1st XV V Wilmslow
The 1st XV proved too strong for Wilmslow in another very entertaining and high scoring match on Buskholme. Sedbergh dominated the first half scoring at a point a minute pace as they played some outstanding rugby, stunning the visitors with their patience and execution on attack. Six first half tries saw the home side take a huge lead going into the break at 42 – 7.

At the start of the second half Sedbergh again asserted their dominance with two brilliant scores from deep inside their own 22. With the match in total control for Sedbergh, Wilmslow suddenly burst into life playing some great attacking rugby against some indifferent home defence.

Wilmslow capitalised on Sedbergh errors scoring four excellent tries in what was a great period of play for the visitors. With ten minutes remaining Sedbergh regained their composure to finish the match off in style scoring three brilliant team tries resulting in a big home win 78 – 31.

B1 V Wilmslow Won 58 – 7
B1 were too strong for Wilmslow and ran in ten tries on Riverside. Jonny Mason managed to grab a personal haul of five tries – a clear sign that if the forwards deliver quick ball on the front foot, a little bit of width from the backs will prove too much for a lot of defences.  


C1 V Wilmslow Won 74 – 10
This was an encouraging first outing for the C1 squad, with good skill levels on show and a pleasing intensity at the breakdown and in contact. We started at a high tempo and were able to score several nicely worked tries out wide in the opening minutes.

Our support play improved as the game wore on, after some of our breaks early on had left runners isolated. Defence was solid for the most part, although we let men through the midfield on a couple of occasions, only to be rescued several times by the excellent cover tackling of Magee at fullback, and disappointingly conceded two tries on the fringes when defending our try line. We will need to much tighter in defence for our crunch game at the weekend. 

It was great to see the strength in depth and spirit of this large squad, all of whom got on the pitch today and played their part in a comfortable win. 


3rd XV V Gateshead College WON 33 – 28
After last year this was a much anticipated fixture and Gateshead came with the intention of turning around their 1 point loss from last year. Playing on Busk was always going to suit us, they were a very heavy and out of condition side, but they were strong and it was our technique and heart which saw us go into an early 7-0 lead.

The scrum did exceptionally well against a far bigger pack, we got underneath them which was satisfying as we had trained on the scrum machine to do exactly this. Doody (e) opened our account with a well worked backs move, it showed that composure and simple things would do well for us.

Gateshead threw everything at us and came crashing through tackles; at times Im afraid prep school masters would have been disappointed as our boys went high time and again on bigger stronger boys. Clark, Westgarth J and Robinson were our saviours in defence.

They broke through more tackles and their giant 13 eventually powered over. Our reply was quick as we eventually managed to win our line out by getting Westgarth to attack the space, quick ball and a break from Radcliffe saw the back row link well for Westgarth W to score under the posts.

We turned around 14-5 up.Going back out to play we decided to take the game up a level, the opposition were tiring and we agreed that playing wide and fast for quarter of an hour would sew up the game. They shortened their line out to get big runners midfield and mixed this well with driven attack close to the break down. We managed to break up the left hand side with Wainwright hitting the line well.

Topham played exceptionally well at 10 and controlled the game beautifully mixing it up as we needed to. The break up the left led to quick ball right and Westgarth W scored his second. Wainwright could not convert.

With six minutes gone into the second half the Gateshead nine kicked through. Radcliffe covered back and fell on the ball to win a 22 drop out, unfortunately the nine followed through with a late and unnecessary challenge injuring Radcliffe, who had played very well and developing nicely, and necessitating a move to Riverside, second time in a week.

Thankfully Radcliffe was later cleared at pitch side by Dr Lumb. Thanks go again to our excellent pitch side help, it is always reassuring to see so many staff coming to help and knowing that they are all trained in dealing with injury.On Riverside the B1 game finished and Howarth made a fantastic break down the left hand side leading to a quick score which seemed to signal the flood gates had opened as Jackson outpaced the covering defence to score.

Another very quick score came as we won quick ball after quick ball and got in behind the defence for Jones to score on the left, after he juggled it! The opposition then threw the sink at us and a change in their back line added edge to what they did.

Our boys started to hold off tackles and simply did not want contact and began to throw the ball away having looked after it so well. It was extremely frustrating to see a good score line dwindle as we began to lose concentration. Blackhall who did three outstanding things undid his good work each time by throwing the ball away.

21 unanswered points and the final nine-minute with Sedbergh down to 14 men after Jackson got a yellow card for killing their ball in our 22m (I am only sorry MAFR wasn’t there to give me his support!) led to a very tense final ninety seconds.

They fed the big centre (who did not need feeding!) and he broke down the left, he went through 7 appalling tackles and was eventually bundled into touch. As my watch showed full time their left winger came in with a ridiculous punch, which should have resulted in my first red card- I have left this with their coach to deal with. We need to defend on Saturday!


