10 Mar 2023
Easter Term 2023 - Sports Report Week 8

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge

Easter Term 2023 - Week 8 Sports Report

Rowing @ Avon Head and Women’s Head of the River

Avon Spring Head

Canford boated nine crews into the Avon Spring Head with169 crews taking part. Our 1st VIII were on winning form and finished Head of the River. Rex Batt, Ed Fillingham, Benjy Bishop, Olly Stuart, Arun Samra, Dan Coupe, Archie Jones, William Fearnley and cox Imy Woodcock raced in two divisions. The Canford crew dominated over Winchester College, Monkton, Cheltenham, Bryanston and Bath University. A positive performance and a great lead into the Schools’ Head next week.

Canford 2nd VIII (18th) squad was also in the mix beating Cheltenham. Crew: Julian Newell, Max Mackenzie, Henry Stear, Freddie Pearce, Gabriel Vandvik, George Roche, Elliott Walter, James Hornung and Ralf Allen. Charlie Hickey, Arthur Brooke, Phillip Chen and Hector Courtney.

Girls’ VIII. (43rd) Crew Izzy Barham, Imo Whitehead, Jess Burke, Beth Laker, Daisey Lewis, Jasmine De La Haye, Camilla Cotterell, Daisey Pinner and Ed Porter finished in a strong position.

Our J15s Tom Walpole, Ollie Stear, Harry Percival-L, Olly Walpole and Joe Bichard, Theo Hartford-Tapp and Raif Anderson raced in the short course in J15 coxed quads and the later in the J16 long course - a great effort.

Girls’ J15 coxed fours Zoe Humphrey, Hanna Neill, Jenna Wilson, Eva De Niro and cox Lola Wood won medals. Clementine Watts, Isabelle Keeley, Ella Johnson Maddie Woodcock and cox Devon Perrin.

These crews then joined together with Sienna Fitzpatrick, Felicity Alston to race in the J15 VIII Finishing 3rd in Senior VIIIs.

Women’s Eights Head of the River Race. (WEHORR)

Held over the Championship course from Mortlake to Putney the four and a quarter mile course with straights and bends offers a challenge for both rowers and coxes with iconic landmarks such as Hammersmith bridges and the Harrods depository along the historic stretch of the river Thames.

299 crews competed and for another year Canford boated a competent girls crew racing in category School Junior. Mia Ulyett, Amelia Frost, Maddie Nickell, Sophia Whelan, Susie Jones, Eliana Covell, Valerie Roberts, Jess West and cox Millie Gardiner. (37th) A fantastic experience and another one on the bucket list of national rowing events. Special thank you to Dulwich College Boat Club for the loan of a racing eight and hosting the girls in at their Putney boathouse.

Hockey v Millfield and U14 Regional Finals

West U14 Regional Finals

Canford travelled to Millfield as winners of the Dorset County championships. There were two pools of players with Clifton, Marlborough, Dean Close, Blundell’s and King’s Taunton in our side of the draw. The other half contained Taunton School, Exeter, Clayesmore, Cheltenham and Bristol Grammar. Game one we drew 0-0 with Marlborough. We passed the ball cleanly, marked effectively and built attacking opportunities. As the score suggests it was an even game with neither side looking like breaking the deadlock. Next up we lost to Dean Close 2-0. Once again we played some cultured hockey in phases but did not manage to convert opportunities into goals. The opposition took their chances well. Next up we faced King’s Taunton and lost 2-1. We went behind early on and then drew level with a nicely taken short corner. We then weathered the inevitable storm for a while before succumbing to a consistent passage of pressure. Next up were Blundell’s, the team that has thus far been the whipping boys. We knew this and let ourselves down by trying to dribble the ball too much. When we passed we controlled play and created scoring chances. A mistake by the umpire meant not enough advantage was played and our goal was disallowed. The final score was 0-0, a position we were unhappy with and Blundell’s were delighted! The final game of the day versus Clifton was the best hockey we played despite losing 1-0. We clearly learnt a great deal from the day's play and hopefully this will put us on a strong position for future weeks. Overall there was plenty of commitment from the boys, some great skills on display and hopefully a fun day was had by all. (NRB/TD)

U16 T1 Cup R4

The U16 and U15 sides joined forces to face Millfield in a midweek cup match which was going to always prove challenging. To start we put the Millfield defence under some scrutiny however they managed to slot in an early goal from a deflection after Seb Doherty’s goal line stop. They quickly doubled their lead due to a questionable umpiring decision. To their credit it was an effective finish from the top of the D. Canford carried on working their elegant and skilful hockey. Freddie Warrack and Massimo Brown were displaying excellent use of skill and pace which penetrated the Millfield defence many a time. Despite valiant efforts the ball did not seem to end up in the goal. After half time and a team talk Canford returned to the pitch with one aim in hand. To win. The defence started to trust the process more as the game went on and, led by Adam Driver and George Guirdham, our defence started moving the ball across the back efficiently and calmy. Despite more strong chances created by the likes of Gabe Davey and Rhodri Whitehead the ball just wouldn’t get in the goal. A quick goal was slotted by the Millfield captain to make the score 3-0 and no change to the scoreline was made for the rest of the match. A good effort for all and there were signs of some lovely hockey throughout. MOTM - Freddie Warrack (BBD)

