9 October 2023
KGS U14 Hockey National Cup second round match v AKS
On Thursday 5 October, Kirkham Grammar School U14 hockey girls (pictured above) faced AKS in round two of the National Cup. The game showcased a clear contrast in KGS girls' performance. After the first half ended goalless, the halftime break revitalised the KGS Girls, who emerged with renewed determination and a transformed approach. Their play became smoother and more cohesive. Osborne's goal served as a turning point, sparking a change in their gameplay and mind-set towards the game. KGS girls continued their momentum and capitalised on a short corner with a well-executed goal by Melling, demonstrating excellent set-piece execution. This added goal further boosted their confidence and solidified their lead. The second half witnessed a remarkable transformation in the KGS girls' performance, with improved teamwork and communication. They maintained their lead, securing a hard-fought victory to finish the game with a 2-0 win.
Kirkham Grammar School 2nd XV v Sedbergh
On Wednesday 4 October, Kirkham Grammar School 2nd XV took on Sedbergh, matches that always prove to be a great challenge for KGS. Sedbergh opened the scoring with a few quick tries, catching the hosts off guard at how fast the browns play the game. Kirkham managed to settle into the pace of the game, showing some brilliant defence, taking Sedbergh past 10 phases and then coming up with the penalty. Having the pressure relieved for only a moment as a missed kick to touch let Sedbergh back on the offensive and their outside back proving too strong and going over for more tries. In the second half, KGS played into a strong wind which only made it harder to get out of their own half. When they did, KGS powered over with a strong maul which brought a little energy back to the boys. The heart and desire never faulted from the hosts however they were unable to pull back the deficit and the game finished 21-36 to Sedbergh.
Friday 6 October
Kirkham Grammar School 1st XV v Finborough School 1st XV
Kirkham Grammar School 1st XV (pictured right) met Finborough School at Leicester Forrest RUFC, a venue half way between each school. Both schools have been excited about this new fixture on the calendar and with Finborough College reaching the semi-finals of the National Cup last season, and Kirkham Grammar School also having a very successful campaign, it was always going to be a good test for both sides.
In the first half, Finborough School tried to kick long and keep KGS under pressure due to Kirkham playing into a strong wind. Kirkham did extremely well in the conditions with Rhys Hulse returning kicks and the Kirkham kick chase eating up the space in front of them. Kirkham were solid in defence, making low tackles and causing pressure at the breakdown. Eventually Kirkham got a penalty and opted to kick to the corner and try the catch and drive. This plan paid off and Kirkham went into half time 5-0 up after hooker, Jack Austin, scored at the back of the maul.
Kirkham had the wind in the second half and soon established good field position in the Finborough half. Another penalty came Kirkham's way and it was again the catch and drive from the lineout that got Kirkham's second score. This time Oscar Considine putting the ball down over the line and Ollie Davies adding the conversion.
However, Finborough came back after Kirkham gave a succession of penalties away, allowing Finborough to progress up the field. They eventually scored from a pick and go. A few minutes later, they exploited space in the back field and a well weighted kick saw them chase and score a second try. This took the game to 12-12.
Kirkham responded well from the restart with a powerful carry from centre, Alex Smith, followed by some slick handling from Jos Gilmore to the wider channels and Ollie Cook slid over in the corner. Soon after, Kirkham were awarded a penalty just inside the opposition half and vice-captain, Ollie Davies, stepped up to kick three points from about 48 meters. This took the score to 22-12. Kirkham had finally cracked this tough Finborough side and from the next restart showed the attacking rugby they are capable of. Kirkham used the full width of the pitch and following six phases of play, left winger, Sebi Krippner, ran in to score Kirkham's final try. Final score 27-12 to Kirkham.
