Friday 7 September: 1st XV KGS v Llandovery College
After a successful tour of New Zealand and a promising pre-season, Kirkham Grammar School 1st XV opened their season against renowned top Welsh Rugby School, Llandovery College . New Captain Daniel Kelly was very influential in his team’s performance and a number of points. However, star of the show was Vice-Captain Evan Powell who scored a handful of tries, as did powerful winger Tom Giles and Kirkham played some excellent rugby to comfortably beat Llandovery. Key to the success was the solid scrum with Cam Wilkinson and Vittorio Bianchin in good form and some powerful running from back row forwards Ollie Leatherbarrow and Ethan Caine. After this positive start, Kirkham now look forward to some huge encounters against some top schools this season.
Saturday 8 September: Headmaster’s 2nd XV KGS v Crossley Heath
GS WON 24 -12
The 2nd XV overcame a highly combative Crossley Heath side in appalling conditions scoring four tries in the process. Will Gregory opened the scoring after a quick tap penalty to give Kirkham a 7-0 lead. However, for the rest of the half, the game became a little stop/start as the conditions put paid to any flowing rugby. The Kirkham line-out functioned well, considering the slippery ball, which allowed Kirkham some dominance, with the back three of Spence, Callow and Simcock looking threatening. Kirkham scored again before half-time through Cruickshanks to make the score 12-0.
The second period saw the try of the game as Gregory, from a quick tap on the 22, fed Harrison Ross who with a perfectly timed pass, released Spence who ghosted past the last defender with ease from 50 metres out. The last Kirkham try by Spence made it look as though the hosts would surge further ahead, however two sin bins in quick succession meant Kirkham went down to 13 men. This proved costly and although Kirkham defended resolutely, two tries resulted in the lack of numbers in defence. Overall a superb result for the Headmaster`s XV who showed much promise and certainly no little talent.
Saturday 8 September: KGS U15 v Crossley Heath
Kirkham scored two early tries through Tobias Parkinson and Joseph Medcalfe, both successfully converted by Vice-Captain Aaron Pope. Crossley Heath worked hard in defence to slow down the KGS free flowing attack and eventually secured a penalty for holding on. This was kicked into the corner and backed up with an effective catch and drive at the lineout. Shortly before half time Tobias Parkinson crossed the line for his second try and the half ended 19-7 to Kirkham.
Kirkham dominated possession in the second half and scored six further tries. Crossley Heath occasionally caused trouble for Kirkham around the breakdown however, they never really posed a threat to the KGS defence. Try scorers in the second half were; Jake Merrick (2), Archie Dowds, Tobias Parkinson, Yande Nkonge and Aaron Pope. Pope also successfully converted five of the second half tries.
Saturday 8 September: KGS U14 v Crossley Heath
The U14s travelled to Crossley Heath last Saturday and came out of the blocks quickly. However, it was Crossley Heath who took the lead with a well worked try.
Credit to the U14s who showed excellent resilience and hit straight back with James Sutcliffe burrowing down the blindside to score. Read added an excellent conversion to take the lead 7-5. Straight from the kick off, Aiden Hayward scored an excellent individual try beating 3 players and he added a second try after some excellent handling from Charlie Read and Tom Shuttleworth to take a half time lead of 19-5.
Crossley Heath came back strongly in the second half but excellent defence and work at the breakdown turnovers by Ioan Condon and Josh Stirrup saw Hayward put away again to complete his hat trick just after half time. The home side refused to lie down and scored a couple of tries but Kirkham’s superior fitness told in the last third with captain of the day Matthew Wright and Hayward completing the scoring.
Next week, the U14s travel to Wirral for what is always a tough fixture.
Saturday 8 September
KGS 1st XI v Grange
The 1st XI played their first game of the season away at Grange on Saturday. After losing so many Upper VI girls at the end of the summer, this was a very young and completely new team. The game was end to end with chances for both teams. The commitment, work rate and atmosphere on the pitch was terrific throughout and it is exciting to see so much potential in this squad. Although we were unfortunate to lose 1-0 it has given us an extremely positive starting point.
KGS U14 v Grange
The U14s were certainly out to impress in their first game of the season. From the first whistle they took total control of the game, working the ball around to create space up front to attack. The first goal came early in the first half after a great run from Captain Dani Merrick setting Talia Armstead through on goal, a well saved shot resulted in Natasha Hartley-Smith picking up the rebound and slotting the ball away. The team continued to press with some impressive play in the midfield, great attacking play from Ella McDonald resulted in a superb goal from Talia Armstead. A further three goals were converting leaving the final score at 5-0 at the final whistle. A fantastic all round performance from a very talented U14 squad.
KGS U13 v Grange
The U13s enjoyed an excellent start to the season as they beat the Grange 1-0. An end to end first half ended 0-0 with Anya Jackson making some excellent saves in goal and the Kirkham defence tackling and marking well. Emily Marsh and Lily Harrison marshalled the defence and were well supported by Rebecca Fisher and Millie Homan with Martha Millar shielding well in front of the defence. At the other end, Maisie Bailey and Jasmine Schofield both had good chances after excellent work in midfield by Jess Cole, Hennie Thompson and Rachel Watson.
In the second half, Kirkham's persistence and determination paid off. Excellent play from Maisie Bailey and Sophie Birchall-Farr created space on the left and found Alicia Threlfall unmarked in the D before Jess Cole managed to force the ball past the Grange goalkeeper. The end to end nature of the game continued with both teams having good chances but ultimately Kirkham came out on top to win 1-0 in their first ever 11 a side game.
Due to a change in The Grange’s team availability, it allowed KGS U15s to play against KGS 2nd XI this weekend for an in house friendly fixture.
Both teams displayed an impressive standard of hockey and showed a great level of potential for the up and coming season. The U15s attacked well, linking play and working together as a unit.
For a first performance a full side, the 2nd XI demonstrated some great defensive hockey and worked very well together as a team.
The game ended 0-0 with both teams creating opportunities; shots and short corners. Both teams are looking forward to their next game in the following week and are excited for the first game of the season!