29 Sep 2023
Christmas Term 2023 - Sports Report Week 4

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Christmas Term 2023 - Week 4 Sports Report

Hockey v Clayesmore, Godolphin, Ring Pass HC (Holland) and House Matches

Last week saw various matches at a range of levels, with Ring Pass HC here from Holland and house matches also taking place.

On Thursday the 1st XI travelled away to Clayesmore for the first round of the EH U18 Tier 2 Cup. We were clinical to say least with a 5-0 half time lead and a final result of 12-0 to us, in a classy performance. We moved the ball with purpose, tracked back and pressed aggressively, and took our chances expertly. Poppy White was unstoppable at times, scoring 7 goals, including 5 drag flicks from the top of the circle that flew into every corner. Emily Von Schirnding also weighed in with a well taken hattrick (two of which were on the backhand), whilst vice-Captain Maya Doubleday also scored and Captain Dom Hudson netted her first ever goal at 1st team level. We now play Godolphin away in round 2. (MDC)

On the same afternoon, our 2nd XI welcomed the Godolphin 1st team. It is never easy playing the first team from another school, particularly when rumours are rife about England trialists! However, once we had got over the stage fright, convinced ourselves that we were more than capable of competing, we actually matched our opponents. Despite a 5-0 defeat, the good shape of play that we witnessed on Tuesday made appearances and we worked the ball effectively up the pitch to create attacking opportunities. We now just need to do that more frequently. We were more alive to quickly taken free hits, both ours and theirs, and we almost stopped passing the ball kindly back to them after we had committed a foul. It’s a good quality being nice to others…..but at the right time! There have definitely been improvements. Bring on our next challenge! (NRB/RHJH)

It was Friday Night Lights for the U16A and U15A sides. The U16A girls welcomed the opportunity to get on the field together, with a big squad rekindling their connection with Ring Pass – one of our host clubs from our Easter visit to Scheveningen, in Holland. With the rotations flowing thick and fast, we took some time to find our feet and RP likewise to run off their travel legs following a delayed journey, which saw an even first quarter end level at 0-0. We put on the ‘bomb squad’ in Q2, with a change in pace evident, and resulting in a rapid Penny Dirou hat-trick and another from EVS changing the game in an instant for a 4-0 lead. Thereafter it was pretty even, with RP pulling two goals back before Georgia Kenny added a fifth for a comfortable 5-2 win. The social aspect – much more important than the final outcome, was lovely to see, with the girls chatting and laughing freely after the game. (MDC/GJD)

The U15A girls were equally excited to see the players from Ring Pass again. The atmosphere before the match was nice, with everyone conversing and giggling away! There seems to be a running theme with our starts, so far which is we tend to be on the back foot. RP started well, well aggressive on the ball and used the width of the pitch nicely, after string a good set of passes together – they moved the ball around the defence and slotted one in. Once again, we responded well – head up, working hard and with some fantastic lead runs – we managed to sneak a goal back. In the middle quarter, we were all over them. Moved the ball around well using transfers and began entering the D in different places. In this quarter alone, we had 5 shots on goal, but we just couldn’t convert. With the game moving end to end very quickly, we found ourselves on the back foot and their top striker scored a wonderful goal into the roof of the goal! Again, we battled hard, with some more chances as did they, which they managed to convert in the last minutes of the game. After the game, the coach did comment about how they were a stronger team, passing the ball better and created more chances than when they were out in Holland. Really good feedback for the girls to hear. Player of the match - Willa Knatchbull (EJB/MH)