Kirkham Grammar School U16s v Finborough School
Kirkham Grammar School U16s (pictured left) travelled alongside the 1st XV to Leicester Forest Rugby Club to face Finborough School in their first meeting. KGS played some fast flowing rugby on the AGP and put lots of pressure on the Finborough defence. They were able to get through via Freddie Stott, converted successfully by Jack Wilsdon. Finborough attacked back with some long range kicking which put Kirkham under the cosh. Kirkham were able to go over the whitewash twice more before half time, one through Tom Carey, which was converted by Jack Wilsdon, and the other through Antonio Camps Monjardino De Azevedo Soares which was unconverted. The second half brought more great rugby from both sides. Callum Sumner was able to score to go 5m out, which was converted by Jack Wilsdon. Finborough didn't give up and were able to get over the whitewash for a consolation try. Final score 26-5 to Kirkham.
Saturday 7 October
KGS U12s v Manchester Grammar School
Kirkham Grammar School U12A welcomed Manchester Grammar School to Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Club. Perfect conditions on the Astro turf pitch allowed for lots of running, fast paced rugby. KGS started off strong with three quick tries before half time. The boys tackled well and ran the ball with determination. However, they struggled to do the same in the second half. Manchester's physical runners pierced the Kirkham defence on several occasions and eventually led to two impressive tries. In a very tight finish the KGS boys managed to keep the visitors from scoring with some last line strong defence. A good result for Kirkham Grammar School First Year rugby boys. Final result 15-10.
Kirkham Grammar School U12B also faced Manchester Grammar school at the same venue. The team played very well and scored within 3 minutes of the start following an excellent solo run from Bobby Peters. The match also saw distinguished performances from Carlucci and Cole who both scored two tries each. Final score 55-15 to KGS.
KGS U13s v Manchester Grammar School
Kirkham Grammar School U13s were comfortable winners against a Manchester Grammar School team with several players who were new to the game, this allowed Kirkham to field a larger squad than normal. Many fringe players showed up extremely well in Charlie Oliver, Ayo Fawora and Ben Brownlee, who looked so assured under the high ball. Other notable performances came from Beau Ince and Oliver Cooke (both with try hat-tricks) who ran elusively and often brought others into the game after some searing breaks. Kirkham however did not have all their own way as Manchester scored three unanswered tries in a 10 minute period where Kirkham came under some pressure. There were try braces from Oliver Walker-Bassham, Jack Smith and Hamish Gilchrist as Kirkham opened up in the second half, winning by 50-15.
KGS U14s v Manchester Grammar School
Kirkham Grammar School U14s travelled to a warm Manchester Grammar School on Saturday and put in a strong performance. The previous two weeks have seen slow starts for the U14 squad however, this week saw a Kirkham side on the front foot. After some good work at the breakdown from Jonny Wright, KGS set up a strong lineout drive, resulting in Henry Grigg burrowing over from short range. MGS fought back strongly but the KGS defence was strong and they countered well resulting in Louis Gildea diving in the corner. The second half saw Kirkham hit their flow well with some excellent ball movement, along with some good support leading to tries for Leo Paraskeva and Jack Gillett. MGS refused to lie down and during a momentary lapse in concentration, snook over to make it 20-7 with 10 minutes to play. Kirkham regathered their composure to score two excellent tries for Oli Hartley-Pagnillo and Captain, Seb Clarke, both converted by Hartley-Pagnillo, to close the game at 34-7 to Kirkham Grammar School.
KGS U15s v Lawrence Sheriff School and Manchester Grammar School
Kirkham Grammar School U15s have had a tough injury ravaged start to the season, with four defeats, but with the return of some players, and the addition of some keen U14 players and lots of hard work on the training field, their efforts have resulted in two wins. The first on Thursday afternoon was against the touring Lawrence Sheriff School from Rugby and on Saturday away at Manchester Grammar School.
KGS started with real purpose against Lawrence Sheriff allowing Dawson-Gerrard to power over for two early scores. The opposition No 8, who was a force in defence and attack all afternoon, bustled over just before half time to make it 12-5 at the break. The second half saw further scores from U14 Gillett and the evolving Mati. Two conversions from Yates concluded the KGS scoring. Lawrence Sheriff battled to the end and got over for two further scores late in the game, but Kirkham came away with a well-deserved 24-15 win.
