10 February 2022

Image of KGS U14 boys progress to Lancashire Cup Rugby Final

KGS U14s Lancashire Cup Rugby Semi-Final 

Kirkham Grammar School U14s progressed through to the Lancashire Cup Final after a tough semi-final against Lancaster Royal Grammar School.

Prior to this semi-final match, the boys had played in two challenging matches’ just days before.

The previous Thursday saw a squad of 23 boys take on a strong Hutton Grammar side and with tries from Carey 2, Blackburn 2, Bray, Sumner, Milligan and Prior, the team were victorious. Then on Saturday, travelling to Audenshaw with a depleted squad, they went two scores behind after 15 minutes. A delay to the game, due to an injury to the KGS captain, only allowed a final 15 minutes to be played. This group of boys, not for the first time this season, showed great character and resolve. Excellent game management from Gildea leading to tries from Musson and Singleton, and a well struck Gildea conversion ensured they returned home with a creditable 12 all draw.

The semi- final match on Monday afternoon in Lancaster with driving rain on a pitch that can only be described as a quagmire, and in conditions more akin to the battle of the Somme, than a game of rugby, Captain, Edwards opted to play into the wind. With the boys still adjusting to the conditions, they lost possession in their own 22 allowing Lancaster to take an early 5-point lead. Kirkham soon worked out that their usual free-flowing game was not an option, so rolled their sleeves up and started to inch up the field. Strong running from Bray, Blackburn, Prior, Stott, Musson and Wilsdon culminated in number 8, Edwards, muscling his way over for a try.

The rest of the half was largely played out in the Kirkham 22. A 'backs to the wall' defensive effort with Chapman, Sumner and Crompton to the fore and Collinson at full back dealing with several high balls in the swirling wind, calmly enabled Kirkham to get to half time 5-5.

KGS now with the wind (and slope) in their favour looked to take control, but a strong start from Lancaster and a string of penalties resulted in the opposition again taking the lead with a converted try. The KGS replacements Kelso, Singleton and Graham brought fresh legs and energy to the fray and with Bray's booming kicks Lancaster were pinned in their own half. Kelso, on his long-awaited return from injury, powered down the left, beating several defenders before scoring ten metres in from the touchline. Somehow Bray managed to strike the ball out of the mud through the posts to bring the scores level. Lancaster again came back, but strong defensive work in midfield from Gildea, Crompton, Kelso, Carey, Davies and Edwards snuffed out any threat.

Another wind assisted howitzer to the corner from Bray earned Kirkham field position. Kirkham kept the ball through several phases with Prior, Bray, Kelso and Blackburn all coming close, before Edwards, who led from the front from start to finish, powered his way over to take the lead for the first time with just 4 minutes remaining. Lancaster again came back strongly, but the Kirkham spirit couldn't be broken. KGS U14s now look forward to the Lancashire Cup Final against Stonyhurst College.

Over the five days, 26 boys represented the school, which highlights the strength in depth of this year group. Every single player represented the school with pride and commitment - the cup final is just reward for the hard work and desire to improve from the whole squad.


Tags: Sports 2021-2022