise it was a good hit out before the real thing this week. Felix Lock and Ralph Boldt had good outings as did Freddie Jackson and it was pleasing that we were able to score two tries of our own as well as create a number of other opportunities that we weren’t able to capitalise on. The time away from contact matches and practice was evident as we’ll need to be more sturdy in our defensive effort on Thursday but there was plenty to smile about as we head into our final couple of sessions before the big game.

Squash / Real Tennis v Clayesmore and National Schools Doubles

Vs Clayesmore

Ethan Bikhazi-Green lost to Charles: 1/3
Tom Clark beat Ivor: 3/2
Louis Potts beat Sam: 3/1
Merlin Cork beat Elia: 3/1
Hugo Pollard beat Oliver: 3/1
Sam Stirling beat Harry: 3/0
Justin White beat Luke: 3/1
Satch Thurston beat Jos: 3/0
Toby Durham beat Harry: 3/1
Charlotte Roberts beat Jos: 3/1
Kurumi Hotta lost to Luke: 0/3

Final Result: Canford 9 - Clayesmore 2

Fantastic performance from all the Canford players in this home tie against Clayesmore. Most matches were close and could have tipped either way, but the middle and lower order are continuing to improve their movement and accuracy and looking much more comfortable on court; the result was that most proved to have the edge over their Clayesmore opponents.

Players of the day go to Charlotte Roberts and Tom Clark. Charlotte is improving each week and becoming a regular in the team. This was her strongest performance to date and she seemed thrilled at the end. Tom had a marathon, but dug in well to take the final game and get a big win against a tough opponent. Well done to all, great result!

U16 Real Tennis National School Doubles

Always a great experience to go across for the U16s National School Doubles at Radley Real Tennis Club. We took two pairs: Gabriel Davey/Toby Lemans and Tom Chissell/Charlie Allen.

Charlie has only played a handful of times but is progressing quickly and it was great to see him so keen to be involved in the competition. Tom took the lead well and guided Charlie through some of the more fundamental doubles tactics. Overall, the boys had some moments of brilliance and were unlucky to walk away without at least one victory, losing 5-6 to one of the Oratory pairs.

Gabriel and Toby were a solid pairing and had some strong results in the group stages, both their games have really come on over the last number of months. Finishing second in their group, they were up against the mighty Wellington in the semi-final. The boys put in a valiant effort, but they were just that bit stronger at key moments.

Lots to take away and work on, they have another 12 months to come back bigger and stronger!

U18 Real Tennis National School Doubles

Our U18s took the trip up to Queen’s Club in London for the U18 National School Doubles. There were two leagues, with Tom Clark / Louis Potts and Will Fountain / Albert being in League A. Merlin Cork / Ed Timberlake and Dill Howell / Felix Church played in League B. It’s great to see so many of the boys keen to be involved and competing in these tournaments.

Both pairs in League A started very well, winning their first games. It was great to see some brilliant doubles tactics from both and working well as pairs, being complemented by the pro at Queens. Unfortunately we just fell short of advancing to the semi-finals, with Tom / Louis missing out with a 6/5 defeat.

In League B, Dill and Felix combined well hitting some great winners throughout. They were unlucky to come home without a win only narrowly losing 6/5 in one of their matches. Hopefully more to see from them as they develop their games and learn some more tactical play. Merlin and Ed again started very well, winning their first game. They came up against Wellington next, but unfortunately couldn’t put the ball away with the girls retrieving very well. It all came down to their final match. They held their nerve and came away with a convincing win, heading into the semi-finals.

Tom and Louis had a play off for 5th and 6th and found themselves 5/2 down. Louis kept Tom’s head in the game and they started to gain some momentum. With some more aggressive and positive tennis they weren’t going to lose this one. Chase 4… the ball flew onto the back wall and Louis forces it into the dedan. 6/5 and 5th place! Well played.

Merlin and Ed had a very tight semi-final with Oratory, both going one up on each other. Some great serving from Ed and we again found ourselves at 5/5. Unfortunately, this time the boys couldn’t quite get themselves over the line but a very respectable 3rd place in League B.

Well played all, great to see some thinking tennis and great doubles awareness, something we’ve been working hard on recently! Half of the boys will be back stronger next year but thank you to Tom, Louis and Merlin for putting in a great effort again!

Other news…

  • School make it through to the boys junior squash final, Court and Franklin are still to play next week.
  • Senior boys’ house squash semi-final on Tuesday 21st Feb
  • U14s Real tennis fixture against Wellington on Thursday


It was the last weekend for our Canford swimmers at this year’s Dorset County Championships. Just the long distance events and 1500m to go for our two competitors, Upper Sixth pupil and GB International Robbie Hemmings and Fourth Former Freya Coupe. The results were 2 Golds won in their respective age groups! Congratulations to both (and Ruby Hindell) for their fantastic performances over the last few weekends.

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