5th XV V Cockermouth Lost 64 – 12
What a game, what a game. On the sun drenched lower fells of west Cumbria, Tinyside took the field for their first game of the season. With only a handful of sessions and 60% of the team having never seen a rugby ball before we put up a hell of a fight.

Warrior poets may describe our performance. The mission was to score five points and anything else would be a bonus. Our spirit was never broken and we continued throughout with gentleman-like behaviour. The ghosts of Foster & Mitchinson (two undefeated Tinyside captains) would have been proud of Sure (Hoffmann, Tinyside Captain) and his men.

Fynn playing in his first contest looks like a real natural and was so close to scoring and even added a fourth man to the front row.McKinney excelled by scoring two tries, one an individual moment of magic the other a superb team score using both forwards and backs. The latter was met with a cheer so loud you would have thought it was Tinyside who had took the victory.

There is never a dull moment in Tinyside and the enthusiasm of the boys to ‘get on with it’, fills me with immense pride. Quote of the day has to be at halftime, ‘sir, what is a lineout?’ Great times.
Well played lads.


A2 V Cockermouth Lost 35 – 21
Sedbergh started brightly but wasted several scoring chances,before poor tackling allowed Cockermouth to run in four tries before the break. Sedbergh were much stronger in the second half and brought the score back to within seven points,before a late try sealed the win for the hosts. 



1st XV V RGS Newcastle Won 32 – 11
Sedbergh travelled to RGS Newcastle in a confident mood after two home victories on Busk. It was clear from the opening kick-off that Sedbergh were very focused and determined to put in a strong performance on the road. James Botham who played his best game in a brown jersey opened the scoring after some very patient Sedbergh attack.

The next score came again from Sedbergh as they capitalised on good field position to execute a perfect driven line out to score out wide. The try of the day came five minutes before halftime as Sedbergh’s defensive pressure forced countless errors from the home side resulting in Harry Halsall running 70 metres to score off a wayward RGS Newcastle Kick.

With a half time lead of 22 – 7 Sedbergh then increased the pressure in the 2nd period with a converted try to Charlie Moorby and a penalty from McPhillips. With fifteen minutes remaining RGS Newcastle threw everything they had at the Sedbergh defence with long spells of possession and territory resulting in a consolation try of their own on full time. 

A great victory for a Sedbergh side who are building some strong momentum for the fixtures ahead. 


3rd XV V RGS Newcastle Lost 50 – 3

To complain or moan is not what we do. We need to recognise that we were beaten by a superior side who simply taught us a lesson. We will learn more from this than beating teams by 50 and I hope it will be the catalyst for change.To identify individuals to apportion blame to would not be fair or correct as all boys made errors.We fell off tackles.

RGS played with a good direct tempo and battered us with big runners off 9 and 10. To try and employ tackles hitting the ball was not ever going to work.We threw the ball away. Time and again we managed to make a break and undo our hard work with naive passes. We lacked composure and they capitalised on this.

Rucking was a disaster and we were split by their technique time and again. We didn’t clear at the ruck and we allowed them to turn us over time after time. No one reacted to this, no one led the team or talked to the others to say what was going wrong.

The boys did not give up, their heads didn’t drop and they fought until the finish. I hope this will be a learning experience for us.


4th XV V RGS Newcastle Lost 55 – 5

Oliver Cowen faced an impossible task of leading out a side that featured 9 boys who had limited knowledge of the game and a similarly equipped bench who were undertaking a crash course in the names of the positions for most of the first half. The steady drip feed of replacements to the 3rd’s necessitated some early deployment of these assets, tactically chosen on the basis of whether they had a matching pair of boots.

A narrow pitch assisted considerably in keeping the score down, as did Sedbergh’s cunning use of the chaos defence. This differs from the drift defence in that the players don’t move in a structured manner following the ball carrier but attempt to minimise attacking options by filling the field with randomly moving bodies.

Half time saw SRA apply the pocket concussion recognition tool as a precautionary measure due to the large number of ‘dazed blank or vacant looks’ & ‘confused/not aware of play or events’. 

The memory function tests proved inconclusive, although we finally established Newcastle was in the north east of England.Long delays in recovering converted balls from the nearby dual carriageway ate into the clock as did the fact Sedbergh’s interpretation of an uncontested scrum included players being unaware of the fact that their position included the necessity of participating in them.

The final whistle came as a welcome relief mainly in that there was no need to join Newcastle United fans in A & E. SRA applied the pocket concussion recognition tool on himself as a precaution, the results were again inconclusive.

A road closure resulted in a one hour diversion back through some stunning Yorkshire dales scenery at sunset.  A surprising number of SLR cameras started snapping away out of the windows of the coach, leaving the writer to reflect on that fact that maybe flash cards might be the way forward in preparing the boys for their inevitable moves up to the 3rd XV next week. 


A1 V RGS Newcastle Won 72 – 5

A much better performance albeit against fairly weak opposition. The biggest problem last week had been the side’s inability to retain possession but we improved greatly in this area and were able to string plenty of phases together.