It was the turn of the Shells on Saturday, with the U14A side hosting the touring hockey side from Ring Pass HC. It was an entertaining match and the score line really kept the crowd on their toes for the whole match. The Canford girls were up against a strong side, however they were determined not to be outplayed. The tourists scored first but we then strung some good passes together and found an equalizer. Just before the quarter ended Ring Pass managed to score again and took a 2-1 lead. The 2nd quarter was an even affair that took us into the half break with Ring Pass leading 3-2. The Canford girls really beginning to play some attractive hockey and continued this with another strong 3rd chukka, unfortunately Ring Pass taking their lead to 5-3 going into the final chukka. Canford started really strongly and scored a great team goal to make the score 5-4 and all the pressure was on the visitors. The Canford girls pushed hard for the equalizer, and they just couldn't find that elusive goal. Ring Pass caught us on the counter and were able to score, making the final score 6-4 to Ring Pass. It was a match the Canford girls really showed some character against a strong side but never gave up and were committed right until the final whistle. A truly awesome experience for the Canford girls and we thank Ring Pass HC for joining us this weekend. Goal scorers were Alexandra Stewart (2), Amber Boldt & Luisa Johnston. Other players making some notable impacts on the game: Georgie Williamson-Jones, Alexis Bartholomew, Violet Relan, Tilda Mowat & Celyn Hopkirk. (GJD/MDC)

What an amazing opportunity for the U14Bs to play against a strong Ring Pass team on Saturday. Both teams sang their National Anthem with pride and exchanged gifts and ‘stick taps’ before setting to battle. Canford fought hard in the first quarter to remain 0-0 against a formidable opposition. By the half time mark we were trailing 0-3. The stroopwafels were cracked open to give the team an extra level of buzz and spirits were high heading into the second half. Captain Mary Bruce was filling the team with enthusiasm, and Georgia Lance and Jasmine Kwan worked tirelessly in defence, but the Holland team proved too strong. Well done to the U14Bs for their excellent work ethic and never give up attitude, this team can hold their heads high and will have certainly slept well on Saturday night after a full days’ hockey. (NXW)

Earlier on Saturday, the Senior and Intermediate House matches were keenly contested in 7 or 8-a-side fashion in the gorgeous autumn sunshine. The support evident by all was much appreciated and valued by all. The girls were great, and the results in the final were … Intermediates: Marriotts 1 – 1 Beaufort (Marriotts won 2-1 in a sudden death penalty shootout); Seniors: de Lacy 3 – 0 Beaufort.

This week sees various midweek matches before the exeat, including the first outings of the term for the 5th XI and 14C’s, as well as the 3rds v QE 1st team, the 2nds v Ballard U16As and the 1st team opening their U19 ISHC account away at King’s Bruton.

Rugby v KES Bath and St. Laurence School

1st XV

The Canford 1st XV got their first victory of the season on Saturday, in a gritty performance away to KES Bath, largely thanks to the composure of Ed Timberlake. The blues had to overcome a 9-point halftime deficit and survived a late penalty kick, but now the first win is on the board, the boys will be looking to kick on.

Canford started the game fairly slowly, with KES Bath’s fly half dictating play with his large boot, keeping the boys camped in their own 22. However, eventually Canford managed to venture up the pitch and started to show signs of intent as Johnny Walster began probing and picking holes in the KES Bath defence. Powerful carries from Martin, Burnell, S. Janaway and Stear were also causing problems and allowing Canford to gain some traction. With Canford starting to click into gear, it felt like it was only a matter of time before deadlock was broken. With the blues pushing for the line KES Bath gave away a penalty and the S. Janaway opted for the posts and Timberlake duly accepted, Canford lead 3-0. However, ill discipline started to cost the boys, as they failed to keep hold of the ball and KES Bath were dominating the territory. KES Bath pushed for the line and Motsi was deemed to have committed a cynical penalty and given a yellow card. The pressure started building with multiple lineouts in the Canford 22, the boys defended valiantly, yet they could not keep the Maroon machine out, with home team eventually bundling themselves over to make it 5-3. The boys got back out and pushed for a try, but just as their attack started to find fifth gear, something would pull them back, usually a forward pass or the lack of patience by forcing a pass when maybe it would have been better to recycle. The lack of possession continued to hurt the boys and just before half time, KES extended their lead to 9 with a carbon copy of the first try. 12-3 at the break.

