Wednesday 27th June 2018
HCJS Colts B (311-8) beat Abberley Hall Colts B (308-5) by 3 runs
This was an extraordinary game of Colts B cricket! The less said about our bowling performance, which was consistently short and legside, the better. However, the run chase was incredible. The Olivers (V&S) set the tone at the top of the order with some good stroke play and some daring running between the wickets. Joe and Tom maintained the momentum, Harry M and Hugo built the score further and captain Bradley and Harry D played some excellent strokes and found the boundary with regularity. Despite all this there was still a mountain to climb for our last pair with 38 required from the last 4 overs. Marley's first ball was creamed over midwicket for 6 and it was game on! More lusty blows from Marley, ably assisted by Coenraad, meant that we were ahead at the start of the last over. Despite losing a wicket on the penultimate ball (and the resulting 5 runs), we managed to block out the last delivery for an epic victory. As I told the boys after the game, it was the best run chase I have ever seen at this level.
HCJS Colts C 260 – 4 lost to Abberley Hall Colts C 283 -1 by 23 runs
The match was played in a really positive spirit by both sides in blazing conditions. Abberley chose to bat first and our bowling attack kept them in check pretty well for the first twelve overs. Every bowler produced at least a couple of really excellent deliveries, although wide balls continue to plague us. A bit more awareness in the field would have helped as well, as a couple of catches went begging and Abberley stole some unnecessary singles. Pick of the bowlers were Kajetan and Jonathan, who both bowled maidens and allowed only two runs in two overs respectively. As they had fewer players, some of the Abberley players got to bat twice, and one of their boys got his eye in on his second spell, expertly dispatching some really fine bowling by Toby. Those runs and our wide balls proved to be the difference, for while Sashvat scored a positive 13 and Oscar chased runs well at the death, we fell short by several runs.
Wednesday 13th June 2018
RGS Colts C (236-8) beat HCJS Colts C (234-6) by 2 runs
The Colts C team were just edged out in a thriller, which went down to the very last over, away at RGS. This was the first time the C team had played a hardball match and some of our batting was rather inhibited and overly defensive to begin with. RGS bowled well and opportunities to score were limited, however our running between the wickets was generally good (the coach always has to overlook at least one kamikaze run out every innings!) and this helped to build our score to a respectable, if not eye catching, 234. Credit must go to Oscar for scoring our only boundary of the innings - they were big boundaries! Our bowling couldn't have started better with 5 wickets (Kajetan 3, Coenraad 2) in the first 4 overs meaning that RGS were chasing the game from the start. However, our opposition never panicked and some well constructed partnerships meant they clawed their way back to parity and then edged in front. A wicket from the last ball left us an agonising 2 runs behind. This was an excellent game with two competitive sides. Lots of what ifs and ultimately a good lesson in 'every run/wide/misfield counts'!
Wednesday 6th June 2018
HCJS Colts C (265-3) beat Monmouth Colts C (252-4) by 13 runs
The Colts C team completed an excellent win against Monmouth on a beautiful afternoon at Wyeside. The bowling was full and accurate, conceding a paltry 12 wides in 18 overs, and was supported by excellent fielding including the rarity of a genuine caught behind by Sashvat our wicketkeeper. Our batting in response to Monmouth's total was purposeful and our running was aggressive, with Oscar and Harry setting the tone at the top of the order. Oliver gave the innings late order impetus and along with George batted out a nerveless last over to secure the victory. A real team performance in which the boys showed how far their cricket has developed this term.
HCJS Colts D 300-1 defeated Monmouth Grange Colts D 286-3 by 14 runs
We fielded first and, after a couple of very generous overs, our bowling attack began to find the mark. Joseph U took a wicket with a caught and bowled and some very slick fielding by Harry C led to a run out. Ben B and Tom H were the pick of the bowlers, conceding very few runs in their respective two overs. Our aggressive batting proved the difference, hitting 7 boundaries to the Grange’s one, Ben B hitting three of them. Dillan and Alexander saw out the final overs with some sensible running to earn us the victory.
Wednesday 21st March 2018
HCJS Colts A v Abberley Hall
HCJS Colts A 3 (Charlie G, Monty, Own Goal)
Abberley Hall Colts A 1
The A team signed off their regular season with a solid win against Abberley Hall. Dominating possession for long periods of the game, only some wasteful finishing and good goalkeeping prevented the scoreline being far greater.
