King's St Alban's

16 November

Teamwork and determination on the sports pitches

Swimming Gala v RGS & Hawford

On Friday we travelled to Droitwich Leisure Centre to participate in a swimming gala with RGS and Hawford. We had 37 pupils competing, and the coach journey was full of excitement and some nerves. For some of our new children, this was their first gala for KSA, and we were delighted with their efforts. Well done to Jake, who competed after only his first week at KSA and swam very well. Well done to Edith too for stepping in at the last minute and swimming an excellent backcrawl.

The Year Four girls’ relay team swam well, with Nell putting in a massive effort on the last length to catch the leader. We had three swimmers, Millie, Jonas and Humphrey, who doubled up in relays and swam two legs; all did so superbly.

Well done to all our swimmers!

The Elms U9 Hockey Tournament

It was a pleasure to spend last Saturday afternoon with this group of girls and their parents. It was a 7-a-side tournament and we only had 7 girls available to play, so they knew they had a hard afternoon of continuous hockey ahead. They were very excited and anxious to get started; the formation was different for them as they have been playing 5-a-side in all their previous matches. Our defence adapted very well, with Millie, Edith and Martha moving well together ensuring they didn’t get caught out at the back. Edith also made some great attacking runs up the middle. Thea and Nell were our strength in the middle and both tried to get the ball wide to Romi and Hannah, who made many excellent runs up the wings.

These girls are so tenacious and show great grit when under pressure. Throughout the tournament every single one of them gave 100%, which resulted in us winning three games, drawing one and losing a game against Hereford, despite the fact that we had most of the attacking play.

U11/U10 B and C Hockey v Hereford Cathedral School

The girls had a very enjoyable afternoon of hockey over at Leominster on Wednesday. The C team played first and there were moments of brilliance, although we couldn’t quite convert any chances on goal. Jess and Grace were excellent in defence, hitting the ball out well, and Lily was reliably up the wing in the correct place, waiting for the balls to take down to goal. We do need to follow our shots on goal, as when the goalie saves them we could have a second chance at goal. Hereford managed to sneak a goal past us and the final score was 0-1 to the opposition. Charlotte H was awarded “Opposition Player of the Match”. The B team were up next and the team consisted of many of the same girls. This was excellent as, although they were tired, they played a lot of hockey and started to gel together as a team. A change of goalie and some swapping around of positions made for an exciting match: Jess had moved to centre-forward and was relishing that opportunity, and Charlotte H, playing in defence, was quick to tackle. Unfortunately for us, the opposition had some good play and managed to get two super balls past our defence and goalie to convert to goals. Madie (goalie) then saved an outstanding should-be goal. The final result was Hereford 2, KSA 0. It is no mean feat to play two games back to back on a full sized hockey pitch and keep up the attack the whole time, and we are very proud of all the girls. “Opposition Player of the Match” was also awarded to Charlotte H for the second match and Zara W was chosen as “Opposition Player of the Match” too. Well done girls!

U11/U10 D Hockey v Hereford Cathedral School

King’s St Alban’s had a long but beautiful journey over to Leominster for their fixtures against Hereford Cathedral School. In the first half, King’s St Alban’s defended superbly, as Amélie and Sophia were solid in defence, clearing the ball out of the D on multiple occasions. The KSA goalkeeper, Suzie, made a couple of excellent saves in goal. After the half-time break, KSA began to attack more confidently and more frequently. Martha encouraged her team well and grew in confidence as Captain as the match progressed, and Alice made lots of brilliant tackles and created a couple of breakaways. Her hard work was eventually rewarded as she dribbled the ball into the D and passed to Charlotte, who did a great one-touch pass to Aelwen. She in turn was well positioned by the goal post and slotted the ball in for the first goal of the match. KSA continued to defend well and were delighted to win the match 1-0. Alice worked tirelessly throughout and fully deserved Hereford’s nomination of “KSA Player of the Match”. Well done to all the girls for their brilliant team effort on the hockey pitch and for their beautiful singing on the bus!

The Downs U11 Hockey Tournament

On Wednesday we travelled to Malvern College to play in The Downs U11 Hockey Tournament. With a squad of eight girls, they all had to work hard and keep the momentum going throughout the afternoon. They played four matches and, as the afternoon progressed, so did their hockey. Yet again our defence worked hard, and Phoebe made a couple of excellent saves. It was good to see Laura playing so confidently, happy to go forwards with the ball into the attacking D. Millie worked hard in the midfield and tried to get the ball out wide to our wings. She had a tremendous shot on goal against The Downs which hit the padding surrounding the goal and just didn’t quite go over the line.

 

Tuesday 14th November

U9 Rugby Festival at King’s Hawford

The U9 boys travelled over to King’s Hawford to play in our penultimate rugby festival of the term. We were super impressed by the attacking rugby that the team demonstrated all afternoon. Henry and Alban ran with the ball well and used their pace to find gaps in the opposition defence. Zack ran hard with the ball and used his offloading skills to put a number of tries on the board for the King’s St Alban’s team. Pip and Jasper have both grown in confidence with their rugby this term and they were keen to get on the ball as much as possible and make ground for the team. Ben D had a brilliant afternoon, he looked really up for it and was everywhere on the pitch, making strong tackles and weaving his way through his opponents to score some impressive tries.