The boys came out for the second half and looked incredibly sharp. The forwards continued to break the line however, last ditch defending by hosts and some silly handling errors halted any promising attacks. Canford spent much of the half down in KES Bath’s 22 and eventually the inevitable happened, with the backs getting some space attacked wide and Timberlake crashed over from short range, before adding the extras off the inside of the post, 12-10 with 20 minutes left. KES Bath came back strongly and before Canford could go hunting for the lead, they had to hold strong with a big defensive set in their 22. Discipline continued to cost the blues with as Canford were awarded their second yellow of the game as Fountain was sent off for an accumulation of team penalties. However, the boys refused to let the opposition past, with Henry Stear coming up with a clutch turnover with around 15 minutes left of the match, to relieve pressure and allow Canford to start climbing back up the pitch. Canford continued to try and push through but to no avail until a penalty was given just outside Bath’s 22. S. Janaway opted for the posts and Timberlake held his nerve to put Canford back in front with 10 minutes left. Canford held strong late on, with Max Firth making a late charge back tackle to deny KES Bath taking the lead. Yet, in the final moments, with Canford in control, a lineout on the halfway, the boys opted to go wide rather than hold on to the ball until the final play. This decision almost proved costly as they gave away a holding on penalty and the hosts opted for the posts. With the final kick of the game, KES Bath’s kicker launched a kick from just beyond the 10 metre line which fell just short and into the hands of Johnny Walster who kicked the ball out and that gave Canford their first victory of the season.

It has been a good start to the season for the boys, as they get themselves off the mark and onto the win column. However, it will need to be a much-improved performance as they travel to RGS High Wycombe on Thursday to take on last year’s National Plate winners what should be an exciting contest.

Player of the Match – Ed Timberlake

2nd XV

Score: L 5-14

Try: Charlie Pallot

POTM: Hayden Weedall

Special Mentions: Arthur Keen, Oscar Burdin, Dan Chessher, Felix Sheehan

The 2nd XV put in a much improved and super encouraging performance against KES Bath, despite being on the wrong end of the result. We talked about increased line speed and aggression in defence, alongside supporting the ball carrier in attack as focuses for the game. When KES scored within 5 minutes, we feared the worst, but there were already signs of a change in mindset from Marlborough the week before, and for the rest of the half, Canford were ferocious, tenacious and committed in a brilliant defensive regard, led by the likes of Arthur Keen and POTM Hayden Weedall. Not only did KES not score again, but Canford began to make some gains of their own, with Dan Chessher making a searing 40m break, and Oscar Burdin carrying well on the fringes. The try line wasn’t threatened, but there was enough to give us hope that we could get something out of the game.

The second half was an evenly matched affair, with a try scored for each side. Again KES scored early in the half, and again, Canford responded well. Their score came from a well worked line out on the opposition 5m line, after a brilliant penalty turnover, with Charlie Pallot touching down for the try. Sadly, that was all we could manage, but we kept going to the end, looking threatening without getting close to another score. Whilst our defence was outstanding, we still need to work on supporting the ball, especially when a player makes a break or a strong carry past the gain line. Overall, a really positive match, with plenty of reason for optimism as the season progresses.


After a triumphant first game of the season, the 16As were out for another scalp against KES Bath. This week saw the added challenge of their first away game of the season. The first 5 minutes of the game could not have gone better for the Canford contingent. We won the toss and chose to play downhill first half, using the considerable slope to our advantage and hopefully pulling too far away from KES Bath in the first half that the game would be more or less won within the first 30 mins. It did seem as though this would be the case after a fantastic team exit, spearheaded by Boldt’s monstrous clearance kick and followed up by the infamous ‘blue wall’ that saw Canford parked up in the opposition 22m almost immediately. After some sustained pressure Freddie Jackson yet again managed to score off a tap and go penalty from 5 metres out (5-0). Unfortunately for Canford, KES bounced back well and provided a long patch of sustained pressure themselves. Some excellent continuity form KES, coupled with countless silly penalties from Canford, ultimately resulted in KES setting up a powerful maul off a lineout that saw them bundle over to level the scoreline (5-5). The remainder of the first half was scrappy from both sides, littered with penalties and knock ons, however Canford managed to go into the sheds at half time in the ascendancy after Ralph Boldt cut a brilliant line and showed the defence a stern handoff to see him score under the posts. He added the extras (12-5). The second half saw even more blasts of the whistle than the first half, mostly against Canford, that resulted in Canford defending for large swathes of the 30 minute block. As ever, their defence was relentless and time after time resisted the efforts of KES. However, the well sculpted maul of KES proved to be too much for Canford once more and saw them level the scoreline (12-12). The final minutes of the game were back and forth and saw Canford have two notable chances to grasp the win. Firstly, some absolute Champagne rugby build up play from Massimo that was unfortunately ruled out due to some dubious grounding – if only there was a TMO! Secondly, a great counter attack that saw the final pass from Freddie Jackson to Raffi Organ just stray forwards. Again, a TMO would have been useful! The final whistle saw the teams left at 12-12, which was probably a fair scoreline after everything.


