With the rugby season well and truly underway we travelled to Quinton House full of anticipation after last week’s win against Asfhold. We knew we still had areas to improve on though and the game was never going to be easy.
We started sloppily with some missed tackles and went behind early. Sadly, we never recovered and poor mistakes in important areas and at crucial times meant we couldn’t stop conceding tries. When we were on the attack we showed promise but couldn’t quite string that final pass together or break through the defensive line. We did get on the score sheet when Findlay Hovell reacted quickest to a loose ball and pounced to score but our attacks were far too infrequent.
More missed tackles meant the score was mounting higher but one highlight did come when Elijah Martey picked up and ball and used his pace to break through Quinton House’s defences to score. Soon after Kwaku Malanda picked up his first try of the season, running home into the corner. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to mount a comeback and we ended a tough game with a 50-15 defeat.
Our next fixtures come on October 11th as we host our annual rugby festival, plenty of practise will be taking place between now and then to ensure our ‘A game’ is present then.
The Grove: 15
F. Hovell, E. Martey, K. Malanda
Quinton House School: 50
Man of the Match: Findlay Hovell
On Tuesday 18th September the Under 9 Girls travelled to Ashfold School for their first fixture of the season. It was a tournament against 5 other schools. The girls were very excited about this.
Our first match was against Beachborough School, and with the games being only seven minutes long, they were fast and furious. We defended brilliantly, and Mikayla Martey showed excellent defending skills, stopping the ball dead and clearing out to the side. The match finished 0-0, we were very close however, to scoring in the last 30 seconds of the match.
This got us ready for the match against Manor Prep School. Again it was fast and furious, but after 5 minutes, we gained good possession and managed to score an amazing opening goal, Well Done Schechinah Fundira, the first goal of the season. We kept possession well, and in the final minutes of the game we scored again! Alexa O’Kane! 2-0 the final Score.
The third match of the game was against Chandlings. The girls passed well out on to the wings, making loads of space. We managed to score our first goal within 30 seconds. This was looking positive for us, and we were bringing in some great tackles. However, in the last 30 seconds of the match, we conceded a goal. The final score 1-1.
For our fourth match of the tournament, we managed to defend well against Swanbourne House, however, we conceded a goal within the first two minutes of the game. The final Score 1-0 to Swanbourne.
Our final game against Ashfold School was the most fast and furious match of the tournament, we were against a very skilled and well practiced team, plus we were tired after some amazing game play. We fought, but ended up losing 2-0.
Altogether, our defence was strong, and the tournament set us up well for future matches in the season.
Well Done Girls!
The Grove: 0
Beachborough School: 0
The Grove: 2
S Fundira, A. O'Kane
Manor Prep School: 0
The Grove: 1
The Grove: 0
Swanbourne House: 1
The Grove: 0
Ashfold School: 2
The Grove vs Akeley Wood School
After only two practise sessions our Colts Boys travelled to Akeley Wood for two matches against our hosts and then Ashfold.
We started well with Elijah Martey running in a superb solo try, showing his blistering pace. The game then ebbed and flowed with the action quickly moving from one end to another. The Grove were unable to convert their chances on a regular enough basis and weren’t as clinical as our opponents. Another try for Elijah made it close but we sadly lost, 10-20.
The Grove: 10
E. Martey (2)
Akeley Wood School: 20
Man of the Match: Elijah Martey
The Grove vs Ashfold School
Going into our second match we knew the areas to improve on; keeping our defence wide, ensuring we were quick to ruck and secure the ball and finally get the ball to the wide areas of the pitch as quickly as possible.
An incredible try from Henry Lorenz opened the scoring, as he danced his way through the Ashfold defence. Soon after Ryan Kimani added to the scoreline, ploughing his way through the defence with great power. Our opposition hit back with tries of their own and it became a tense affair with both teams fighting for the win. A great piece of play from Giannis Rigas inspired his teammates; whilst rucking Giannis ripped the ball from his opponent and had sights only for the try line, dodging many tackles on his way to scoring. Elijah and Henry both showed their pace and trickery again scoring, but with Ashfold also scoring again it was a close finish with The Grove just holding on for a thrilling 35-25 victory.
All in all the boys can be delighted with their afternoons efforts, there are still areas to work on but it was extremely pleasing to see such a high standard of performance so early in the season.