1st XI
On Saturday, the 1s travelled away to Millfield, keen to give a better account of themselves than in our league fixture in November, when we threw away a 3-0 lead to lose 5-3. We are a very different team since that chastening experience, and knew that a competitive game awaited. Starting well has been a regular occurrence for us, and again, the first ten minutes saw us create three excellent chances to open the scoring. Fortunately, Ed Schuster Bruce netted his third goal in two games after good approach play on the left flank for a deserved 1-0 advantage. Two lapses in concentration when we allowed one of their talented ball carriers too much space and time meant we then found ourselves 2-1 behind, but a smart short corner routine allowed Dill Howell to convert a diving backhand deflection from Leo Vorobyev’s flicked pass, for a share of the spoils at 2-2 at the break. Millfield again took the lead when we didn’t mark on the left edge of the D, but another corner, this time when the impressive Sam Wilmot (who was calm in possession and worked his socks off throughout) passed to Monty Hooker to convert from close range to level again, at 3-3. It remained that way, with both teams creating good chances, until the final ten, when two goals in as many minutes from the opposition finally took the game away from us. We were left to reflect on the same 5-3 scoreline in defeat, but fully aware that we had played a much better match this time around, against a team who are in the QF of the Tier 1 league. Small margins were decisive on the day, but we live and learn, and go again. (MDC)

2nd XI

Derby day. Canford vs Millfield. Another nail biter. Away day to Millfield is always an exciting one and the boys were definitely up for it considering the lead up to it. We were pushing for a quiet start and high energy at the beginning, something we have struggled to do this year. A slight tactical change from the coach, meant we started with 11 outfield players and no goal keeper. High risk but high reward if it pays off. As it did, we scored first and took an early lead from a back post deflection by James Harvey. Back to the same normal formation and it was all to play for. End to end stuff where both teams were desperate to score. Unfortunately, Millfield managed to find an unmarked player on the back post for a simple goal to make it all square at 1-1. Half time came, a quick chat and we were out again. Our defence being tested again and again, unfortunately eventually cracking and let Millfield score 2 very quick goals. Both, to our standard, very poor to let in. Put us on the back foot chasing the game and that is how it ended. Millfield 3-1 Canford. Two games to go and all to play for to end on a high note. Player of the match: Anton Cox. Keep going boys. (AGF/RHJH)

3rd XI

Goals from Xan Brookes and Sam Webb in a 2-0 win. Canford looked the strong team initially, but we failed with our early attempts to convert our early possession into goals. The Millfield keeper was playing well until Zan Brookes managed to find a way past 2 defenders and then thread is through the goalie’s legs from the left flank. Changing from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 gave Canford more options up front and eased the overcrowding in the midfield - the second goal came from a brilliantly weighted pass from the centre of the pitch into the opponents D who were all out of position. Sam Webb used his pace and smashed the ball home from the top of the D. Millfield finished the stronger of the 2 teams in the last 10, but the defence managed the threat well, which including a couple of short corners. On balance the right team won, but both teams deserve credit for giving their all on a cold March afternoon. (CHJ)


Canford 15As had a home game against Millfield. The game started off with some close chances for Canford. As the game went on Millfield defended well as Canford were putting on a lot of pressure. Luca Bartlett scored the opening goal putting Canford in the lead with a positive mindset. Shortly after, Millfield's attacker put in a strong shot and Charlie Allen made an amazing save. Not too long after James Law assisted Luca Bartlett on a 2v1 against the goalkeeper to put Canford 2-0 up giving us a strong first half. As the second half began Millfield had a couple short corners but got unlucky with them. Canford were controlling the midfield very well putting in some excellent tackles. As the game went on, Massimo Brown made some excellent passes down the line and runs. Shortly, James Law slots the ball into the back post making it 3-0 to Canford. Whilst Canford are in the lead, Charlie Allen makes more amazing saves giving him a clean sheet. In the matter of a minute Gabriel Davey hits a reverse stick sending the ball to the backboard leaving Canford 4-0 up. About 30 seconds after James Law gets his second goal as Millfield begin to get scrappy in their defence and start rushing things. It seemed like Millfield had given up as James got his hat-trick. Canford ended the game on a 6-0 victory leaving everyone happy. Man of the match goes to Charlie Allen for making excellent saves and not conceding any goals. Report by Luca Bartlett.