Canford won 5-33.

Tries: Jacob Royle (3), Bertie Aspinall, George Fullman

Cons: James Law (4)

Players of the Match: Jacob Royle and Lincoln Jenkinson

The U16B took the opportunity to redress the balance of scoring against KES Bath, having received a proverbial hiding from Marlborough College the previous weekend.

The match itself was slightly irregular from the outset, KES having only 13 players to offer in opposition. The narrower pitch, however, meant that there wasn’t too much extraneous space despite the reduced team sizes. The number of players per side would end up at just 10 by the end of the match due to attrition of the KES forces, so while this made it harder for us to work on our usual 15-a-side structures and patterns, some much improved rugby was still on display. Jacob Royle carried on where he left off against Marlborough, powering over three times with hard, direct running. Bertie Aspinall, returning from injury, sliced through the defence after hitting a straight and powerful line, and George Fullman neatly dived and gathered a loose ball on the floor to carry it over the line in one deft movement to record his first try of the season. The half back pairing of Seb Doherty and James Law distributed the ball well, and the forwards were dominant at the breakdown both in attack and defence.

This result shows how executing the basics of the game well usually creates a strong foundation upon which to win rugby matches. We look forward to the next challenge against Bishop Wordsworth’s School after exeat.

U15A v St Laurence – National Cup Round 1

An excellent all-round performance sees the U15As progress in the National Cup against a very strong St Laurence side. Following heavy downpours for the near two-hour journey to Bradford on Avon Rugby Club, the skies cleared and the conditions were excellent for running rugby on a very wide pitch. Both teams had their sights set on the next round and the game began in a cagey fashion with the first quarter yielding no points for either side. St Laurence, bolstering a number of Bath Academy players in their pack, were carrying hard, but unable to break the deadlock. After a series of strong defensive sets from Canford, they were able to string a number of phases together before creating the overlap for Felix Inglis to touch down in the corner and Tom Hakes was able to add the extras. From kick-off, Canford repeated the trick. Freddie Rodber regathered his kick and chase, two pod carries through the middle, and this time Ethan Gallagher dotting down in the same corner. St Laurence weren't to be kept quiet though and were always in the game, with a couple of tries of their own. Heading into the final five minutes of the match, Canford led by seven, but St Laurence were on the attack. Freddie had managed to add another try to extend the lead but the opposition were still not out of arms reach. A scrum on the half-way was the catalyst to secure victory. A solid shove, the ball worked to the backs and a sumptuous offload from Phoenix Wilson saw Ethan charge down the win to seal the match, 24 -12. A very notable performance in the pack from Hector Hedges who led the defensive effort and kept up the intensity throughout.

U15A v KES Bath

Canford welcomed KES Bath and looked forward to another challenge which KES offered.

The game was really entertaining to watch with both teams playing some great open Rugby. Canford took control early in the game with some strong runs from Hector and Kit.

On the back of this we were able to play to our structure which we have been working hard on. Phoenix worked really hard in attack and defence well supported by our half back pairing of Tom and Freddie.

KES got back into the game applying some good pressure in defence forcing Canford into mistakes. Canford regained control with some great attacking play, Charlie and Ethan scoring great tries to secure a hard fought victory.

Final score 41/35

Well played boys.


The mighty Bs stepped up their game. Our aim was simple, to make sure the rugby got better. The boys came out with real spirit. They put into practice the rucking, tackling, and passing skills we had worked on earlier in the week. As a result, the boys found themselves with possession, space, and time. This coupled with some brave running led to the first try of the season from James Mitchell. The game continued in the same spirit with strong runs, strong team spirit and a strong sense of a potential win.

