Matthew Burns

BOYS’ SPORTS REPORTS 20/11/17

RUGBY

1st XV v Warwick won 26-10
Sedbergh retain the Barnett Ball trophy in a tough away victory at Warwick School. Sedbergh’s power and physicality on attack eventually broke Warwick down in a very competitive fixture. The home side gained huge confidence early after they scored from a Sedbergh mistake. Sedbergh’s attack then took over with two brilliant tries to Cameron Redpath & Josh Hodge. Straight after the break Alex Mullins added to the scoresheet with a great finish to a Redpath chip in chase. Tom Curtis scored Sedbergh’s final try of the day from the fly half position when he sliced through a half gap in an impressive finish. This was a good match for Sedbergh as they now enter the final & most challenging part of the season. 

2nd XV v Warwick won 10-7
In a game played with high tempo, both sides were stubborn in defence, reluctant to give an inch anywhere on the pitch. Sedbergh dominated most of the possession but often struggled to execute final plays. Despite this, the team rallied superbly throughout the second half to come from behind and see out the game in a tense final few minutes. Whitehouse, Simpson and O’Neill were once again excellent.

3rd XV v Warwick won 28-7
The 3rd XV travelled to Warwick. It was a very close game in which we were a little naive at the start but came good in the end to take the win.

3rd XV v Keswick 1st XV won 38-5
It is always a pleasure to go to Keswick to play rugby. For a start the pitch is in the most beautiful surroundings (other than Lupton field of dreams), that we play on in a season. Secondly the Keswick boys always seem a little bit disorganised in their warm up but when they hit the pitch you know you are in a game of rugby, and this fixture did not disappoint.
We played on their first team pitch, their first fixture on it since Desmond left over 6 feet of water and resulting dangerous pollutants on it. It was a privilege to play a tiny part in the bounce back that this resilient community continues to show.

We started a little naively and although we played some very nice rugby the effect of playing against LRGS last Saturday meant that we ran everything wide. This works well if you earn the right. We ran laterally and found that as we had not committed defenders and did not run straight, their defenders found it very easy to put up a wall and chop tackle us, stopping us in our tracks. The physicality from Keswick was enormous. They had big direct runners and boys that were entirely committed in the tackle. As we grew into the game we started to run around the fringes a little more intelligently.

George Thomas (MOM) was superb in defence and turned over a great deal of ball for us. McAteer was also outstanding with a fantastic work rate. We do occasionally throw a loose ball which we need to cut out of our game, I blame Sonny Boy for that! Brooke is a different player and his work rate has literally doubled. He worked so hard off the ball to get into positions to hit hard lines that I almost didn’t recognise him as the player we had before half term.

Cope score from a very good sniping run down the blind side after good quick ruck ball, and Turner and Burns running the ball back well from kick returns. Hodge is also a young man who has really stepped up this half of term and is now pushing for a regular birth. To have a squad which has depth and competition for places is a coach’s dream. Jones and Renwick also both put in a big shift and hit some very good lines. Renwick put one of his team mates in for a classic try with a very basic but effective draw and give. It was lovely to watch- no Sonny Bill required!! The score of the game was from the tireless McAteer who worked nonstop all afternoon. An outrageous dummy and huge side step saw him scampering under the posts to give the impressive Hampsey-Cook an easy nudge over for the extras! Warwick will be another massive challenge this weekend.

A1 v Warwick won 67-5
A dominant performance against a side that were national runners up last year, on Busk witnessed some scintillating running rugby. 11 tries scored by the brown demonstrated their attacking intent throughout.

A2 v Warwick won 31-22
A2 conceded an early try against Warwick but responded brilliantly with two tries through the barnstorming George Wallis. Both teams played some entertaining rugby with the lead changing on several occasions until A2 nudged ahead through two scores from Fife and Nelstrop late in the second half. A2 then had to sustain relentless attack after attack from Warwick who threw everything they had at the visitors. But A2 remained defiant and Campbell, Vick and Cade tackled everything that came their way to earn a well-deserved victory. 

A2 v Durham lost 48-0
A2 competed well against a physical Durham team whose forwards adopted a strong driving game to put A2 on the back foot during the first half. Durham’s backs made the most of the extra time and space to cause problems in the centres for Nelstrop and Nichols who were constantly under pressure. Despite this A2 tackled bravely to the end and Campbell and Cade were outstanding in defence. 

B1 v Warwick won 29-17
B1 came out on top in their first close encounter of the season since the pre-season games at Bromsgrove. Warwick defended excellently all match and Sedbergh lost the ball in contact a number of times as a result. The visitors also possessed a dangerous driving maul which provided them with their first score after a loose Sedbergh pass went into touch close to the home try-line. 

Sedbergh hit back through a blind-side scrum move which Matthew Cooney finished well. Sedbergh looked to be settling into the game after this point but Warwick were soon in the lead again as a knock-on in contact handed them possession not far from the Sedbergh line. Warwick kept the ball well and managed to stretch the home defence until they broke through to score.
Sedbergh then dominated the remainder of the first-half with further scores from Cooney, Sunny Balogun and an excellent set piece move finished off by Charlie Churchouse. 

