08 Sep 2023
Christmas Term 2023 - Sports Report Week 1

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Christmas Term 2023 - Week 1 Sports Report

It’s been a great summer of sport in the UK and beyond which has included the Ashes Cricket series, the World Championship Athletics and the fantastic achievements of the Lionesses in the World Cup.

It has also been a summer where Canford pupils have continued to explore their potential and excel across a number of sports whilst many have taken a well-deserved summer break. Below outlines just some of those achievements by our pupils both individually and as teams:


U18 Girls – National Finals

Thursday 6th July saw Canford's female cricketers take a step into the unknown as they made their debut appearance in the Schoolsport Magazine U18 National T20 Cricket Finals. Canford were representing the South West having beaten last year's champions Bradfield College at the quarter final stage. They were joined at the event held at Kingston Grammar School by fellow regional winners Repton School (North), Ipswich School (Midlands) and Forest School (South East).

The draw saw Canford pitted in the semi-finals against perennial sporting powerhouse Repton and after winning the toss captain Clare R sent the opposition into bat. It proved to be a wise decision with some tidy early bowling backed up by excellent fielding restricting the Repton batters and keeping the run rate under control. A score of 19-1 off the first 6 overs showed the control that Canford had on the game. Unsurprisingly Repton fought back well during the middle period of the game with the young Canford spinners taking some punishment as the run rate increased. Despite a few slips in the field the Canford girls finished off the innings quite tidily and were left facing a target of 126 to make it through to the final.

The Canford innings did not get off to a great start with Emelia B, who had steered the team through the quarter final, falling in the first over. However, that brought Poppy W to join Izzy R who would put together a fantastic 100 run partnership which steered the girls towards victory. Izzy fell just short of a half century for 49 but Poppy (52 not out) was joined by Daisy T and they saw the team through to victory with 3 overs to spare.

After a short break the girls were back out to face an Ipswich School side who had won the U15 version for the last two years and comfortably despatched Forest School in their semi-final. This term Canford were sent in to set a target and set off well with Emelia B particularly strong despite Izzy R falling as the score reached the 40s. Emelia unfortunately fell to an excellent return catch by one of the many Ipswich spinners and it was left to Poppy W to again take up the attack. However, after taking three boundaries off the next over, she tried one run too many and was run out. Here Ipswich turned the screw and with no batters really getting going the Canford innings limped its way to a score of 80-9 off of the allotted 20 overs.

It was never likely to be a big enough total against quality opposition. Despite a couple of opportunities and one excellent wicket for Izzy R taken very well behind by Daisy T, Ipswich powered to victory and the deserved National title.

Maybe not the way we wanted the season to end but huge congratulations must go to all the pupils, staff and parents who have been part of and followed the girl's journey through the early rounds to end up as the 2nd best team in the country. An amazing achievement particularly as with the age profile of the team all of the girls can come back and look to go one step further next year!!

U15 Girls - National Finals

After the success of Canford’s cricketing girls at U18 level where the team finished National Runners Up back in July the U15’s travelled to Rugby School for their own Finals Day on Monday 4th September. Confidence was high despite the break since their last game as the girls readied themselves for the challenge of meeting the three other regional winners.

The draw pitted Canford in the semi-finals against Gresham’s School from Norfolk who represented the Midlands. Having won the toss and deciding to bowl the Canford girls fielding was soon put under pressure by some big hitting from Gresham’s. A couple of wickets stemmed the flow of runs and the game seemed evenly poised approaching the latter stages of the innings. However, 95 runs from the hard hitting Gresham’s No 4 batter, aided by some missed Canford chances to take her wicket, meant Canford would be chasing a big total of 175. Not impossible, but it would need the girls at their very best to chase it down. Unfortunately early wickets meant we were always behind the run rate and despite an outstanding 60 from Daisy Timberlake the girls fell 45 runs short of the target finishing on 130.

With a place in the final denied the challenge was for the girls to pick themselves up for the 3rd / 4th place Playoff against St Lawrence College, Kent who had lost their semi-final to eventual national champions Repton. Canford again won the toss and this time decided to set the opposition the target.

Despite the early loss of top scorer from the last match Daisy the Canford girls plundered runs from all of the Kent school’s bowlers without ever completing breaking free. Poppy White and Captain Izzy Reeve both accumulated excellent half centuries as the team set a strong target of 160. The bowling and fielding looked to have stepped up a level from the semi finals and at the halfway stage St Lawrence still needed another 100 runs and we starting to lose wickets. However, seemingly determined to keep the travelling Canford parents on the edge of their seats a couple of really big overs brought the opposition right back into the game. With three overs to go 20 were needed at just over a run a ball. A couple of tight overs from Reeve and White left St. Lawrence needing 13 off the last over to win. Up stepped Caitlin Wilmot who delivered a maiden over with the game on the line to leave Canford victors by 12 runs.