HCJS started the game well with lots of space being creating on the wings for both Monty and Max. Our final ball was sometimes lacking, with that extra touch being needed before delivery. Charlie blazed over after some good initial work and Harry C had a long range free kick tipped over. Although Abberley rarely ventured forward, they still offered a physical presence.
HCJS finally broke the deadlock late in the first half when a good move saw Charlie crash the ball home from close distance.
The second half mirrored the first with HCJS on top and giving the Abberley defence a hard time. Their pressure finally told when Monty's driven cross was turned into his own net by an Abberley player. Number three followed soon after with Monty himself finishing powerfully into the bottom corner. Abberley kept battling and upped their levels of physicality and they were rewarded with a goal in the last minute when a low drive beat Harry M at his near post.
Against tough opposition, this was a positive display against a strong team and a great way to finish the regular season.
Wednesday 21st March 2018
HCJS Colts C v Abberley Hall
HCJS C 5 (Jonathan 2, Logan 2, Charlie)
Abberley Hall 3
This was a game of ‘C’ team firsts, with two penalties given, a goal direct from a corner and a headed goal. The team got off to a great start when Jonathan was presented with two early chances which he characteristically slotted home. Then a very helpful cross-breeze helped Charlie’s good delivery from the corner go straight in. Abberley were gifted a penalty for a blatant shove in the area, but Logan headed in a bouncing ball just before the half. Abberley came out firing in the second half, having moved one of their better defenders into attack. Our defending was quite dozy at times and we conceded a goal. The game should have been closed out when we were presented with a gaping goal from five yards out, but some unnecessary show-boating cost us the vital touch. A loose pass across our own box allowed another Abberley score, and another push in the area gave them a penalty from which they could have equalised. Fortunately for us, it was blasted against the bar and Logan was able to poke in from a goal mouth scramble at the death.
Wednesday 21st March 2018
HCJS Colts B v Abberley Hall
HCJS Colts B 2 (Bobby 2)
Abberley Hall Colts B 2
After the tremendous performance at the County tournament last week, it was always going to be difficult for the B team to raise their performance level to that height again, and so it proved. Abberley, as always, proved to be an energetic and determined side and put us to the test from the start. Without the ever present Jay for this game, our defence was regularly stretched and our link play from the back was rather rudimentary. However, we managed to weather the storm and took a half time lead with an excellent strike from Bobby, which was our only shot on target of the half. Abberley came back with renewed energy in the second half and we conceded two goals, when our midfield were slow in closing down the attacking threat at the top of the box. As the clock approached full time, Bobby again produced a chance out of some defensive hesitancy and slotted home with his left foot. This proved to be the final significant action of the game and we had salvaged a draw.
It says much of this team that they found a way to avoid defeat despite not being at their best. They have worked extremely hard for each other and their record of only one defeat (our first game of the season) in seven games is fair reward for their endeavour. Defensively the team has been very solid and 4 out of 7 games we have kept clean sheets. Without Bobby's goal threat, the side has looked a little toothless in front of goal, and this is the area that aspiring midfielders will need to contribute more to. It has been an enjoyable season where the collective spirit and work ethic has led to success.
HCJS Colts B Football v The Elms
Wednesday 7th March 2018
HCJS Colts B 1 (Ralph)
The Elms Colts B 0
The Colts B team continued their good run of form with a hard fought victory away at The Elms. The boys played good passing football throughout the game, but found it difficult to break down an energetic and physical opposition. A little more composure in front of goal might have made the scoreline more one sided and it was a huge relief when Ralph stepped up to hit an excellent free kick on to the underside of the bar and into the goal midway through the second half. Whilst opposition threats were few and far between, the defensive trio of Harry D, Jay and Joe S remained solid and kept the vital clean sheet to ensure another narrow away win.
HCJS Colts B Football v Moor Park
Wednesday 7th February 2018
HCJS Colts B 1 (Archie)
Moor Park Colts B 0
The Colts B continued their impressive run of away form with a good performance at Moor Park, despite missing 4 regular players to injury, illness and international call ups (well a promotion to the A team!). The boys worked hard on a heavy pitch and Coenraad's energy and battling typified the performance. Joe had another excellent game in goal, maintaining his concentration on a cold afternoon and Marley and Jai were calmness personified at the back. Up front Archie and Harry created a number of chances with good inter-play, but unfortunately we had left our shooting boots back in Hereford. As the game wore on and remained goalless, the tension on the sideline increased and the shooting became even more frantic. Eventually Archie popped up to tap in a parried save from their keeper and the game appeared safe. However, one goal leads are always vulnerable and Moor Park had their best chance of the afternoon with the last kick of the game, but 'Mr Dependable' in goal covered the danger and a deserved win was ours!