The U15Bs put in their best performance of the season. They moved the ball to space well and created a number of flowing chances that produced some excellent finishing. Raffi Organ terrified the defence to score a great reverse stick strike and Will Turner produced and excellent lob of the keeper to put us 2-0. From this point we dominated scoring 2 more, winning 4-1. (JEA)


Canford 0 – 6 Millfield. An unflattering score in a game of contrasting segments. For the first five minutes we were utterly dominant, controlling the pace of play and carving through the Millfield defence. We had at least five shots on goal but unfortunately this pressure did not result in a successful outcome. There was then a period of even pressure with both sides creating opportunities. Twenty minutes in we gave away an easy goal, heads went down and soon after a second was scored. At the start of the second half we were more buoyant and held our own, but as soon as they scored a third, we crumbled, with four going in in relatively quick succession. The for the final five we raised our heads, fought back and actually looked like the team I know we can be. The aim for next week must be to sustain a consistent good level of play because with the circuit we play on, there are no easy games! (NRB)


Our first home match for a few matches was promising to be a good one. With a squad of 14 and the sideline full of supporters the team were pumped for a more positive result than last week. Peter Tidd was making his first appearance for the B team and he made quite the impression scoring 1 of the goals. Amir Seewooruthun was instrumental in over half the goals with some fantastic passes into the circle and generally being a fantastic support in the midfield. Lev Ruben's positive play made a real difference to the team with the vast majority of the play taking place in the opposition's half. Warren Iyamu also had a great match as centre forward scoring the another one of the goals. Man of the match has got to go to Felix Inglis who scored 4 goals with some excellent stick skills in the circle. Overall this was a fantastic match with a very positive display from everybody in a 6-3 win. Once again thanks to all who came to support. (VOG/HD) This week sees a much needed quiet week prior to the exeat.

Netball v Marlborough


Matches of two halves in each quarter. In each quarter we were slow to get started and in gear. Throughout all the quarters we made sure that we applied the pressure in the last half of the quarter. However, the play when we were firing was untouchable. Our attack was clinical and patient with the ball. Defence again was superb and turn over balls from man to man to flying intercepts and team unit work. Fantastic display and good win against a strong Marlborough side. Good work everyone.


The girls played the toughest game so far this year against Marlborough, neck, and neck the whole way through. Everyone maintained determination and enthusiasm throughout the game. We started off very strong winning the first and second quarters with excellent shooting from Bella and Nia and some amazing defending in the D by Alex and Maya. We knew it was going to be a tough game as the pressure was high and the score was very close, but everyone played terrifically with some great communication all around and great interceptions in centre court by Daisy, Varya, and Tara. The final score ended on 35-39, showing how tight the game was.

Written by Anouska Loveridge


On Saturday the mighty 3rds faced a strong Marlborough side. The game started off slow but with some quick passing in the centre third from Lulu and Ruby and silky shooting from Ev and Freya, we managed to remain in the game. Despite being 9-4 after the first quarter, moral was high due to cheers from the crowd and words of wisdom from Madame Marns.

The second and third quarters required a gruelling shift from the defence, this included some great blocks from Poppy and leaping rebounds from Melissa as well as tight defending from Emily. This reduced the damage of the brilliant Marlborough shooters.

Going into the final quarter Marlborough’s stamina and determination didn't match ours, Liv’s shooting dedication insured that we won our final quarter, scoring 5 goals compared to their 4. As the full-time whistle blew our heads remained high and we were pleased with how we progressed throughout the game, despite the score being 37-24 to Marlborough.


Despite experiencing their first loss of the season, the fabulous 4s were gracious in defeat. The girls remained positive and tenacious throughout: they held their heads high and offered each other positive, thoughtful feedback. Indeed, their grit was demonstrated in the final quarter when they restricted Marlborough’s lead and scored the most goals. Tiva, Clemmie and Ruby were essential linchpins in centre court and our defenders deserve special mention for their persistence against an aggressive and dexterous Marlborough attack. Laura’s stretch against a taller player was impressive and Alice matched her opponent in assertive contest. There are certainly lessons for us to take away for our next match but plenty of positives, too. Captain and players’ player: Tiva Kent


The girls played excellently on Saturday showing thorough determination despite the loss. Lara C, Bee and Elodie all worked wonderfully well together in the goal third shooting some magnificent goals. In the centre third Lara E, Jorgia, Sophie and Evie all worked fabulously with quick passes and amazing interceptions. Finally, our defence was incredibly strong with Olivia, Ntemi, Hattie and Maddie defending goals confidently and brilliantly. All in all, the girls played extremely well and sustained a wonderful spirit.


The sixth team’s game against Marlborough started off well with the team having lots of energy and making some amazing passes, allowing the shooters Elizabeth, Lara and Bee to make some amazing shots. The defence throughout the game was incredible with Maddie, Ntemi, Hattie, Liv and Tiegan making some great interceptions and successfully passing to Alice, Sophie and Evie in the middle court who all remained energetic and supportive throughout. Unfortunately, despite our hard work and positivity we lost 12 33, but we all learnt a lot from this game. The players of the match were Elizabeth for attack and Tiegan for defence. Go seagulls!!


