BOYS’ SPORTS REPORTS 01/12/14
Wednesday 3rd December
1st XV V Millfield 1st XV (H) Won 16-15
Sedbergh hosted Millfield in a highly anticipated encounter on a very cold and dry winter’s day at Buskholme. The visitors were the first to put points on the board when they took advantage of Sedbergh’s I’ll discipline to convert two early penalties.
Sedbergh’s first piece of real possession resulted in a try as Alex moon finished off a driven maul score in trademark fashion to give the home side a 7 – 6 lead. Sedbergh then looked dangerous with every touch of the ball for the remainder of the 1st half but could only come away with a Johnny McPhillips penalty to show from this attacking pressure.
In the second half further penalties were exchanged by both teams as they entered what would prove to be a very tense final quarter of the match. With three minutes to go and a one point lead Sedbergh conceded a penalty to go behind by two points and set up a frantic finish.
Straight from the final kick off the home side secured turn over ball from some aggressive work at the breakdown and set about stealing the victory on the full time whistle. Sedbergh’s patient attack was rewarded when they were a given a penalty of their own and a final opportunity to take the victory from Millfield with a long range shot at goal.
Under immense pressure and knowing that this would be the final play of the match McPhillips calmly stepped up and slotted the penalty to give Sedbergh the victory in front of the delighted home supporters.
McPhillips 2 penalties, 1 conversion
2nd XV V Millfield 2nd XV (A) Drew 21-21
3rd XV V Millfield 3rd XV (A) Won 42-26
The 3rd XV played with Great Spirit and considerable skill against Millfield.
Josef Westgarth led from the front and Porter, Jake Smith, Lister, Clarke, Magee and, in fact, all the others weren’t far behind.
The match was settled in the opening fifteen or so minutes when Sedbergh dominated possession and scored three good tries.
Brown then got a little casual, with flip underarm offloads for example, which let Millfield back into the game. However, once Sedbergh tightened-up in the second half there was really only one team in it, with Robbie Thomson spearheading some excellent counter-attacking – though he did generously give a massively telegraphed inside pass which led to an interception and try at the wrong end of the pitch!
The final score was 48-26.
The 3rds should be proud of their performance at the end of another demanding and successful season.
A1 V Millfield U16A (A) Won 26-18
With the sun in their eyes and playing uphill this was always going to be an extremely challenging opening exchange for the boys wearing the brown jersey. The team rallied well and immediately went on the attack gaining territory but not always keeping possession forcing the speculative offload ahead of the building pressure approach.
The games first try was a fantastic sprint finish by Heathcote finishing off an all action team attack that involved good decision making skills as well as clinical execution.
Unfortunately that score spurred the opposition on, to pile the pressure on the Sedbergh line and forced the Browns in to conceding a number of penalties and two quick fire tries.
After the break the game seemed to fizzle out as it became an arm wrestle between the two packs and fatigue was getting the better of the boys ability to keep playing from anywhere on the pitch. The next challenge for both sets of players was who would have the mental strength, desire and resilience to produce one last almighty effort to swing the game either way.
Of course the Sedbergh boys rose to this challenge as it is in their DNA, and produced a scintillating finish to score 3 tries in quick succession with Williams going 60metres of the pitch to dot down and Madronal collecting a brace. Madronal’s second try started from his own 22metre line and went nearly the full length rounding the full back to finish the contest. Millfield scored late on but it was nothing more than a consolation try.
B1 V Millfield U15A (A) Won 33-12
Sedbergh blew Millfield away in B1’s most complete performance of the season. The scrum was dominant and that allowed Rodd to make inroads from the base on a regular basis. Papworth was outstanding in defence all day and also scored the opening try running in from forty yards after hitting a sharp line off fly-half Luke Worrall-Thomson.
Sedbergh played at a pace that Millfield struggled to live with as the back row and Sam Shewan in the centre consistently carried hard and made ground. Sedbergh led 14-0 at half time following a try from Shewan and although Millfield pulled a score back Brown accelerated away in the second half and scored three more well worked tries with Rodd picking up a brace and replacement winger Ferguson forcing his way over.
T: Papworth, Shewan, Rodd (2), Ferguson
C: Hodge (4)
C1 V Millfield U14A (A) Won 28-14
This was a good win for C1 against a threatening Millfield side who had some real talent out wide but ultimately ran out of ideas against a Sedbergh side which was hugely committed in defence and high-tempo and aggressive in attack. The Sedbergh backs had to be extremely disciplined in defence for the duration of the match, while it was left to the forwards to make the inroads with ball in hand which ultimately won us the game.
The boys were fired up as they took to the main pitch at Millfield against what looked a confident and well-drilled Millfield side. Sadly proceedings were halted after barely five minutes due to a bad injury to the Millfield Number 8, which required the air ambulance. We were duly moved to another pitch and the boys had to refocus and effectively do their preparation all over again.
Happily, we reacted better to the stoppage and soon had a score on the board, with concerted forward pressure leading to a score under the posts for the outstanding Harry Hill. We were soon to go two scores clear, with a succession of phases creating space on the outside for Henry Ackroyd to score wide on the right; Will Haydon-Wood was able to convert with a fantastic strike.
14-0 up at half time felt a fair reflection of the balance of play, with Millfield unable to unleash their dangerous runners out wide. Inevitably, however, they could not be shackled forever, with the second half seeing an early swing in momentum.
The lightning-quick Millfield winger first raced in to score out wide after a dubious line-out decision, and minutes later won the territory from which a Millfield forward stole a lineout and crashed through several weak Sedbergh tackles to tie the scores at 14-14.