Although frustrated with not making the final the girls again showed their character and ability to finish as the 3rd best team in the country. Added to the U18 Girls National runner up position it cemented Canford’s reputation as one of the very top schools in girls’ cricket in 2023 and leaves all involved in the programme looking forward to the future.

On the boys’ side Eddie Jack has continued to develop fantastically, and this summer made his senior debut for Hampshire a fantastic achievement for someone still at school. Making it a special day was that the Hampshire side also included OC’s Tom Prest and Felix Organ. Eddie is currently with the England U19 squad as they take on a two-test series against Australia U19. We look forward to Eddie continuing his progress both at school and with Hampshire.

A large number of male and female cricketers have also been excelling in representative and club cricket over the summer looking to follow in Felix, Tom and Eddie’s footsteps.


Both Sam Janaway and Sam Martin have represented Bath Academy U18s in their opening Premiership U18s League fixtures in August. A further group of players have been involved in both the PDG and DPP programmes over the summer and we look forward to seeing them progress further again this season.

August saw the Rugby Club have an excellent pre-season training camp at Canford. Relationships were enhanced and some quality time was utilised in improving the groups both tactically and technically. Highlights included OC’s and Bath Rugby 1st Team players Arthur Cordwell and Will Butt spending a day with the group and sharing their experiences. The senior group also got some much-needed practice at the Churcher’s Preseason Festival where all performed well.


A group of 30 girls spent a couple of days at Canford for pre-season training which included practice matches against KES Bath and Bryanston in preparation for the season ahead. Our senior girls (and U15s) will continue their start to the season with a number of fixtures at the Sherborne Invitational this forthcoming weekend.


Three Canford pupils were selected among a team of 16 to represent Team GB at the World ILCA4 (Laser) Sailing Championships in Volós, Greece during the summer holidays.

In searing temperatures, wildfire-fanning winds and among 440 competitors from 50 countries, all three sailed both fast and consistently to make it to the silver and bronze fleet level. Tom Hakes finished at the top end of the silver fleet, Will Hakes and Sam Romer performed strongly in the Bronze fleet. All three are at the beginning of their laser sailing careers and can hope for a bright future with more national and international regattas ahead.

Real Tennis

Having secured the school title last year, Albert Blackburn has continued his Real tennis this summer and he went on to represent Canford at the U18 nationals at The Queen’s Club in August. Albert performed very well and progressed through to the final 4 in the country. We look forward to seeing Albert’s continued development.

Director of Sport and Physical Wellbeing’s thoughts:

The summer period has seen some change with our staffing and we wish all who have departed Canford the best in their next destinations. Those departures have given us the ability to make some changes which will improve the quality of the programme available to our pupils. The main changes are outlined below:


Current Director of Sport and Physical Wellbeing Tony Diprose will also from September be heading up the Canford Rugby programme. Following a playing career that took in representing England and the British Lions, Tony coached at Harlequins for 13 years and his highlights included winning the Premiership in 2012 and overseeing as Head of Academy the development of several future Professional players, internationals and British Lions including Kyle Sinckler and Marcus Smith. Tony will be supported in his role by Tomas Roberts in a new role as the Assistant Head of Rugby. Tomas has been with the Canford Rugby programme over the last couple of years alongside being part of the Bath Academy coaching team.


Canford’s Netball programme will be headed up from September by current Surrey Storm Vitality Super League player Ellie Gibbons. Ellie joins Canford as Head of Netball having previously run the netball programme at RGS Worcester and will look to continue to drive the development of the programme which has seen huge success in recent seasons, including finishing in the Top 4 Nationally.


Our high performing hockey programme will be boosted by the recruitment of Greg Davis as Assistant Head of Hockey. Greg comes in from East London in South Africa having played and coached at South African provincial level and his experience across the age groups will be hugely beneficial across our programme.


As Football continues to grow at Canford and across the independent school's landscape Canford’s programme will be led by James Crickmore as the newly appointed Head of Football. James’s career so far has previously seen him involved with the Academy programme at Middlesborough FC and he will now work at Canford alongside a role within AFC Bournemouth’s academy coaching staff.

Athletic Development

To continue the growth of our Athletic development programme Matt Smith will be joining the school from Millfield as Head of athletic Development. Matt has previous experience at London Irish Rugby Club and Loughborough University and will oversee all physical development programmes at the school including our sports scholars and High Performing athletes. His role will also include much liaison with our award winning wellbeing programme in areas such as nutrition and rehabilitation.

We also welcome a new group of well qualified sporting Graduate Assistants who join Miss Toogood and Mr Shannon who remain from last year’s group.

We all look forward to a year of sport that will enable all pupils to explore, express themselves and excel in whatever their sporting activity and at whatever the level.

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