Our team faced a very strong Marlborough side on Saturday. Having played them twice last year and won one and lost one we knew that this was likely to be a tough game. With injury hitting two of our squad members this week, Mille Martin who has been playing consistently well in the Bs, got her chance to make her A team debut. Both teams started off strong in the first quarter with it goals going with centre. We came off at quarter time knowing that it we were going to have play at our best - our Millfield form – if we were to come away with any kind of result. That said, things were looking positive with Charlotte Parkin, Grace Cecil-Wright and Layla Stannah successfully dominating the mid court, we managed to sustain the game pace throughout, going in slightly behind 6-7 simply because they had had one more centre than us. Marlborough maintained their play in the second quarter whilst we struggle getting the ball into the Shooters. We would have been trailing by more than 5 at half time if it wasn’t for the hard work of both Sophia Smith and Molly Rodber battling in the D to try and prevent Marlborough’s shots. However, we recomposed at half time and in the third quarter we came back stronger and managed to win the quarter with Melisa Kose and Bea Woodward getting in some amazing shots and being brilliantly fed by both Grace and Charlotte who once again were dominating the mid court again. We headed into the final quarter one goal adrift and with tensions high Millie Martin made some great interceptions in the mid court, we went from 1 down to 2 ahead with 90 seconds left to play. Games like this are defined by small margins, and a turned over ball on our centre saw what was potentially a match-winning 3 goal margin be turned into a 1 goal advantage with a Marlborough centre to come. In the dying seconds, the Marlborough shooter managed to convert from the edge of the D to tie things up, just as the final whistle went. We had come so close to an really satisfying, come from behind win but the final score was an epic 25-25 tie. The entire worked hard and never gave up and Mr E said all of us should be nominated for team of the week. Players of the Match as selected by the opposition were Sophia Smith and Melisa Kose.

Written by Molly Rodber


The U16Bs faced a very strong Marlborough side on Saturday. After playing Bryanston on Thursday this was a much more competitive game especially with no subs, but we rose to the challenge. We lost the first centre pass but that didn’t stop us as we went on to score the first 3 goals. However, as we played on, Marlborough ending up winning the first quarter. We came back stronger with Megan getting lots of impressive interceptions on their centre passes and with the help of Cara working it down to the shooters. Once Serena got the ball there was nothing stopping her from scoring! In the third quarter we slowed the game down resulting in Marlborough making silly mistakes and Canford taking full advantage of this. Serena and Bella C worked the ball well around the D. Bella H-W and Noemi made some very good interceptions in their shooting third, making the third quarter near to even. In the fourth quarter our defence made it very hard for Marlborough to get the ball into their D, with Joss making tactical passes to Megan and Cara once we got interceptions. Although the final score was 38-21 to Marlborough, this does not reflect on how well Canford played, with pure determination throughout the game. The players of the match were Megan for defender and Bella C for attacker.

Written by Bella Collier


The team came on to court with sheer determination after narrowly missing out to Marlborough in the U15 Plate competition and they didn't disappoint. With some strong combinations and sharp shooting, they finished the first quarter 11-2. The second quarter Marlborough found their stride, but it was not enough for our formidable mid court that worked the ball down the court with ease. With the whole team tiring out towards the end of the game and the errors starting to show the girls dug deep to finish with an awesome score of 42-20. Player of the match went to Jess and Poppy for the second match in a row. Coaches' player goes to Anna for her circle movement and shooting accuracy that she has been working so hard on over the last half term.


What a game for the U15Bs against Marlborough. We took some time to warm up in the first quarter but Rose and Poppy had some solid shots on goal and ended the quarter only losing by 3 with a score of 6:3. We started to pick up the pace in the second quarter as our centre court consisting of Ellie, Tess and Ella played well getting the ball down to the attacking D and away from our defending D. We brought back the score to a one goal loss of 10:9. After a good half time talk by Miss Hooper, we we’re all ready put up a fight to win. Our second half started of strong with the defence including Hanna, Emily K and Tilly getting lots of interceptions which helped Rose and Ellie keep the one goal difference and ended a score of 15:14 to them. Our last quarter was our best quarter as we started to play even more as a team and got the ball down to the goal quick with the help of Emily V and Penny. With some brilliant shots on goal by Poppy and Ellie we ended the match with a well-deserved win of 21:20 to Canford. players of the match were Tilly and Ellie.

Written by Emily Kiff


On Saturday the U15Cs played Marlborough College. They didn’t have the best performance and sadly lost 50-11. Our girls seemed to lack a bit of spirit but in the last quarter started to have a bit more fun with it and scored us some last few goals. Our players of the match where Ella for attack and Martha for defence.

Written by Evie Connolly


Today we had an amazing match against Marlborough. Throughout the game it was a tight match, as the ball was going back and forth with both teams slotting the ball through the net with confidence. There were a few times where Marlborough took the lead but we always brought it back. Julide and Chloe are the teams’ awesome shooters and barely missed a shot. With the wings rotating from Bella, Poppy and Oriana they were effective at driving into space and feeding the shooters. The defence were solid competitive play from both sides they strong! Willa our teams centre played at her best today with always being free and offering at the top D! Overall, the score was 29-27 to Canford!! We all held our breath, after a gruelling game, as Julide took the last shot, near the edge of the D, she made it look effortless, and on the third second the ball slipped through the goal. We had won. Our whole team jumped for joy!! The Marlborough voted Julide and Oriana as the team’s most valuable players. The Players’ Player this week is awarded to Willa.

