14 October 2019
1st XI v Austin Friars
On Saturday 12 October, the 1st XI travelled to Carlisle to play against Austin Friars. The girls started well and dominated play but didn’t pose any threat in front of goal. Against the run of play Austin Friars fumbled a goal to go in at half time 1-0 up. The second half was fast, competitive and end to end. Kirkham made piercing attacks but again didn’t really test the keeper. In the last few minutes a ball was thundered into the D and Dani Merrick got her stick on the end of it to score a well-deserved equaliser. A great game of hockey!
KGS 2nd v Austin Friars 2nd
The girls started off well keeping possession of the ball and moving it around the players. The girls worked well as a team keeping the ball for the majority of the first half and battled hard to recover the ball when we lost the ball. Towards the end of the first half the heavens opened and the rain poured down on us, this slowed the girls down as we became tired. During the second half the girls became more confident in each other utilising the space on the pitch, Alisha, Izzy and Eve were able to find the gaps for some outstanding passes. Upfront, Izzy and Alice were making some great runs giving us numerous opportunities to score but unfortunately they were unsuccessful. Austin Friars were given a short corner just as the whistle went. This put the girls under pressure as they didn’t want to concede. However an awesome stop and clear from Scarlett kept the score nil-nil.
U14 XI v Wakefield
The U14s were on the front foot from the first whistle. They dominated play from the start though they didn’t score their first goal until 15 minutes into the first half. After scoring the first two, more goals followed very quickly and KKG were 3-0 up at half time. The second half was much the same. The Kirkham girls continued to dominate and played with real flair. Another three goals followed and KGS gained a super 6-0 victory.
U13 v Wakefield
The U13s made the switch back to 7-a-side for the trip to Wakefield. With a number of players unavailable it gave the whole squad a chance to get some competitive match play under the belts. The U13A team were caught cold early on as Wakefield worked the ball in behind the defence to score at the back post. The team rallied well and created a chances for Evie Mellon, Grace Tomlinson and Eva Berry up front but couldn’t find a way past the Wakefield goalkeeper. A competitive first half ended 1-0 to Wakefield with KGS confident they could get back into the game. Some loose marking and impressive attacking play from Wakefield left KGS with a 5-0 defeat despite their strong first half performance. The U13B team dominated the majority of the game but struggled to finish the chances they created. The game finished as a 1-1 draw thanks to a goal from Evie Melia. KGS attacked and defended well and many of the players learnt a lot from their first competitive game of the season.
U12 v Wakefield
The U12 had two great games away at Wakefield. Both games were very competitive with play from end to end. In the first game great play from Sophie Rawlinson and Lola Cooper created chances through on goal, whilst at the other end, great defending from Poppy Dodds and Natalie Smith kept the home side out. Unfortunately the result didn’t go our way but the team demonstrated real potential and togetherness throughout.
In the other game KGS again created chances with Zea Trend and Libby Langley. The team ran out 2-1 winners with lots of positives to take away from the game.
1st XV v Hartpury College 'A' XV
Kirkham Grammar 1st XV travelled to play Gloucester Academy College, Hartpury for the first for a number years. Hartpury came out firing and tested KGS for the first ten minutes and only desperate defence from Kirkham kept the Gloucester side out. After this initial onslaught, KGS settled and started to play their best rugby of the season. Fly Half Elliot Gourlay opened the scoring after some good off loads from the forwards. This was quickly followed with a great try from winger Keir Gordon. Captain Ethan Caine was next up with a try from a catch and drive, while younger centre Owen Fisher scored from a clever set play to give KGS A 22-0 half time lead. Despite Hartpury scoring next, KGS continued to play well and scored two further tries from Keir Gordon and Full Back Sam Carleton. Final score: KGS 1ST XV 34 Hartpury College 7.
Headmasters 1st XV v Manchester Grammar School 1st XV
Kirkham started slowly and soon found themselves defending their own line following a string of penalties. However, the KGS defence was solid with Sam Parker, Marcus Blake, Tane Bentley and Harvey Berry tackling well. Kirkham finally secured some possession and Ewan McCaulay kicked into space for full back Ben Howarth to chase. The MGS full back struggled to deal with the slippery ball and Howarth managed to regain the ball and feed Harry Swaine to go over in the corner. Strong ball carrying from Louis Fletcher and Elliot Simcock, combined with accurate work at the set piece from Jake Parkinson and Will Andrews allowed Kirkham to keep the score board ticking over. Fletcher and Simcock scored two tries each with Harry Swaine kicking three out of five conversions. Manchester took advantage of their territory in the second half, scoring two tries of their own, however the damage had been done and Kirkham hung on to win the game 31-12.
MANCHESTER GS 0 - KIRKHAM 2nd XV 67
The 2nd XV were in rampant form against Manchester with the forward pack particularly dominant. Ethan Hulme was the stand-out forward scoring three tries and remaining a constant threat throughout the game. He was well supported by his fellow front rowers Matthew Sutcliffe and Captain Rory McKirdy who were also prominent throughout. The forward dominance allowed the backs much freedom as a flowing move from deep in their own half resulted in winger Will Bloomfield scooting in under the posts. The half time score was 28-0 to Kirkham after Harry Thompson crashed over from short range.
Kirkham began the second half with a bang, scoring two quick tries from Thompson again and Harry Thomas who cut a superb line to go over wide out. Harry Morrison, playing his first full game of the season, looked assured as scrum half, kicking well from hand and also landing 7/10 conversions. Kirkham then ran in five more tries through Hulme (2) Zac Gooderham, Rory McKirdy and Tobias Parkinson to complete a convincing victory.
U16 v MGS
Manchester GS 8 v Kirkham 7
As the score suggests, it was a very close game and only decided by the last kick. The Kirkham defence was very strong throughout the match and it was a credit to the team that they restricted Manchester to only one try and one penalty.
The backs also had restricted chances but Joe Medcalfe scored a good try under the posts converted by Tom Hoad. The forwards worked hard throughout the match and were well led by Rhys Fray.
U13s v Manchester Grammar
KGS 10 – 20 MGS
The KGS under 13s made a promising start to the fixture with encouraging handling skills in the tough conditions. After a series of narrow channel drives, Kirkham utilised the space effectively and crossed for the first of the game. Manchester were once again stretched as Kirkham followed a similar pattern in attack, with Firth falling just short of the line. The latter stages of the first half brought a good response from the visitors, with lengthy periods of possession. Tenacious defence from the Kirkham outfit showed impressive resilience from the home side, but ultimately the possession of Manchester led to 2 tries in quick succession.
The second half brought an encouraging response from KGS, who dominated possession and moved the ball with fluidity between backs and forwards, thanks to promising interplay between Shuttleworth and Ribchester. Guthrie asked questions with his deft kicking and Mathauda found success in the wider channels. A new line up in the pack led to a series of strong drives in the scrum, but 2 line breaks from Manchester led to their 3rd and 4th tries of the day. With the game in the balance, Kirkham responded well with some slick passing of their own, stretching the defence and leading to a score in the corner. Regrettably, the KGS side left it too late for a resurgence to victory, but nonetheless the side continue to improve and look a well organised side as they move towards the half term break.