HCJS Colts D Football v RGS The Grange
Wednesday 31st January 2018
HCJS Colts D 2 (Logan, Oscar)
RGS Worcester 6
RGS had a team that passed the ball well in midfield and we were lucky not to be several goals behind early due to a total lack of marking in our own area. We went a goal down, but the introduction of Logan gave the side much more energy and he was rewarded with a close-range goal. Oscar then added a second after some better pressure by us in attack. RGS equalised and things seemed poised for a close second half. But RGS passed very well and scored twice on the break. We had a lot more trouble putting our foot through the ball, despite good running from Oscar and tenacious play by Will. The fifth goal was a stunner, an opponent pumping one in the top corner from deep. Logan’s continual running served as a model for the rest of the squad to emulate.
HCJS Colts A Football v King's St Albans A
Wednesday 17th January 2018
HCJS Colts A 5 (Charlie G x 4, Harry C)
King's St Albans A 0
After a good opening win against Monmouth, the A team followed up with an excellent team performance to beat KSA.
After some initial chances went begging from corners, KSA grew into the game, passing the ball well and creating some good chances. Harry M was required to make a smart save as we weathered some pressure. As the half wore on, we started to create better space and the chances came. Charlie opened the scoring with a smart finish and not long after he raced away from Harry's long clearance to fire the ball into the top corner. Before half time, Harry C showed good skill before finishing emphatically.
The second half saw us dominate the play, looking solid at the back and winning the battles in midfield against a physically bigger side. We again created lots of chances but we're often frustrated by the opposition goalkeeper. Charlie did complete his hat trick when Monty unselfishly squared the ball for him to tap home before he took advantage of another saved shot, tucking home a rebound to score his fourth and the team's fifth.
This was another positive performance against a good side. There remain things to work on but the early signs are very promising.
HCJS Colts C 2 (Jonathan D)
King's St Albans U11B 5
The C team had a difficult start to the season, with a combination of timid defending and a strong opponent making the first half very painful indeed. Our defenders were caught too far forward and unable to get back for the first goal, and an unwillingness to get the ball out of our area cost us another. We were then aided by a King's parent who noticed that they were playing with one more player than us, but even with parity of numbers we gave the ball away far too cheaply and far too often, going into the interval down by four.
The second stanza was a much better effort, mainly because moving Coenraad to midfield gave us more energy and we did a better job of getting the ball to Jonathan, who was always a threat. He slotted home one through ball and Ollie set him free again to smash in another. Kings' final goal was a blast that could not be stopped, but stouter defending is needed in future to prevent such an early arrears.
HCJS U10A Rugby v King's Hawford
Wednesday 6 December 2017
HCJS U10A 0
King's Hawford 10
While this has been a less-than-successful season in terms of wins and losses for the U10 ‘A’ team, there has been something positive to take out of many of our games. Having done little rucking against RGS, the goal at Monmouth was to do more, which we did. Against Abberley, the target was to take the ball into contact less, with some success. This week’s opponent, King’s Hawford, had developed a reputation as a powerful side, as they had demolished all of the teams who had beaten us. The only instruction for the day was to play with pride and not give an inch, which is exactly what the boys did.
Hawford passed the ball well and had some very aggressive runners, but our line speed (and testing of the offside law to the limit) did not allow them to play. The one time they looked clear down the wing Max D made a superb covering tackle. We conceded one in the first half, and in spite of our hosts coming at us with even greater ferocity, we never buckled, led by powerful rucking from Tom B and countless tackles from Oliver S. It was a complete defensive performance, and while our ball handling leaves too much to be desired, the spirit and organisation of the boys needs to be highly commended.
HCJS U10A & U10B Rugby v Abberley Hall
Wednesday 29 November 2017
HCJS U10 A 5 (Coenraad)
Abberley Hall U10 A 20
The match was played in cold conditions, but neither team used that as an excuse to not give their best. Having been asked to pass more effectively after last week’s defeat, the boys did a much better job of spreading the ball about. The game was extremely competitive throughout, but Abberley, who passed the ball very effectively, twice managed to slip down the wing to go in at the half two tries ahead. The second stanza was more of the same, as we always seemed to drop a pass at the key moment. Abberley scored two more, and we were finally rewarded with a storming run from Hugo that left Abberley pressed in their own zone, where Coenraad pounced on a loose ball. Their referee commented that he felt the score line did not reflect the competitiveness of play, and all of the boys gave a good account of themselves.