From Elsa Kenny (Captain)


Today was a game of great perseverance and effort throughout against Marlborough. In the first quarter, our heads were not in the game, fresh off the bus, we just were not in our element. they took full advantage and pulled ahead, resulting in a 15-3 to them at the end of the first quarter. However, we are not a team to stop competing! In the 2nd quarter, after we had had an inspiring team talk, we managed to really work hard and only allow them 4 more goals. There was amazing defending from Phoebe and Matilda in the circle. The centre court players, Josie, Willa and Aoife also really worked well together and were able to get free better. With everyone on court working to their, best we managed to close the gap more, so it was 6-19. Each minute that past we got more and more into the game. The last quarter was very intense we worked super hard and did not give up scoring 10 goals with amazing shots from Caitlin and Willa, everywhere within the d and Marlborough only 6. In the end it was a 31- 18 to them, but I think we all learnt a lot from the match. Without that first quarter it would have been a very even game. The players of the match were Phoebe for her great GK playing and Aoife for her great WA playing. Well done everyone!

Written by Aoife Tarpey


Everyone in U14Cs played marvellously against Marlborough in Saturday’s away match. We cooperated, communicated and utilised some amazing passing skills. Zara as GS contributed a lot of great goals admirably supported by Polina as GA. Millie was a magnificent centre and with Ella as WA accomplished lots of great passing and defending. Cata was good at snatching the ball and defending with speed and accuracy. Elisa was exceptional at finding her space on the wing, meanwhile Amber ran swiftly across the court easily getting into her space. Overall a big well done to the U14C. W 23-22

Players of the match: Millie and Ella

Written by Captain Brooke Liu

Football v Bryanston and Corinthian Casuals

Oaks 2-1 Bryanston

Goals: Okubanjo, Kosgei

The boys travelled to Bryanston on Tuesday in a fixture rearranged from the earlier in the term. Bryanston started well, dominating the ball in the early exchanges. Half way through the first half, Bryanston broke the deadlock. Some missed tackles in the midfield and a shot across the keeper ended up in the far right hand corner. Canford responded well but weren’t quite up to speed as the ref blew for half time.

A successful half time team talk, with key contributions from Bolland and Ransom-Esposti. This spurred on a brilliant second half performance from the boys. Some great pressure forced a pass back from Bryanston. After much deliberation, it was given. Wittram tapped the ball to Okubanjo who scored his second in 2 games. This gave Canford the confidence they needed, with Bryanston attempting and failing to trouble any of the Canford back 4.

A corner kick was fired into the front post by returning captain, Wittram, and Kosgei was there to slot the ball home, making the score 2-1 to Canford. Bryanston piled the pressure on late in the game but Canford stood strong, and managed to see out the victory.

Some great performances in the second half, but Merrell was the standout in the midfield.

Acorns 2-2 Bryanston

Goals: Sparkhall, Child

All great things must come to an end, and quite often in controversial fashion, as the Acorns found out. Their 100% start to the season had echoes of Arsenal’s infamous loss to United in 2005, as both games were scrappy, fractious, and threatened to boil over. However the Acorns were able to come away with a 2-2 draw, so perhaps the Acorns might actually be better than the Invincibles.

The game started, but the usual energy that the Acorns play with was severely lacking at the beginning of the match. Bryanston used the small pitch dimensions to great effect, as they dominated physically inside the first 20 minutes. This eventually culminated in their opener, as their striker ran in behind, before his strike took a slight deflection off Jocelin, just heavy enough to wrong foot Freddie who was powerless to stop the ball nestling into the bottom corner. For the first time this term, the Acorns found themselves 1-0 down.

However the Acorns replied strongly to this setback, largely due to the introduction of Oscar Feingold, who matched Bryanston’s physicality in the middle of the park by winning numerous duels, which encouraged the rest of the team to follow his lead and get stuck in.

Whilst the Acorns arguably had the ascendancy by the end of the half, a goal did not materialise and instead they trailed 1-0 at Half time. An encouraging team talk led to a far brighter start to the second half, with T Norms and Geng leading our press enthusiastically. A group consensus at Half Time had agreed that Bryanston’s defenders were susceptible to a more direct approach of lo balls in behind them, and that is exactly how we found our equaliser. A ball was sent over the top, and rather than allowing the CB time, Sparky hounded him, with his persistence eventually winning the ball. He then burst into the box, and as the Bryanston defender attempted to recover he fouled Sparky blatantly, leading to a penalty which Sparky subsequently dispatched to make it 1-1.

After this the Acorns sensed an opportunity, and their intensity only increased in their search for the lead. Will Branston marshalled the midfield, and Will Fountain led the line with both energy and precision. The pressure then told, as the Acorns won a corner. Geng whipped a beautiful in swinging cross from the right, which looked like it was about to sail directly into the net. Not wanting to take any chances, Jocelin dived into the box to turn a header into the goal from close range, blatantly stealing Geng’s goal. Finally the Acorns led, and it looked like our perfect start to the season was going to continue.