The Grove: 35
H. Lorenz (2), R. Kimani (2), E Martey (2), G Rigas
Ashfold School: 25
Man of the Match: Ryan Kimani
This was a key match to see if the team had learnt lessons from the previous week and certainly the focus was there in the warm-up with consistency and accuracy in throwing and catching.
Amaya Saiz-Arthur was Captain for the game and after losing the toss, led the team into bat. Unfortunately, our batting was a little disappointing with the girls seeming to fall apart, making unnecessary runs and finding themselves stumped out very early on in the innings. Amaya was particularly unlucky with a great hit that was caught just beyond first post.
Our first innings in the field favoured a little better with Amaya leading by example with some confident decisions and accurate throwing. Hana Iguchi bowled really well with very few ‘no balls’ delivered and Eve Bailey threw accurately to both bowler and second post as our backstop. Quinton had a great 1st innings in bat and scored some well deserved rounders.
The 2nd innings seemed to continue with a lack of concentration from The Grove and last minute decision making meant that key players found themselves stumped out very early on. Quinton grew in confidence in their 2nd batting innings as more players were making contact with the ball and putting The Grove under pressure. Hana continued to bowl extremely well and there were some moments of very good fielding by the rest of the team. Unfortunately, the little mistakes and errors of judgement resulted in a lead that The Grove just couldn’t chase.
The Grove: 6
Quinton House School: 10
Player of the Match: Amaya Saiz-Arthur
The final match of the season started well for The Grove as Stellan Chinnappa won the toss and elected to bowl first. It was an overcast afternoon and he clearly wanted to take advantage of the excellent bowling conditions.
The bowlers did do well early on and restricted Quinton House to a modest total off the first 6 overs. However, with a change of pair Quinton House began to score freely, but with wickets to Wilfred Clark and Findlay Hovell the scoring rate was dragged back.
The Grove continued to press hard for wickets, however a high number of wides and no-balls were all adding up to a good total for Quinton House. Leon Gunesekara and Kwaku Malanda did bowl tightly, but the final total for Quinton House of 91/5 was a good one.
In reply The Grove did not start well. We lost wickets at regular intervals and simply could not find the boundary due to some tight bowling from Quinton House. Alexander Chan and Gbolahan Asade did a good job rebuilding the innings without the loss of any further wickets, however the final pair simply ran out of balls to score from and could not move closer to the required total.
Unfortunately, The Grove could not chase down a very competitive score and finished on 61/4. Although the score line does favour Quinton House, the boys did improve from the previous matches and hopefully will be better for the experiences next summer.
A special thanks to all the parents who came out to support the team in the final match of the cricket season.
The Grove: 61/4
Quinton House School: 91/5
Man of the Match: Stellan Chinnappa
After a scorching hot week of weather there was a welcomed respite with some cloud and a nice breeze for our fixture against Thornton. Iraa Kulkarni made her debut as captain and enjoyed the experience of leading the team. After winning the coin toss The Grove chose to field first and we had a very good start to the game, communicating well and keeping the rounders scored by Thornton to a minimum. Hana Iguchi was consistently good with her bowling and the partnership between bowler and backstop was working well.
When it was our turn to bat we managed a whole innings with no-one out with the girls only making calculated risks when running. Amaya Saiz-Arthur was superb scoring a rounder with every ball bowled to her, striking the ball with good direction and distance. After the first innings there was one and a half rounders separating the two teams.
The 2nd innings saw a lack of concentration from The Grove and our fielding started to unravel with silly mistakes being made. It was a real shame after the confident start in the first innings. Unfortunately, we found ourselves with a lot of rounders to chase which in the end became impossible. Amaya batted very well again and scored on every ball and others in the team were making contact but just unable to execute any distance to have a chance of scoring.
A great game played by both teams and some excellent sporting behaviour by both.
Well done girls.
The Grove: 12
Thornton College: 16
Player of the Match: Hana Iguchi
On the 20th June, the U9 girls had a rounders fixture away against Ashfold. Due to a few absences, the team was slightly mixed, with Dana Alsallal, Arianna Vieceli Fitch, Chibugom Iwuagwu, Sophie Hartley-Wiley and Thea-Donya Kassaei helping us out.
In the first innings, the Grove managed to score three rounders in total, with Amaya and Eve Bailey scoring a two half rounders each and the rest scored from no balls. Ashfold School on the other hand, managed to score five rounders, with all of their points earned from batting, since Amaya was extremely consistent with her bowling and gave away no points for no balls.
