Published in the Saffron Walden Weekly, 18 April 2013
A SCHOOL rugby team are the envy of their league competitors after being given new kit to play in.
The year 10 and 11 side from Newport Free Grammar School were given the boost after volunteer coach Mike Clarke lobbied his employer, Lloyds Banking Group, to put up the cash.
The senior manager, whose son Samuel is in the team, said: “I have been coaching rugby at Newport Free Grammar School for three years now and I get a great deal of enjoyment seeing the children develop and enjoy playing rugby.
“Last year, my bank through the Network Directors office had some funds available to support local initiatives, which I applied for to get some match shirts for the school.
“I was delighted when the request was approved and with the help of Lee Gamble we were able to design and obtain a full set of match shirts for the year 10 and 11 rugby matches.”
The level two RFU qualified coach added: “I know from my son Samuel and some of his friends they think the new shirts are ‘awesome’.
“We are delighted with the design and quality of the shirts that we obtained from Krusada Teamwear.”
Mike also coaches at Saffron Walden Rugby Club and is encouraged through Lloyds to volunteer and help support initiatives within the local community.
The youngsters play matches during their season against rival schools such as Helena Romanes in Great Dunmow, Saffron Walden County High and Linton Village College.
Bourne Grammar Students compete in Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens Tournament
Bourne Grammar’s 1st VII rugby team took part in the prestigious Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens, the world’s largest school rugby tournament, on Tuesday 19th March.
The event is the highlight of the schools’ Sevens Calendar and involves around 7,000 boys and girls aged 13-18. This was the second year that the Bourne Grammar squad had participated in this competition.
The recent bad weather nearly caused cancellation of the event but luckily there were enough pitches playable to go ahead, although all areas around the pitches were a ‘mud bath’.
Bourne Grammar played Malvern College in the first match and were 10 - 5 ahead at half-time thanks to tries from Tom Hooson and James West. In the second half, Malvern quickly scored a converted try but in reply, James Paterson ran strongly to score. With the score at 17 – 12 to Bourne in the last few minutes of play, Malvern sneaked in a final penalty to end the game with a 17 – 17 draw.
Second match opponents were Ashton Park, a strong side who took an early lead, but Bourne quickly replied with a try from James Paterson followed by a conversion from James West, ending in 12 - 12 at half time.
In the second half Captain Josh Finch and James Paterson scored and West converted, ending with a 21 – 14 victory for Bourne.
The next match was against one of the tournament favourites, Truro School. They were a talented, well-drilled, athletic outfit but Bourne put up strong resistance and the whole squad had a run out. The final score was15-0 to Truro.
The final group match, against Berkhamsted, ended in a 14 - 26 defeat. The heavy pitch took its toll, with Bourne conceding in the first play of the match. They did not really recover from this, continuing to miss tackles and struggling to take the ball into contact. James West scored all of Bourne’s points with two converted tries but Berkhamsted capitalised on Bourne mistakes to claim the win.
Bourne Captain, Josh Finch (17) told us, ‘Participating in such a prestigious tournament as Rosslyn Park, which includes schools from across the world, is always a privilege for any player and was the highlight of our season. Competition to be selected for the squad is always fierce, and the 12 players selected all loved the experience and will relish the opportunity when the time comes next year’.
Year 13 - James Paterson (Bourne Player of the Tournament), Ewan Jones, Aiden Smith
Year 12 – Josh Finch, James West, Tom Hooson, Adam Mackenzie, Harry Jervis, Edward Nation, Nathan Denial, Harry Bower, George Lindley.