HCJS U10B 40 (Jonathan 4, Max D 2, Max P, Finnley)
Abberley Hall U10B 25
After a tough journey, some playing equipment issues and the bitterly cold weather, the U10B team put in a good display to defeat Abberley. Both teams had strong runners but it was the visiting team whose players were just that little bit more elusive, especially when weaving across the pitch. Jonathan continued his good form with some individual tries, racing away to score and Max D was always effective taking the ball at first receiver. Our tackling was , at times, too nice but Logan, Finnley and Hamlish always ensured that Abberleys danger men were kept in check with some big hits. Although Abberley kept pushing forward, we just had enough to get over the line, a result which was well deserved from the last two performances.
HCJS U10 A&B Rugby v Monmouth
Wednesday 22 November 2017
HCJS U10 A 5 (Toby)
Conditions were miserable to say the least, but this did not prevent both teams from presenting a watchable spectacle. Monmouth had us under the cosh from the start, but we defended well and our rucking showed a lot more commitment than in previous matches. We made plenty of strong breaks with our strike runners, but our unwillingness to pass to a teammate made most of our efforts come to naught. And while we had great trouble catching or holding on to the ball, we could not blame the conditions, as Monmouth shipped the ball through hands effectively for most of the match, their passing game being suited to an incredibly wide pitch and bringing most of their tries in the corners. Some fantastic cover tackling by Toby saved our blushes several times, and the one time we were able to move the ball back and forth across the pitch Toby was rewarded with a try in the corner. While the score line did not reflect our doggedness in the tackle and our competitiveness in the ruck, our paltry total of tries did reflect our poor catching and lack of team play with ball in hand.
HCJS U10 B 30 (Jonathan x 4, Max P, Oliver S)
Despite the awful conditions, the B team put in an excellent performance full of courage and determination. The spine of the B team, led by Oliver S, tackled ferociously, causing Monmouth to drop the ball on many occasions. The first half was an end to end affair. Monmouth profiting from lots of good build up play to score their tries whilst HCJS took advantage of the space to race away untouched. Jonathan was the chief tormentor with a brace and Oliver S with scores that kept us in touch at the break, 5-3 down.
In the second half, although camped in our own ten metres for large parts, we somehow kept managing to steal the ball back and then race away. Jonathan scored two more tries and then a handling move involving five of our players saw Max score a try right out of any international coaching manual. Although we brought it back to 6-6, Monmouth snuck one more try into the corner for the win. This was a fantastic squad effort where everybody put a great shift in despite the conditions. The boys showed organisation, togetherness and desire and can be rightly proud of their effort even in defeat.
HCJS U10 B & U11 B Rugby v Moor Park
Wednesday 15 November 2017
HCJS U10 B 40 (Jonathan 3, Toby 2, Max P, Oliver S, Rob)
Moor Park U10 A 20
This was a very enjoyable match to watch, as both teams played with great determination and Moor Park had a couple of players who were both strong and skilful. We had trouble holding on to the ball at the start, but strong running from Toby and Oliver V gave us plenty of forward momentum. Max P opened our account and, as our handling improved, we began to find more openings. We went into the half at 20-15 and the target for the second half was to be more committed to the rucks. The boys responded extremely well, allowing us to put together some genuinely impressive passages of play. Rob scored a powerful individual try and Jonathan used the space his teammate made for him for a second half hat-trick. It was an real 'team' performance, punctuated by the excellent behaviour and attitude of the boys throughout the afternoon.
Moor Park U11A 30
5 HCJS U11B (Joseph U)
Although the scoreline suggests that the B team came rather unstuck, this was a close game with some fine margins deciding the outcome. The B's played really well for the first ten minutes and from a scrum, Joseph U used his pace to score in the corner. Moor Park grew into the game, dominating the scrum's and rucks and their passing was both accurate and at times flamboyant. Our tackling was excellent and it was only with the last play of the half that the home side squeezed over in the corner.
Moor Park came out of the blocks in the second half and their use of the dummy continued to bamboozle some of our players. Further domination at the breakdown enabled Moor Park to add to their tally of tries, yet we gamely pressed on, spending time in their 22 without having that clinical edge to get over. Stanley's tackling was incredible all day and there were many positives to take out of the game.