Unfortunately, small errors crept in with some holding onto the ball on the ground, pushing too far in the scrums and being offside (albeit in an effort to have quick defensive line speed). These errors led to being penalised over and over which in turn led to loss of territory. The opposition exploited this. Frustrated, the boys did start to lose a sense of team. They conceded three tries.

The game ended positively with the boys battling through this to score a second try but it was not enough to close the gap in the score line.

A great effort. Great to see the rugby getting better and even more exciting is the thought of the great things to come.

Man of the match for leading by example: Will Trotter.


There were encouraging signs of improvement as the U14 A team vanquished their KES Bath counterparts by 5 tries to one last Saturday. An entertaining first half was exemplified by excellent breakdown work by the hard-working pack, complimented by some dynamic running by the outside backs. Generally speaking, the defensive line was a lot more organised and assured since their last outing against Marlborough, with Messrs Johnson, Sameke and Sanderson to the fore. In the wider channels, Rees, Hall and Hakes continued to impress whilst the 'grease lightning' Ryan is always ready and willing to apply the final 'coup de grace'! With Wade pulling the strings at half back and Goold patrolling matters further back, the KES Bath side were kept on the back foot for the majority of the match. More hard work is required to ensure that this group of talented individuals really learn to gel as a team but the early season portents are extremely promising.


Canford U14B 15, KES 7

The mighty B team welcomed KES Bath for their second match of the season. The visitors looked a little green after a rather nauseating coach journey, so were grateful the kick off was delayed whilst the pitch was cleared of hazards. Thank you to those parents who kindly provided a few dog poo bags!

The match was a keenly contested affair, with both teams showing great determination. The tackling was particularly encouraging for the coaches and at half time Canford led 5-0.

The second half was a more open affair. Canford scored twice from a kick off, demonstrating the impact that athletic running can have against a tiring defence.

The 15-point buffer gave an opportunity to introduce our 7 subs into the game and, whilst KES scored a late try under the posts, it was a comfortable win in the end.

Football v Milton Abbey, Clayesmore and Wells Cathedral

Acorns 1-5 Milton Abbey

Goal: Webb

A tough day for the Acorns against a strong Milton Abbey XI. Milton Abbey took the lead with a penalty in the first half. With the score 1-0 at half time, the Acorns were still in it. And they were for most of the game. Despite Milton Abbey’s dominance they could only double their lead, and then add a third with another penalty. Sam Webb popped up with a bicycle kick from a corner which set the game up for an interesting finale. Unfortunately with the Acorns going forward to get back in the game, Milton Abbey scored another two in the dying moments.

Player of the Match: Sam Calvert-Lee

Oaks 5-0 Clayesmore

Goals: Sparkhall (3), Holden, Branston

The Oaks hosted Clayesmore on Thursday in their second league game of the season. The deadlock was broken early on with a penalty. A good save from the keeper was then followed in by Sparkhall. A second game soon after with Holden burying the ball into the bottom corner on the half volley. A third came inside 15 minutes with Sparkhall getting his second. Despite being 3-0 up at half time it could’ve been more, with some tight offsides and a disallowed goal from Ameyaw. Learning to curve your runs a focus for coming weeks.

Into the second half and the Oaks kept the ball in the Clayesmore half for the majority. Wasteful finishing and personal glory meant that the Oaks only added another 2 goals in the second half. Sparkhall completed his hat trick and Branston chipped in with a rare goal, leaving the score 5-0.

Player of the Match: Harry Serjeant

Oaks 3-1 Wells Cathedral

Goals: Serjeant (2), Sparkhall

Long trip to Wells awaited the Oaks on Saturday, and without key players in Arthur-Krebs, Holden and Woods, the Oaks needed positive performances from debutants Calvert-Lee and Moungabio. Both delivered what was needed. A shaky start from the Oaks as they shook the 2 hour journey from their legs, was settled when Serjeant scored his first for the Oaks. Sparkhall added another, before Serjeant added his second, all within the first half. The level dropped as the first half finished.

Again, the Oaks started slowly in the second half and with Wells getting one back it looked set to be a nervy finish. Brilliant saves from Guirdham kept the scores 3-1. Calvert-Lee calmed the game down in central midfield, as the Oaks saw out the win.