It was a nervous time for both sides and the next score was, as the saying goes, going to be absolutely crucial. Happily we were able to dominate possession with a series of powerful carries around the fringes and in midfield and the next score was ours, with George Barber sniping over from close range. Will Haydon-Wood was running the show at 10, making good decisions as to when to keep the ball in hand and when a kick might be the better option.
Another score was required to put the victory beyond doubt and mercifully this arrived with about five minutes left to play, as once again Harry Hill proved too powerful for the Millfield defence near the line. This sealed a brilliant victory and set us up nicely for the final match of the season.
Thursday 4th December
B1 V Wellington College (A) U15A Won 15-7
The clear day at Millfield was followed by a damp and slippery afternoon at Wellington. Wellington had some powerful forward runners and a couple of backs that looked dangerous with the ball in hand but Sedbergh defended valiantly and were clinical with the ball in hand to take the few chances that became available.
Sedbergh had the better of the opening exchanges but a promising passage of play looked to be breaking down as Brown ran out of support players until Hodge changed the direction of play and gathered the ball from Ben Goni to score. Sedbergh extended their lead through a Shewan try after soaking up ten minutes of Wellington pressure and were 10-0 up at half time.
For the second time in two days Sedbergh’s opponents scored first in the second half but Sedbergh regathered and played sensible rugby to see to establish an eight point lead. Wellington launched another onslaught on the Sedbergh line but Brown held firm to complete a memorable double on tour.
T: Hodge, Shewan, Rodd
C1 V Wellington College (A) U15A Won 19-12
A rather tired-looking warm up didn’t bode well against what looked an extremely dangerous Wellington outfit, which included two massive centres who were clearly going to run hard up the middle all afternoon. This Wellington side rated themselves and it was easy to see why, with slick handling and a powerful set-piece giving them plenty of attacking options.
Happily we were up to the challenge and the boys played out of their skins to come back from 12-5 down with ten minutes to play to score twice and come out victors 19-12. Once again our backs were heroic in defence, cutting down wave after wave of Wellington attacks, whilst the forwards had to battle like never before to stay on terms at the breakdown.
The final whistle sparked jubilant scenes of celebration, with the boys rightly ecstatic at having achieved an unbeaten season, no mean feat given that the last two games were played back-to-back against two of the country’s top sides.
Perhaps surprisingly, Sedbergh started by far the stronger of the two sides, making early inroads up the centre with powerful carries from the back row forwards and winning quick ball from the breakdown. Harry Hill burst clear through the midfield and good ball-retention saw Will Haydon-Wood able to scoot over the line from five yards out a couple of phases later.
Wellington soon hit back, however, with mistakes from Sedbergh allowing good set-piece field position for Wellington, who put together a number of phases of their own before crashing through the midfield to score under the posts and lead 7-5. This score felt slightly against the run of play and it is probably for this reason that we seemed to panic a bit, allowing Wellington further possession and field-position.
Successive powerful scrummages brought Wellington close to our line and eventually they were able to crash over, despite valiant last-ditch tackling from the boys in brown. We were very much up against it at this stage.
The key period in the match was the five minutes before half time, where at 12-5 down we defended on our line for phase after phase and managed to keep Wellington to within one score; had we let them in there would probably have been no way back. Instead, we went into half time feeling almost as if we were in the lead, so well had we played to keep them out in the preceding minutes.
This positivity was much needed as the second half began, with Wellington dominating early possession and almost crossing the line again, with only last ditch cover-tackling from Magee preventing the Wellington winger from scoring after a fortuitous hack through.
Eventually, we managed to clear our lines and there followed a period of extended possession for Sedbergh, which culminated in a well-worked try in the corner for Spanish sensation Rodriguo Iglesias-Valverde. Once again Will Haydon-Wood had his kicking boots on and he coolly nailed the conversion from out wide to level the scores at 12-12.
The game was there for the taking for either side and it was a time for calm heads combined with unwavering commitment. Sedbergh simply seemed to want the ball more at this late stage of the game and a succession of forward carries around the fringes brought us into the Wellington 22.
Gaps were beginning to appear in the Wellington defensive line and when the ball was finally delivered to Haydon-Wood ten metres out there was to be no stopping him. Will converted his own try to leave us a score clear with only minutes to play. From here-on in it was a question of whether we could hold out to seal the win, and happily this is exactly what we did, with a Wellington knock-on eventually bringing an end to the match and signalling a great Sedbergh away win, to cap the season in style.
Saturday 6th December
1st XV V Llandovery College 1st XV (A) Lost 41-20
Sedbergh’s season ended in a disappointing fashion in Wales when they were out played by a very strong Llandovery side who deserved victory. Straight from the outset the home side piled on the pressure in an impressive twenty minute period that starved the visitors of possession.
A try from Nathan Wyman and penalty goal from Johnny McPhillips was all Sedbergh could manage in an extremely tough first half. At the start of the second half Sedbergh scored a great try to Harry Halsall which give them some real hope as they cut the Llandovery lead to 24 – 13.
Unfortunately, this was the closest Sedbergh would get to the home side as Llandovery immediately capitalised on some week defence to score three unanswered tries. In the remaining minutes Sedbergh never gave up and tried desperately to add some respectability to the scoreboard which resulted in Johnny McPhillips scoring a good try from close range.
On the full time whistle the Sedbergh player’s disappointment was clear, but this result should not take away from what has been a great season from this talented team.
Tries; Wyman, Halsall, McPhillips
McPhillips 1 Conversion, 1 Penalty
2nd XV V Llandovery College 2nd XV (A) Won 17 – 9
The 2nd XV came from 9-0 down in the 2nd half and from spirited defence on their own line scored one of the tries of the season to take the lead late in the game. Further excellent defence thereafter in difficult circumstances resulted in an impressive victory at Llandovery.
Tries; Lewin, Blackhall, Phelan
Cons; Lewin 1/3