However there was late heartbreak, as is often the case in football. With less than 10 minutes to go, Freddie Homer raced off his goal line, making an effective clearance to a bouncing ball in the box, and then making contact with the Bryanston forward. A little bit of dramatisation from the forward, and then a two minute delay, led to the ref eventually pointing to the spot in definitely the most contentious decision of the match. The penalty was well converted, and the game ended 2-2.

Not a brilliant result, but it wasn’t a brilliant performance in fairness. Whilst it is very easy to blame decisions made, at the end of the day the Acorns just had to hold their hands up and admit they weren’t at their best. Nevertheless, we left with spirits still held high, as we aim to continue our incredible season.

Acorns 5-1 Clayesmore

Goals: Norman (2), Fountain (2), Child

Following a disappointing draw against Bryanston just two days earlier, you would be forgiven for thinking that an away trip to play against Clayesmore’s 1st team would be a daunting task for the Acorns. However, the rest of a true great side is how they respond to setbacks, and the Acorns responded on Thursday in emphatic fashion, defeating Clayesmore 5-1 in a performance that made Mr Crickmore, the 1st team coach watching on the sideline, question himself as to why these lads aren’t in his side.

Despite some delays leaving only a very quick time to warm up before the game began, the Acorns started on the front foot. The referee had made it clear that he would allow a physical and free-flowing game, and that is what the game the Acorns provided, with aggressive yet measured challenges ensuring that we dominated the early encounters of the match. After creating a couple of chances, the Acorns found their opener early into the first half. Max Williamson whipped in a fabulous corner, and all Jocelin had to do was poke the ball home from a few yards to ensure that the Acorns took a 1-0 lead.

It only got better from this point. After adapting to the level of physicality that the game was being played at, players such as Kerry and Max really stamped their authority on the game, as their tenacity in their pressing as well as their skilful dribbling allowed the Acorns to take control of the midfield. Eventually the Acorns got their reward, as a long ball over the top allowed Will Fountain to race clear. Only playing in his second match for this mighty footballing institution, he played a calculated one-two off the goalkeeper before tapping the ball home. Shortly afterwards, the halftime whistle blew, and the Acorns took a deserved 2-0 lead heading into the break.

The main points which were stressed in the team talk by the returning “Pep” Saurel – who had missed Tuesday’s outing to Bryanston – was that we had to not lose our intensity and also not lose our discipline, as these two factors have often hindered our second half performances this season. However, it was clear to see that we had learned from our mistakes, as we picked up in the second half exactly where we had left off in the first. Kerry won the ball expertly in the middle of the park, before driving past a couple of defenders and then clipping a ball in behind for T Norms to chase. Chase he did, as he reached the ball before any defender, before whipping a left-footed effort delightfully into the bottom right corner, making it 3-0 to the Acorns.

However the second half was not done there, as despite Charlie Hallam’s monumental shift in midfield – tackling hard and passing accurately - Clayesmore won a free kick just inside the Acorns’ half. A combination of a good delivery and sub-optimal marking allowed the Clayesmore runner at the back post to pull a goal back and make the game interesting, 3-1 with over 20 minutes to play.

At this point all could have been lost. We had just conceded, and then are problems were compounded after Jack Robinson, who had been electric on the right hand side, suffered a suspected broken nose after an aerial duel. (Crucially, he won the header – well in lad) Too often teams protecting a lead get spooked after conceding and play negative football, merely trying to defend at all costs, but the Acorns decided that the best form of defence was attack, and we strive for more goals. A tactical switch saw Jamie moved into midfield, and this proved to be a master stroke as he teed up Will Fountain to lash a fierce effort from outside the box into the top-left corner to make it 4-1 to the Acorns and restore our three-goal cushion.

The fun was not over yet, as the Acorns took advantage of the disarray in the Clayesmore camp to rub salt into the wounds before full time. Will found himself racing clear down the left hand side yet again, and he unleashed a shot across the goal. However this was met by an impressive save by the Clayesmore keeper, but unfortunately for him the rebound fell straight to T Norms, who made no mistake in converting to make it 5-1 to the Acorns. This further extended T Norms’ ridiculous record of eight goal contributions (5 goals and 3 assists) inn just the five games this term. This proved to be the final goal of the game, and the Acorns saw themselves 5-1 winners, and proved once again why the Acorns and their old-school, 4-4-2 play style might possibly be the most in form team in the country right now, and why all of our future opponents should be well and truly scared by the daunting prospect of facing the Acorns.

