7 November 2023

Image of Kirkham Grammar School claim maiden St Joseph's College National Schools Rugby Festival title

Kirkham Grammar School claimed a maiden St Joseph's College National Schools Rugby Festival title in dramatic fashion as an Ollie Davies drop goal earned victory for his side in the final seconds of the final which finished 8-7 against RGS High Wycombe. 

It was the perfect ending for Kirkham Grammar School after an incredible weekend in Suffolk at this prestigious annual rugby festival. The event saw schools from across the country produce an abundance of top quality rugby, with thousands of spectators flocking to St Joseph's College to witness something special. 

In Kirkham Grammar School, they witnessed a side that had given everything in pursuit of this title. They had come close before, a final in their debut season in 2019 and competitive runs in 2021 and 2022. The young KGS side of 2022 won the Sedbergh 10s in March as they matured, and now as a more Upper Sixth based side they added this St Joseph's Festival title, and likely think ahead now to a charge at the Continental Tyres Schools Cup, a tournament KGS came come close to winning at the 2022 Twickenham Final.

Kirkham Grammar School had been the talk of the touchlines from Day 1, but in this run they had to dig deep. Having finished Day 1 top of the group with wins against RGS High Wycombe (13-5), Cheltenham College (24-7) and Wellington College (25-0), KGS faced their 2022 National Schools' Cup Final opponents, Trinity College, in the quarter-final on Day 2. KGS produced a strong performance to overcome Trinity 7-0 to proceed to the semi-final against an equally strong Millfield School side. With full time ending in a draw (17-17), a penalty shootout would determine which side would go forward to the trophy final. Kirkham held their nerve and, a missed penalty from Millfield and 100% on the spot for KGS, saw them face RGS High Wycombe in the final.   

In the final, Kirkham Grammar School scored first to take a 5-0 lead. Just before half time, RGS High Wycombe scored and converted to take the lead 5-7. Just as it looked like RGS would hold on, cue Ollie Davies, with arguably one of the most dramatic St Joseph's Festival climaxes there has been. His drop goal in the final 30 seconds of the match saw Kirkham Grammar School crowned St Joseph's College Rugby Festival 2023 Trophy Champions.

Kirkham Grammar School fly half and England U18 player, Ollie Davies' heroics won him 'Player of the Tournament' and he joins a collection of greats immortalised on the St Joseph's College Festival honours list, including Marcus Smith and Andy Goode being other notable fly halves to have won the award. Ollie was the first to acknowledge that this victory was all about the team though.

A truly fantastic whole team performance and achievement!

Tags: Sports Sixth Form 2023-2024 Senior School