29 November 2022
Last week, thirty pupils represented KGS across all age groups in a swimming gala at Hutton Grammar School and came out with a convincing win. There were some excellent individual wins in their events from Grace Tushingham, Yasmin Winstanley, James Wileman, Harriet Mackenzie, Dylan Burrows, Aimee Harling, Seth Gregson, Gordon Ballantyne, Scarlet Tushingham, Jack Wilsdon, and Matthew Wright, as well as several relay victories across the age groups.
This is the school`s third gala of the term which has seen the squad go from strength to strength and remain unbeaten so far.
1st XV v Ballymena Academy
The 1st XV faced a talented Ballymena Academy side who were visiting KGS for the first time. The Northern Ireland team brought with them a good playing record and looked confident in their pre-match preparations. However, it was Kirkham who started the stronger, and very quickly opened the scoring from a driving lineout with vice-captain, Wills Austin crashing over. Ollie Davies converted from the touchline to give KGS a 7-0 lead. Ballymena immediately fought back showing their talent and drew level with a try of their own, silencing the Kirkham crowd. This looked to be a real tough fixture for the home side but the next 20 minutes were to show why KGS are such a difficult side to beat at home. Fly half, Ollie Davies was in outstanding form as he pulled the strings from all directions, firstly putting centre, James Stacey into space to show his talent in scoring a fine try and once again gaining the lead. Davies also kicked well as he used the wind to turn Ballymena and force them into errors. A well-constructed move allowed him to find a pass to put winger, Archie Dowds in for a try in the corner. Kirkham continued to force the pass and once again Ollie Davies found the perfect pass to put second row, Henry Whitton through a hole in the Ballymena defence for another try. Just before half time Davies again opened the opposition defence with a sublime dummy and fed second row, James Appleton for another score and a 35-7 lead. Ballymena showed great determination in the second half to respond in dogged fashion and gain a try of their own and made KGS fight for everything, Going into the last 20 minutes of the game, KGS led 35-12 but with Ballymena having to force the play too much, Kirkham capitalized on the mistakes of the opposition and Full Back, Sam Lewtas and winger, Archie Dowds were rewarded with further tries. This allowed KGS to run out worthy 49-12 winners against very talented opposition.
2nd XV v Merchant Taylors (pictured above top)
Kirkham started slowly with Merchants dominating the territory in the opening minutes. Merchant Taylors scored an impressive catch and drive lineout from twenty metres out, however this seemed to give the Kirkham side the awakening that they needed. Kirkham started to put together some excellent attacking rugby on the back of a solid piece. Kirkham scored four tries in the first half through Jayrese Simms, Sydney Eenhoorn, James Sutcliffe and Aiden Hayward. Archie Barbour converted two making the half time score 24-7 to Kirkham.
In the second half, Merchant's secured more ball for themselves but could not breakdown the Kirkham defence. The Kirkham back row comprising of Wills Gut, George Atherton and James Sutcliffe all tackled well and made life difficult for the opposition at the breakdown. Vinny Durcan carried well in the centre, second row, Finlay Shawcross-Clough was excellent in the lineout and prop, Jack Chapman looking like he was starting to come back into form. Fly half, Archie Barbour scored the only points of the second half making the final score 31-7 to Kirkham.
U15s v Merchant Taylors
The game was fast paced and energetic but Kirkham got on the scoreboard early doors through Will Kelso with Jack Wilsdon converting. The first half concluded with Will Kelso scoring another try and Josh Sumner running in another hat-trick. Jack Wilsdon also kicked 3 more conversions (33-0). Due to injury, both teams went down to 14 players which was heavily competitive.
The second half brought more excellent tries through Will De Klerk, Harry Marsh and Stan Collinson with Cieran Milligan converting one. Merchants were able to get over the whitewash twice in the second half.
Thank you to Merchant Taylors for the well spirited game, also the parents who came to support both sets of players and to the U15s who were not involved in the game but came to support their team.