In the second innings, the Grove played well with some excellent fielding. However, Ashfold continued to be accurate with their batting and managed to accumulate many points through half rounders. The score of the second innings was 3 ½ to Grove and 7 ½ to Ashfold, therefore the final score overall was Ashfold – 12 ½ , Grove – 6 ½.
Again, this was a lovely fixture with some great individual performances. In particular, Eve Bailey as captain, played brilliantly as backstop, she demonstrated excellent reaction skills and she was very accurate with her throwing to second post. Well done to all involved.
The Grove: 6½
Ashfold School: 12½
Player of the Match: Eve Bailey
On Tuesday 20th June, the Under 8 Girls played their final rounders fixture of the season at Ashfold. It was one of the hottest June days on record, and they were very hot and sticky, but very excited to be there. The Grove chose to bat first, this was good as they could see the fielding skills of the other team. It took a few balls for us to warm up, but we finally started taking more risks even though we were not hitting the ball much. There was also a huge improvement in the girls watching the game whilst they were batting. Hannah Siddall scored the only rounder of the innings by hitting the ball, sending the fielders into a panic and she managed to get all the way around. We went in to field feeling very positive, and we produced some excellent fielding with some good catches, managing to get 4 Ashfold players out.
The second innings was a lot more positive. We had now warmed up, we knew the level of the fielders, and we played excellently. Sending the Ashfold fielding team into a panic by taking more risks. We also had good hits from Alice Alder and Alexa O’Kane, scoring 3 and a half rounders between them in the second innings. Mikayla Marley also took a risk with one of the last balls, running all the way around, scoring her first half rounder of the season. We then moved on to field for the last time, feeling good about the game, we never made any silly mistakes and even though the Ashfold players had some big hits, Sophia Shakh and Harini Sivavaskeer worked well in the deep and on 3rd base to stop some rounders from being scored.
The girls should be very proud of their performance in this match, especially as it was so hot and sunny.
Well Done Girls!!
The Grove: 8½
Ashfold School: 14½
Just when we thought it could not get any hotter, we were wrong! The U9’s cricket match was played in very warm and draining conditions at Ashfold School on Tuesday 20th June.
Ashfold won the toss and elected to bat. Stellan Chinnappa and Wilfred Clark both bowled extremely well, without success and were ably supported by Kwaku Malanda and Findlay Hovell. The Ashfold team were extremely strong and posted a very competitive score of 101/1, which included an excellent run-out from Alexander Chan.
In reply the Grove started well with the first pair finishing 29/0 in their four overs. Some very tight bowling from Ashfold then saw the runs dry up, however Gbolahan Asade and Leon Gunasekera did manage to keep the runs ticking over. Thomas Huggins, batting in the last pair did manage to move the scoring along, however a steady fall of wickets did mean Grove finished 64/4 in reply. Although the target eluded them the boys played some good cricket in very difficult conditions.
Thanks to the boys and staff who all went across to Ashfold and we are looking forward to our last game against Quinton House on Friday 30th June.
The Grove: 64/4
Ashfold School: 101/1
Man of the Match: Stellan Chinnappa
The warmest day of the year greeted The Grove U9’s upon arriving at Bedford Modern School on Friday 16th May. BMS won the toss and chose to field first. The Groves’ bowlers keep tight lines to the batsmen and some of the ground fielding was excellent. Alexander Chan pulled off a sensation catch towards the end of the innings and both Stellan Chinnappa and Kwaku Malanda bowled well. The Grove restricted a very good BMS side to 71/2 in their 16 overs.
In reply the Grove started slowly with Wilfred Clark and Leon Gunasekara going through their four overs without losing a wicket. The game then changed as Thomas Huggins came to the crease. He struck the ball beautifully, and along with Advik Mishra they move the total extremely close to the winning target of 72. However, the last few overs saw the Grove lose three wickets and end the run chase on 63/3. The result could have gone the Groves’ way with fewer wickets lost, but the boys applied themselves extremely well on the day.
A massive thanks to Advik Mishra and Gautham Parthiban (U8 cricketers), for assisting the team on the day and also to the parents who came out to support the team.
The Grove: 63/3
Bedford Modern School: 71/2
Man of the Match: Thomas Huggins