The forwards regularly punched holes around the fringes with Williams, Sanders and Smith to the fore while the backs did damage all over the pitch with Madronal, Heathcote and Stewart all showing themselves to be dangerous finishers


B1 V RGS Newcastle 86 – 26

B1 were too strong for their opponents for the second week running. RGS battled hard up front to score four short range tries of their own but Sedbergh were too powerful and quick for the RGS defenders to prevent Brown from racking up the points.    

Rob Farrar scored five tries but the pick of the scores was Diego Solari Etcheberry’s 60m kick-off return including a neat shimmy to beat the final defender. 


C1 V RGS Newcastle Won 36 – 10 

This was a pleasing win against a Newcastle side with some dangerous attacking runners and a couple of big wins under their belt already this season. We knew we were going to be tested out wide and had prepared our defensive patterns and line speed accordingly.

An early score for RGS in precisely this wide channel looked ominous, but the boys reacted well and redoubled their defensive efforts. As the match wore on our superior intensity and aggression up front gradually wore down our opponents, to the extent that they started falling off tackles.

Tries from Haydon-Wood and Ackroyd, both of whom were influential throughout the game, took us into the lead and then it was one-way traffic. Magee was excellent at fullback until forced off with a shoulder injury.  Most pleasing of all was the consistency of performance shown from 1-15.


C2 V RGS Newcastle Won 60 – 7
With C1 also playing at home C2 fielded a fairly strong side on new field in perfect rugby playing conditions. The boys started well spending a lot of time based in the oppositions half. Solid defence and simple attacking play, utilising depth and width led to the tries flowing in throughout the first half.

The pack worked hard throughout the game and produced regular quick ball for the midfield to distribute wide. This led to well worked tries in the second half with only one slip up in defence, giving RGS Newcastle their only points. 


2nd XV V Newcastle School for Boys Lost 57 – 12

A2 V Newcastle School for Boys Won 22 – 12
Much improved performance by A2 who took the game to the opposition from the first whistle. With the backs looking dangerous with ball in hand and the forwards providing good quick ball the hosts were worthy winners scoring four tries to two. Hausman making his home debut had an outstanding game in the second row. 



Nick Giraud and Chay Turner-Richards came 3rd in national regatta today. Piped to the post on the discard race. Henry Roberts and Peter Fairbank 3rd in plate fleet Great f4 sailing today but frustrating light to zero wind yesterday with only one race sailed.



A team of 4 arrived safely at HMS Bristol on Friday night after only one small transport hiccup.  Bedded down in a mess with all the male competitors surrounded by strange noises and 3 deep bunks, made some of them strangely unsettled – more so, when “call the hands” was piped at 6.30am the next day.

After various briefings all of which pointed to a dearth of wind, the fleet set out to the race area and started the first race which took so long that the “whisky” flag was flown and some boats were finished at only their 2nd rounding of the windward mark.  Happily Chay Turner Richard (P) helming and Nicholas Giraud (E ) were happy with the light wind and ghosted round in 2nd place to the Bangor Grammar School ladies (eventual regatta winners).  

Sailing was put on hold waiting for enough wind to beat the tide which was turning against us, but it never became strong enough although we did try once more. The AP pennant was flown and the fleet returned to shore to abandon racing for the day. The Sedbergh contingent took the opportunity to see “A walk amongst the Tombstones” which all agreed was a very intellectually challenging piece of entertainment. A meal at Dean’s Diner completed the evening’s entertainment and we returned to HMS Bristol.  

Sunday dawned with a massive lie in till 7am but more importantly, some wind which out on the regatta course was blowing a decent force 4 or more. The race officer didn’t hang around and we completed 4 rapid races in succession.  

There was a clear leaderboard with the Bangor ladies winning every race (despite losing their helm overboard in one race!), with Durham 2nd team coming 2nd on most of the other races.  Sedbergh was holding onto 3rd and hoped that there wouldn’t be any discards, but sadly there were and Durham could remove their poor result from the Saturday so Sedbergh were 3rd overall at the end of the day.  Some crews found the conditions challenging and by the end of 4 races there were some retirements.  

Meanwhile Henry Roberts (W) helming our second boat with Peter Fairbank (SH) crewing were sailing a fairly consistent set of races, though their starts let them down on occasions, notably in Saturday’s race.  However their final placings put them in 3rd position in the Plate fleet.

On top of all this the Sunday final race was part of the World record attempt at the World’s largest sailing race “Bart’s Bash”.  So all the competitors will get a world record placing!! And we raised over £160 towards the Andrew Simpson Foundation.  

Captain Welbourne RN (Chief of Staff, FOSNNI)  presented the prizes and commented on the quality of the sailing. All that remained was a long train journey home…… and anticipation of meeting Durham again at the Northern CCF Regatta in 2 weeks time.

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