Player of the Match: Leo Vorobyev

Netball v Churcher’s College (Sisters in Sport - National Shield Rd 1)

The U14s travelled to Churhcers College for the first round of the Sisters in Sport Cup competition; having drawn the reigning champions from last year, it was set to be an exciting match. Canford made a dominant start, winning the opening quarter 7-5. A huge team defensive effort throughout the game allowed Canford to win an incredible amount of ball, which was rewarded by our steady shooters at the other end who confidently kept the points ticking over. The game was sealed in the final quarter, with every player taking to court and a final score of 19-14, which sees the U14s progress to the second round of the competition. Some stand out performances were displayed from Josslin Hawkings, super shooter, and Sinachi Okpala, relentless in defence, who were named as joint opposition players of the match.

Squash v Bryanston


Dylan vs. Albert Blackburn: 3/0
Matteo vs. Toby Lemans: 3/1
Rocco vs. Gil Stalker: 3/0
Charles vs. Justin White: 3/0
Toby vs. Gabriel Davey: 3/0
Ollie vs. Hugo Svedberg: 0/3
Rufus vs. Harry Pilkington: 1/3
Theo vs. Rhodri Whitehead: 3/2
Arthur vs. Jacob von Wensveen: 3/0
Ben vs. Toby Flegg: 0/3
Finn vs. George Mackie: 3/0
Edie vs. Lewis Parker: 3/0
Iona vs. Will Hickey: 3/2
Alice vs. Xander Jackson: 3/0
Jasmine vs. Helena Saurel: 3/0

Final Result: Bryanston 12 – Canford 3

Great to head across to Bryanston for our first squash match of the year, with lots of new 4th and 5th form recruits on their first outing for the school. There were some superb rallies, with a number of matches that could have gone either way, but Bryanston had the edge taking it 12-3. Lots of positives to take away and work on over the coming weeks and we are looking forward to the home fixture after half term.

Player(s) of the day go to Rhodri and Harry. Rhodri was 2-0 and looking out of it, but changed his strategy, focused on accuracy and brought it back to 2-2… he was unlucky to lose the final game! Harry put in a superb performance for his first squash fixture, moving his opponent around well and getting a big win for the team!

Coming up…

  • Squash match vs. Clayesmore on Thursday
  • U18s Real tennis match vs. Radley on Thursday

Running / X-Country – PEDSSA League Round 1

This week saw the first PEDSSA fixture of the year on home soil. Many thanks to the grounds staff, SLI and SJG for putting on such a great event and setting up a fabulous course. Canford Park had over 400 runners attend the event with over 100 pupils in each the Y5-6 boys races. In the various girls races, Freya, Iris and Charlotte excelled in their runs coming 7th, 8th and 9th respectively. In the boys races, Fifth Former Alex ran against some strong Sixth formers in the Y11-13 race to come a respectable 9th. Other notable results included Ethan (11th), Adrian (14th), Henry (16th), Ed P (17th) and Ed F (18th). Canford showing great strength in depth in the intermediate boys category – a promising sign of things to come for the relay races next term. Team Captain Abi was initially worried that her speed would be lacking following the long summer break but she put in a solid effort to come 4th in the senior girls race, where she was up against some very strong county-level runners. A good day out for Canford in their first showing of the season.


We are delighted for two Canfordians on their recent equestrian successes. Following on from her win last year in the NSEA 1m Show Jumping Final, Anouska and her pony La Bamba have qualified for three National championships this year representing Canford, including the NSEA Show Jumping Championships, while Brooke and her pony Twoie were placed 1st in the Novice 28 Dressage test at Moreton and will compete in the NSEA Dressage Championships.

We wish Anouska and Brooke the very best of luck as they represent Canford at the NSEA in Addington, Buckinghamshire in October. For more information please visit https://www.nsea.org.uk/.../national-schools-championships/


Last Tuesday we had the 7-iron only challenge, there were some great performances all round from the students.

Mr Keech let me know Oscar Bailey managed to hit a 220 yard 7-iron down the middle of the fairway on the 4th which is immense! But the standout out performers were the team of Guy Green, Joe Stephenson and Toby Connolly who managed to go round all 9-holes in level par.

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