After half-time Sedbergh extended their lead to 29-12 as Noah Parkinson made his way to the try-line. With replacements joining the fray the game became a little fragmented and a period of concerted pressure resulted in a further Warwick try. Sedbergh then scrapped hard to prevent any further scores and won some crucial turnovers to be able to close out the game with a 12-point lead.

B1 v Kirkham (National Cup round three) won 65-5
Sedbergh blew Kirkham away with a dominant first twenty minute period. On a wide but very soft field B1 were able to pick holes through the middle of the Kirkham defence but also exploit the space available after a number of phases. Churchouse (SH) looked consistently threatening on the left wing as did Kay (W) at fullback. The forward pack mixed their game up well with Jackson (E) regularly stepping in at first receiver and releasing Johnson (W), Parkinson (P) and Greatorex (SH) off his shoulder. 

The Sedbergh defence continued to suffocate any Kirkham attack who achieved their solitary score through a kick ahead. This was another strong performance but B1 will learn a lot more about their progress when they face Warwick on Saturday. 

C1 v Warwick lost 28-15
After an impressive first half display which saw them come back from 7-0 down to go in at the break leading 15-7, unfortunately C1 were not able to hold on to their lead in the second half as Warwick upped the physicality and ultimately pounced upon two Sedbergh errors to take the victory. This was a frustrating outcome, as C1 had enjoyed the bulk of the possession and also played much the better rugby, particularly in the first half.

Not for the first time, a lack of direct, powerful running meant that they struggled to create space, making them a bit too easy to defend against. We must remember to execute our patterns and earn the right to go wide, even when the pressure comes on. We must also remember how to win games which are there for the taking!

C2 v Durham won 34-14
C2 played their best rugby of the season to record a decisive win over a decent Durham side.
After the usual slow start, which allowed Durham’s big centre to crash over for the first score, C2 realised that they had to up their game if they were to prevent a second defeat within 5 days. 

The boys certainly responded to the challenge and started to stamp their authority on the game with some excellent passages of patient play resulting in some outstanding team tries. If they can back themselves to continue to play this brand of team rugby they will have real success against some big teams ahead.

HOCKEY

U18 County Championships – Won the tournament
The U18 boys had their first fixtures of the year on Wednesday playing against Kirkbie Kendal and Windermere. The first fixture saw the boys take on Kirkbie Kendal. A positive start saw passing and moving at an exceptional pace. The trusted figures of Will McHugh and George Hill steadily broke up play and set Sedbergh up for constant waves of attack. The fresh forward line of Johan Witthoeft, Giles Dobson and Harvey Ferguson was too quick and clinical for Kendal to deal with.

It didn’t take long for the first goal to be scored, which was soon followed by more. Harvey Ferguson, Johan Witthoeft, Giles Dobson and George Barber all scoring goals during the match. In a game of relative dominance, the process was key for the boys to work on. They delivered, and an impressive 9-2 victory was recorded. Windermere was to follow. Yet again, some superb hockey was played. Starting all the way from the back with Chris Park Johnson and Valentin Durach the solid back line controlled the entire match and allowed the free-flowing forwards to do their job.

A couple of clinical finishes later and the boys were 5-1 up and cruising to a very impressive start to the season. Standout performances from George Hill, Chris Park Johnson and Will McHugh ensured the victories were never in doubt. A big congratulations to Johan Witthoeft, Clemens Probst and Julius Meyer who all made their debuts for Sedbergh. A bright season ahead for the boys.

RUNNING (BOYS & GIRLS)

Cross Country Team: District trials – Cartmel
Sedbergh took a team of 15 boys and 20 girls to the District Cross Country Trials in Cartmel.  The Junior Girls (Yr8/9) got us off to a fantastic start with Alicia Newing winning this race but the strong team performance meant the girls also came 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th.  Fraser Sproul then kept the good work going in the Junior Boys race and was a convincing winner. 

The Intermediate Girls (Yr10/11) and Seniors Girls (Yr12/13) ran together with Tash Cookson taking second in the Intermediate girl’s race as was Maria Page in the Senior Girls race.  All of the Senior Girls have qualified for the County Championships which take place in January.  Ben Van Dijk ran strongly to come second in the Senior Boys race.  Good packing meant that all of the Senior Boys have also qualified for the County Championships.

Stonyhurst Trail Race
Sedbergh’s team of 26 runners dominated this fixture.  The boys and girls of all age groups ran together on this challenging 7km course.  There was a mixture of terrain from road, to trails, to fields and streams, trees and lots of mud for the runners to contend with.  Ben van Dijk was the overall winner of the race with a notable performance from Yr9 Fraser Sproul coming in second. 

Sedbergh pupils ran strongly to take the next ten positions.  This meant that the boys first team comfortably won the Boys Team title; with the boys second team also taking second place.  Another powerful display from Maria Page meant she was first girl home.  Despite not feeling on top form Yr 9 Alicia Newing ran well and was ably supported by the rest of the girls’ team.  The girls took the Girls Team title. 

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