17 September 2019
U10 & U11 Rugby at St Mary's Hall
On Wednesday 11 September, Kirkham Grammar Junior School U10s and U11s travelled to St Mary's Hall for an afternoon of rugby v St Mary’s Hall, Manchester Grammar School and Sedbergh.
Excellent rugby was played by both teams. The U10s won both of their games and the U11s won one and narrowly lost two. Thank you to St Mary's Hall for once again being excellent hosts.
Rugby - Saturday 14 September
KGS 1st XV v Wirral Grammar School
Kirkham Grammar School 1st XV continued their promising start to the season with another good win over Wirral Grammar. 1st XV Captain Ethan Caine made his first appearance of the season after a recent injury and lead well from the no.8 position. What was most pleasing was the pace and skill the team played at throughout the match with both forwards and backs interlinking in a very positive way. A number of players stepped up and were rewarded with their first tries of the season, chief benefactor was young hooker Sam Parker who bagged a brace whilst a number of backs Elliot Gourlay, Josh Lynch, Keir Gordon and Jonty Cope also scored. Young second row Marcus Blake managed to get himself on the end of a flowing move with a try to finish the match off in style as KGS ran out 48-0 winners.
KGS U15s v Wirral Grammar School
The U15s hosted Wirral GS on Saturday, in what is always a closely contested match.
Kirkham started strongly and were soon in control thanks to some excellent ball carrying by Jorge Zacharias and Harvey Thompson. The KGS forwards dominated the early exchanges, with two catch and drive tries with Matt Wright and Matthew Oddie taking the plaudits. The third try soon followed with the powerful Theo Timmins bouncing over from close range to put KGS 19-0 up.
From this moment on, KGS dropped their standards which allowed the dangerous Wirral fly half to dive in and convert his try (19-7) and it was very much game on.
Some excellent handling by Aidan Hayward and Charlie Read put Archie Dowds in space and he rounded the last defender to score an important try on the stroke of half time (24-7).
The second half was very much a case of missed opportunities by Kirkham as they dominated much of the play, but the final pass seemed to find the ground or Wirral managed to scramble excellently to snuff the home side out. Eventually the pressure told, and James Sutcliffe scored in the corner to put Kirkham crucially four scores ahead at 29-7 with fifteen minutes to go.
From this moment on, Wirral came back into the game with some excellent play and scored two well worked tries to make the score 29-19.
Kirkham did regain their composure well to see the game out with no further scores, but they will have to lift their standards next week, when they host St Ambrose.
U14A v Wirral Grammar School
On Saturday morning Kirkham faced a physical Wirral side who traditionally play a very direct style of game. Kirkham’s defence held up well against Wirral’s powerful runners with strong tackling from Alex Greenhalf, Saif Amr and Luca Mihell. Outside centre Harry Reay scored the first points of the game following a line break on the half way line. Five minutes later, Tom Wilkinson broke down the left wing to run in Kirkham’s second try. Seb Kelly carried the ball well and eventually found a gap in the Wirral defence. Kelly accelerated to the line to score Kirkham’s third try. Just before half time Kirkham scored their fourth try with Harry Reay picking up his second. Two of the tries were successfully converted by fly half Calum Hill, making the half time score 24-0.
In the second half Kirkham missed a few tackles, allowing Wirral to gain more momentum with their strong runners. Wirral started a comeback, scoring three converted tries in ten minutes and bringing the scores very close at 24-21. In a nervy final quarter it was Kirkham skipper James Stacey who led the way. Stacey worked his way out on the right wing and cut back in against the defence to score under the posts. Hill successfully kicked the conversion making the final score 31-21 to Kirkham.
U14B v Wirral Grammar School
Kirkham defended very well in the first half and Fin Chaya scored a good try after pleasing work from the forwards. The big defensive effort from all the boys was taking its toll and Wirral exploited this in the second half scoring a couple of late tries. However, the first half performance showed what the boys are capable of especially with improvements in fitness and positional play.
KGS U13s v Wirral Grammar School
Lost 35 – 20
Kirkham U13s opened the season with a trip to Wirral GS, where they faced a sizeable opposition. The game started with the home side dominating possession, who looked to attack the narrow channels in the early stages. Kirkham were resilient in defence during this period and impressive tackling from all of the team meant that Wirral had to change their point of attack to the wider areas. In response, Kirkham looked impressive in possession and passed the ball with fluidity and confidence. Useful breaks from Wilkins and Case led to substantial territorial gains on the right hand side, giving Guthrie the opportunity to cross the line for his first of the game. Wirral answered the Kirkham attack quickly, with a try of their own, but Guthrie was on hand again to touch down for his second. As the game settled in it was Kirkham who looked most likely to score next and it was Schmid who did so after being the beneficiary of an impressive pick up and offload from Mathauda down the left.
The second half brought further defensive duties for the visitors, as Wirral reverted to attacking the narrower channels initially and drawing defenders in. Outstanding work at the breakdown from Kollard, Firth and Huck alleviated the early pressure of the attack, but ultimately the sizable Wirral pack drew in enough defenders to leave space out wide for their winger to score on a number of occasions. Kirkham remained tenacious in defence, and although the score line seemed out of reach, they were resilient in their efforts and continued to look to get beyond the gain line. Fly half Harry Ribchester tested the opposition consistently and found enough space to let the backs utilise the ball successfully and get in behind the Wirral back line. Promising interplay between backs and forwards in the closing stages of the game led to a well-earned score for Huck.
An encouraging performance against a challenging side, with much to build on going into next week.
On Saturday 14 September, Kirkham Grammar Junior School hosted an U11 four team rugby festival between Preston Grasshoppers, Fylde Rugby Club, Kirkham and St Mary’s Hall.
All the games were played in glorious sunshine and the pitches were in excellent condition.
Kirkham managed to record two wins from their three matches and played excellent rugby throughout the morning.
KGS U16s V Queen’s Chester
The game started off well the KGS girls working as a team moving the ball around against a quick opposition. They had a few chances at goal but none of these ended in success. Before the end of the first half KGS were awarded a short corner, the Queen’s Chester goal keeper made an excellent save on the goal line resulting in a penalty flick. Natasha Hartley-Smith took a brave step forward to take the penalty which resulted in an outstanding goal, making the score line 1-0. The score line stayed for the remainder of the game where both sides battled hard with Emily Cooper saving some magnificent goals.
KGS U14s v Queen’s Chester
The U14s made a very promising start to the season in their first match against Queen’s Chester. This was their first game in new positions with new roles and they made a great start. All the girls worked tirelessly throughout defending well and counter attacking with real pace. Jess Cole put Kirkham ahead in the first half. The second half was end to end with chances at both ends. Queen’s equalised with ten minutes to go and KGS had to settle with a 1-1 draw.
KGS U13s v Queen’s Chester
The U13s were unfortunate to lose an even game 1-0 to Queen’s Chester. Playing in their first ever 11-a-side game, the KGS girls started on the back foot but defended well and kept a good shape as Queen’s attacked. The strong defence meant that Claudia Allison was kept fairly quiet in the KGS goal but when called upon she charged out well to make a good save.
It was 0-0 at half time and KGS really grew into the second half. Direct running down the left wing from Georgia Nichols caused chaos in the Queen’s defence and created chances for the KGS forwards. With two minutes left and tired legs in the KGS midfield, Queen’s managed to create a chance in the D to score the only goal of the game. Despite the result there are lots of positives to take into the next few games.