HCJS v RGS Worcester
HCJS U10 A 5 (Coenraad)
RGS Worcester 15
This was a frustrating loss, as the boys showed a significant improvement in their passing and our defending was generally rock solid. From the earliest moments we looked the better team and Coenraad scored after a sequence of passes. For the rest of the half we had RGS under constant pressure in their own half, but our refusal to ruck and some poor running choices made all of our fine attacking play come to nothing. RGS’ cover tackling was excellent and they had a speedster who scored two long-distance tries against the run of play.
In the second half we were much more competitive in the ruck but, in spite of some very strong running from Monty and Hugo, we could not capitalise on the chances we created. One missed tackle was all it took for RGS to score another try from deep in their own half. It was a wonderfully competitive encounter that, with a few better decisions with ball in hand, could have gone our way.
HCJS U10 B 55 (Toby 6, Jonathan 5)
RGS Worcester U10 B 35
The U10 B team had an emphatic win against RGS Worcester in a game where the momentum swung back and forth between the two teams. There was an excellent attacking display with multiple line-breaks from the likes of Toby and Jonathan, followed up by marvellous offloading and rucking support. Hamish made sure to organise the players around the pitch and Thomas helped to straighten our attacking threat with some hard carries which left multiple defenders hanging on to him.
There was also great work from the wider players, including Max P, with some great footwork around opposition defenders, and also Nishant, who showed determination to get around the outside of his opposite man on multiple occasions.
All the boys in the squad gave a tremendous effort against a well-drilled RGS squad, particularly in their desire to win the ball back from the opposition. The RGS coach was most impressed with the fact that this was every boy in the year group playing, as every player showed a desire to do their best.
HCJS v RGS The Grange, Wednesday 8 November
HCJS U11A 35 (Harry C 4, Bobby 3)
RGS U11A 35
This was a thrilling afternoon of U11 rugby with the result in doubt right up until the final whistle. RGS demonstrated excellent handling and realignment and quickly took a two try lead. Bobby barged his way through for our opening try which seemed to give the side confidence and we had our best spell, scoring further tries through Bobby and a brace from Harry C, who used his searing pace to exploit hesitation in the RGS defence. RGS came back strongly in the second half and it looked for a while that they may overwhelm us with their quick ball from the breakdown. However, our boys showed great resilience and used our scramble defence to good effect, particularly when closing down their wingers out wide. Charlie and Samuel linked effectively and our front trio of Xeni, Leon and Ralph, contested the ruck with determination. Further tries for Bobby and another two from Harry C secured the draw - no mean feat against the best opposition we have played this term.
The Downs Festival - Tuesday 19 September 2017
HCJS U9 25 (Finlay H 2, Charlie B 3)
The Downs 5
We started the day extremely well, keeping a very strong defensive line, featuring several outstanding tackles by Freddie. Finlay showed great pace to score twice and Charlie was rampant in the second half. Our excellent defending stifled The Downs nearly every time they had the ball.
HCJS U9 15 (Huw P, Charlie B 2)
The Elms 20
The Elms had a couple of strong runners and tacklers, and our team lost a bit of their concentration to allow a couple of soft tries which let the opposition off the hook at the death. Huw opened his account with a powerful finish and Devon contributed with several strong tackles.
HCJS U9 25 (Finlay 4, Charlie)
The Downs 25
We faced another Downs team who also ran very well and the lead moved back and forth. Finlay's running kept us in the game and we put together one of our best passing moves for Charlie to score on the last play of the game.
The boys played extremely well as a team throughout the festival and our defending at times was most impressive. With just a little more consistency and concentration they look like they can be a very successful unit.
The Elms 7s Tournament - Saturday 9 September 2017
The U11 A team began their season with a 7s tournament at The Elms. As we warmed up the heavens opened and the start was delayed by 5 minutes as the autumnal weather did its worst! We began with a scrappy draw against the hosts, showing some attacking threat with our pace out wide, but also some defensive naivety. Harry C scored two tries from deep using his scorching pace to good effect. Our second game against Winterfold was our best performance of the afternoon winning by 3 tries to 1, the highlights being Charlie G's brace, one showing his pace out wide and the other his acrobatic skills to get over in the corner. The next two games proved difficult as the size of the pitches and the inclement conditions began to take their toll on the squad. Despite taking the lead against St John's, they came back strongly in the second half to beat us and then RGS produced an extremely disciplined performance to defeat us by 3 tries to 1. The final game against King's St Alban's was all about pride and the boys responded well at the end of a hard afternoon. Bobby was in rampaging form and scored with a barnstorming run to seal a comfortable victory.
Whilst there are some areas to work on in the coming weeks, the boys showed that they have the individual skill and pace to become an effective attacking threat against any opposition.