And now we come to the final section of this piece, the MOTM award. One potential winner could be Jamie, who was solid at Right Back, and then after his switch into midfield played some exquisite through balls that ensured that the Acorns remained on the front foot for the whole second half. T Norms is another clear contender with his two goals and relentless press, and it is worth mentioning that Ben made some crucial tackles at Centre Back as well, making him a potential MOTM candidate. However today’s MOTM has to go to Will Fountain, who as well as scoring two goals was a constant menace for the Clayesmore defence. Although he was only playing in his second Acorns game, he led the line immaculately, and the strike partnership of him and T Norms was what truly proved the difference between the two sides today.

U6 v Corinthian Casuals

Goals: Norman, Martin

The Corinthian Casuals fixture is always a special one, not only because of the footballing heritage of the opposition, but also because it gives a chance for the U6th to play together as a team. The blend of quality from the Oaks players, as well as the passion and winning mentality that Acorns’ players are renowned for, provided the perfect recipe for a fantastic 2-0 win for the boys in a very tight game.

The game started fairly evenly, with Canford arguably having the slight upper hand from the early exchanges. Someone who started the game particularly brightly was Ben Fowle. Full of confidence after a big performance in the Acorns fixture on Thursday, he dominated Corinthians’ attackers in the first 20 minutes, whilst also showing great composure on the ball – bringing it out from the back confidently and playing pinpoint passes. Another player – also an Acorn – who started the game brightly was Tom Norman. Joss Ransom-Esposti picked up the ball in midfield, and stride forward with it before playing a lovely defence-splitting pass to T Norms. Although the ball wasn’t exactly in his stride, T Norms controlled the ball with a Bergkamp-esque spin before firing powerfully into the top left hand corner, to make it 1-0 to Canford with one of the finer goals you’ll see on a football pitch.

Shortly afterwards, the first set of substitutions took place, indicating that we were midway through the half. At this point Corinthians’ No.19, aptly nicknamed “Jesus” for his flowing hair, was beginning to cause Canford some problems, but the defence was well marshalled by George Bolland and limited the Corinthians largely to long-range efforts. Freddie Homer was also faultless in goal, as on many occasions he was tested by some good crosses, but every time he caught the ball comfortably. Overall a tight half, with the game well and truly in the balance, but as the half time whilst blew Canford found themselves still 1-0 up.

After a quick team talk the second half got underway, and it began as evenly as the first half ended. Canford were creating a couple of chances, but at the other end the Corinthians were giving Alex Landale – who was subbed in for Freddie at half time – plenty to deal with, including a fantastic one on one save from their striker. It was a nervy situation, which required some big performances to get us over the line, and one such big performance came from Jack Martin. Whereas in the first half Canford struggled to keep possession in the middle of the park, Jack’s dribbling and composure on the ball allowed Canford to dictate the play and really gain the ascendency in the match. This allowed players such as Henry Wittram to be able to consistently run at the Corinthians defence, as Canford used their youthful exuberance to great effect, as by the end of the match the Corinthians were looking slightly worse for wear. Jack’s performance was eventually capped off with a goal, as Jocelin Child brought down a half-cleared corner, before stabbing a pass into Jack, where he finished from close range. This made it 2-0 with less than 10 minutes to play, and was the final goal in a very close affair.

Whilst not being on top for periods of the game, Canford made the most out of their fitness advantage and some solid defending to get the result, and capped off a very enjoyable day with a satisfying 2-0 win. When awarding MOTM there were three main contenders, one of them being Tom Norman for his fabulous goal. Another potential candidate was Ben Fowle, who put in arguably his best performance in a Canford shirt. However MOTM had to go to Jack Martin, who was ultimately the difference between the two sides in the second half, as he completely dominated the midfield, which stopped the Corinthians from applying the same level of pressure that they did in the first half, what a performance.

Running / X-Country

This week saw runners take on a week of training, all in preparation for a busy schedule before exeat. A glorious visit to the Sika Trail near Wareham, a run north of the Stour river and a Mrs Ings Saturday Special kept runners in tip top shape. Next week includes a fixture to Milton Abbey and the infamous Clayesmore Relays.

Rugby 7s @ Bryanston and Sherborne

Seniors at Bryanston

The senior boys travelled to Bryanston on Saturday for a final set of matches before Rosslyn Park. The boys started the day against the hosts and ran out comfortable winners, they moved the ball with pace to space and Jansci Motsi was the recipient of many tries, however it was the team’s defence that really set this performance apart. They hunted for the ball together and aggressively, making themselves dangerous on transition. They then moved straight over to play against Sherborne. It was another impressive performance from the boys, this time their attack took front and centre with Felix Synnott and Sam Martin dominating the game and Jansci Motsi causing havoc with his pace and feet. The boys ran out deserved winners once again, but there was not a moment to rest as they were out once again against Bryanston. The boys put in a performance full of determination in the final game but unfortunately came up just short, as they ran out of gas. Overall, the boys played well and with a few weeks left until Rosslyn Park, dare I say it, they may be peaking at the right time.