On Saturday, a squad bolstered with the return of Shaw, Black and Uphill from injury and including four U14s, travelled to Manchester Grammar School full of confidence. Their resolve was tested with the MGS right winger going in the corner after ten minutes, but within minutes scrum half Ball charged down a kick in the MGS 22 and followed up to score with Yates converting. The MGS pacey and well organised backs again created space on the right to score and take the lead again 10-7. The boys stuck to the game plan with an energy and work rate not yet seen this season, and after strong carries from Clarke and Hill, Captain, Stafford, who led from the front throughout, surged through a gap to score in the left corner, Yates adding the extras. The half closed with the back-to-form Parkinson claiming a turnover and the quick-thinking Ball and Twose feeding centre, Yates, who stepped over before converting again to give KGS a deserved 21-10 half time lead. The second half started with Stafford claiming the excellent restart from Yates, who fed Shaw whose turn of speed and neat footwork saw him go under the posts. Within minutes it was Shaw again, after excellent hands from the backs, who this time scored wide on the left with Yates converting. MGS came back again with their strong running back row forward going over under the posts. Kirkham scored next with a defensive line out move from the training ground resulting in a KGS penalty. Ball, with a quick tap, beat several defenders before feeding the alert Shaw who scored wide on the right this time to claim his hat trick. The final score came from player of the match, Mati, who had been a thorn in the MGS side all game both in defence and attack. He was fed an exquisite pass from Davies on the half way before dancing round several defenders and going over. Yates completed a 100% strike rate from the tee by knocking the conversion over to complete the scoring giving KGS a 49-22 win. Special mention must go to the four U14s for stepping up to play for the U15s; Addison, Wilsdon, Smith, and McNamee-Sloggett all made significant contributions in the game.
Headmaster's 1st XV v Manchester Grammar School
Kirkham Grammar School's Headmasters 1st XV (pictured right) played a challenging game against Manchester Grammar School. Kirkham opened the match with a jinking run from fly half, Archie Iddon, beating five would be MGS defenders. Charlie Bray was in support and managed to finish it off. Another couple of Kirkham tries ensued, one by Cam Blamey and another classic Luke Denn try showing his individual power, brushing off defenders for fun. Alfie Guthrie finished off the scoring to leave the half time score 26-0. MGS, who had regrouped at half time, came out strong scoring two quick tries which but put KGS under some pressure. Kirkham managed to weather the storm and got back on top with a few substitutions adding to the energy and physicality. Taran Mathauder was put in space a few times due to some great attacking flow created by the new centres and eventually it went back to the other wing for Luca Mihell to score. Sam Littler dotted down having a solid game again at hooker and Jasper Johnson, who has been working hard to get back from injury, managed to finish off the scoring leaving the final score 43-14.
Lancashire Thunder Academy Selection
Congratulations and well done to Second Year pupil, Juliette (pictured left), who has been selected for the Lancashire Thunder Academy for the 2023-24 season.
Blackpool Netball Club Players' Player for 2022-23 season
Congratulations to Third Year pupil, Gracie (pictured above, far left), who recently received the 2022-23 players' player award from Blackpool Netball Club. The coach described her as the 'revelation' and multi-talented with being able to play effectively in several positions. Gracie received her award from English international netball player, Eleanor Cardwell, who plays in goal attack and goal shooter for England.
Ralph's run for charity!
Kirkham Grammar School J1 pupil, Ralph (pictured above right), has raised £800 for the Max Ward Foundation by running 1 mile across Rochdale. Well done, Ralph!
U11 AJIS Football tournament at The King's School, Chester
On Friday 6 October, Kirkham Grammar School J4 boys (pictured left) took part in the first round of the U11 AJIS Football tournament at The King's School, Chester. They played three matches during the afternoon, narrowly losing 2-1 to Stockport Grammar, beating AKS 2-0 and losing to the eventual group stage winners, The King's School, Chester, 5-0. KGS will now go through to the plate finals at a future date. Well played to all the boys!