U14s at Sherborne

The U14s played in their first 7s tournament on Sunday hosted at Sherborne. Having not had much 7s experience apart from a few sessions, the main focus on the boys was on improving as the day went on and enjoyment, in contrast to results. However, Canford started off as strongly as they could, beating Millfield in the first game 33-14. The boys moved the ball well in attack, and in defence hunted the ball down as a group to win it back, a fantastic team performance. The second game they played even better but came up just short to a fantastic Dean Close team, losing 26-12, Phoenix and Kit causing havoc with their size and speed, whilst Will Goold forced the boys to play with tempo and Hector Hedges working hard defensively. Unfortunately, the boys tailed off in the final group match, possibly running out of gas as they lost 19-10 to Marlborough, however due to a late try by Tom Dempsey, the boys qualified for the cup in second place on tries scored.

After a quick lunch break, the lads saved their best performance for Taunton in a tremendous game of 7s. However, it was not to be as they just missed out losing after an end to end battle to the eventual winners 33-26. Every player played well and another day, the boys may have been parading with the trophy, however, they showed a lot of potential and promise and there is a lot of excitement over how good this group of players can be.

Real Tennis / Squash v Bryanston and The Hyde

Boys’ junior house squash champions… School House!

Two deserved teams in the final and some fantastic opening matches. It was poised at 1-1 and could have gone either way, but a vocal crowd was not enough for Court and School just had enough to take the next couple of games and the title! Well done boys, great final!

Can they make it a double? With a School v Court senior boys final in the next few days.

Squash match vs. Bryanston

Ethan Bikhazi-Green lost to Dylan Proctor: 2/3
Tom Clark lost to Caspar Smith: 1/3
Louis Potts beat Toby Wright: 3/0
Merlin Cork beat Matteo Pirona: 3/2
Sam Stirling lost to Rocco Codrington: 0/3
Justin White lost to Arthur Ponte: 1/3
Toby Durham lost to Jeremy Gold: 0/3
Satch Thurston lost to Stanley Cooper: 0/3
Sienna Valdez lost to Alice Welch: 0/3
Noah Dance lost to Edie Abbott: 0/3
Molly Hindell lost to Iona Jankonski: 0/3

Final Result: Canford 2 - Bryanston 9

Always a pleasure to welcome Bryanston and what a fantastic afternoon of squash! Some debut outings for our lower order, but each of them have come on incredibly over the last number of weeks, with all starting to think about where they are placing the ball, moving their opponents into all corners and finding those spaces. Molly in particular is much improved since her first match against the same Bryanston opponent, she really held her own and could have easily taken the third game, losing it 11/13.

Our top four put on some amazing rallies for the crowds on the balcony. Tom and Ethan were unlucky and a shot here or there could have tipped it in their favour, but their movement and shot making continues to impress. Players of the day have to go to Merlin and Louis – Louis played the best squash I have seen from him; deadly looping serve and perfect dying lengths in the back. Merlin was 2-0 down and looking out of it, but his relentless retrieving wore his opponent down, he took a tense final game 11/8 and a superb win for Canford!

Real tennis match v The Hyde

Louis Potts beat Chris Huxley: 10/4
Ethan Bikhazi-Green beat Steven Heather: 8/3
Merlin Cork beat Richard Bellers: 8/2
Cork & Davey beat Heather & Huxley: 8/6
Richard Bellars beat Gabriel Davey: 8/2
Kay & Kay beat Gao & Flegg: 10/8
Rosie Kay beat Toby Flegg: 10/5
Oliver Kay beat Jack Gao: 10/5

Final Result: Canford 4 - Hyde 4

It was a delight to welcome The Hyde Real Tennis Club members to Canford once again for our annual school fixture. We had a mix of year groups involved, from shells all the way through to upper sixth. Each match was first to either 8 or 10 games. Our more experienced upper sixth players got us off to a flying start with Louis and Ethan serving impressively and demonstrating some amazing retrieval skills. Gabriel was giving away a handicap initially, but struggled against a rapidly improving opponent. However, he got his revenge in the doubles with Merlin, taking it 8/6.

We also had two Shells involved, Jack Gao and Toby Flegg who had the chance to play against fellow juniors, Rosie and Ollie. Jack and Toby have only picked up a racket this year and have been improving rapidly. There were some amazing rallies in the doubles, but the Hyde players just had the edge over the last few games taking it 10/8. It was tight at the start of Toby’s singles, who was hitting some superb groundstrokes, but Rosie just found the perfect length with her serve and eventually ran away with it 10/5. Similar story with Jack, winning the first two games and looking strong, particularly his much improved backhand, but Ollie found his form and was not missing a thing with some incredible volleys. Overall it ended in an exciting 4-4 draw! Well done to all, a great day of tennis.

Coming up…

  • Real tennis U18s at home against Radley on Tuesday
  • Real tennis U16s away at Wellington on Thursday
  • Squash match against Sherborne on Thursday
  • Girls house squash starts next week!
  • REAL TENNIS PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURE – Saturday March 18th, 4pm between the current No 6 and No 7 in the World!! – SEE ATTACHED POSTER

View all the latest sports photos

https://media.canford.com (password required – pupils and staff use school logins, for parents login details can be found in the Parent Portal in the Photos & Media section)

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