Wednesday 15th November

U10 Rugby v Hereford Cathedral

On Wednesday afternoon Hereford Cathedral made the trip over to Slingpool Walk for a very competitive fixture against the KSA U10s. I could tell as soon as we started to warm up, the boys were up for this game and completely in the zone. We started off strongly by using Louie’s strength and determination to run the ball hard and fast into the Hereford defence. Luca was there on a number of occasions to receive the offload and make ground for the team. Both teams playing very well with the ball but missing tackles in defence. Jake K made his debut for the U10s and had an immediate impact, making crucial tackles and rucking over well. Uriah and Archie demonstrated brilliant speed with the ball and found the gaps in the opposition defence. The second half began at the same intensity and the standard of rugby on display was amazing! After a few phases of Hereford possession, one of their players breaks through the KSA line and looks guaranteed to score the try, however Arlo did not give up and used his speed to catch up with the Hereford player and make an exceptional, try saving tackle! It continued to be extremely tight. Brody did well distributing the ball and picking which side to attack.

Special mention goes to both Harry D and Ben J, both of their performances were simply fantastic. In defence they were both everywhere, making strong tackles and rucking over the ball to gain or regain possession. With the ball they used their rugby intelligence to get past their opponents but also to pass or offload at the correct time!

It really was a proud teacher moment! The progress all of the boys have made so far this term is impressive! Well done.

U11A Rugby v Hereford Cathedral

The boys made the beautiful but lengthy journey to Hereford Cathedral School on Wednesday afternoon and produced an impressive performance in the autumn sunshine.  Hereford is well known on the circuit of this age group and had won the tournament at The Elms back in September.  Indeed, the boys have had some good battles with this team over the years and were smarting from a big loss in the first game at The Elms.  I felt we have made genuine progress over the past few months, and we approached the match with excitement and some confidence.  The pitch was wide and short, an odd combination.  Both sides set up well in defence and, despite keeping the ball alive well, we struggled to make line breaks.  A strong wind gave Hereford a good first half advantage and we were pleased to enter the break at one try apiece.  Playing with the wind, it was all KSA but a few unforced errors and ack of depth meant we could not convert our territory to tries.  Ethan made some strong runs and Otto looked sharp on the wing.  We finally went over for a second try after a great deal of pressure but couldn’t get the third to see the game off.  Hereford scored a second with a rare foray into our half and, despite some close attempts, it ended 2-2.  The boys showed super attitude throughout but their disappointment in the result perhaps shows just how far they have come.

U11B Rugby v Hereford Cathedral

Wednesday afternoon saw the Year 6 A and B rugby teams make the journey from Worcester to Hereford to play two quality teams from Hereford Cathedral. After a spot of bonding through some singing on the team bus, the boys were definitely up for what they knew was going to be a tough match. And what a cracker of a match it turned out to be too!

With Wilf and Jasper making their debuts for the B team, it was a slightly different team from previous B team matches that took to the pitch. After playing on a very narrow pitch the week before, it was quite the opposite this time, with the pitch being very wide. Therefore allowing plenty of space for free flowing rugby. The boys got off to a great start with some powerful runs from Aaron, TJ and Jacob, and it wasn’t long before TJ managed to break through Hereford Cathedral’s defence to score the opening try. Hereford’s boys responded quickly though, with a good try of their own. The King’s St. Alban’s boys were solid in defence and confident in attack, and Aaron scored a well worked team try to put us in the lead again. Hereford Cathedral then scored another try to level the scores at 2-2 at half time. After reminding the boys about not being complacent, and the risks and advantages of the amount of space out wide during the half time team talk, Harry showed great gameplay and tactical awareness to use the strong wind to send his clearance kick all the way from our own try line down towards Hereford Cathedral’s. There followed a fast chase for the ball, with George demonstrating great pace to reach it at the same time as Hereford’s scramble defence. Although we were unable to score directly from this, it meant the pressure was back on Hereford to clear their line. Unable to do this due to the speed and tackle rate from Aaron and the rest of the team, we were able to turn the ball over and score another team try to regain the lead. Hereford Cathedral responded with two quick tries of their own to put the score at 4-3 to Hereford with five minutes to go. The boys didn’t panic and showed fantastic effort, teamwork and determination to put several phases of high quality rugby together to work the ball into Hereford Cathedral’s half, and a powerful run from Harry led to him scoring a well deserved try to level the scores with a minute to play.

A draw would have been a fair result for this match. However, sport can be cruel, as the boys found out, when Hereford Cathedral somehow managed to score in the last play of the game to win the match 5-4, despite a valiant last ditch cover tackle from George which prevented a certain try. Although they were a bit disheartened after playing the better rugby for the majority of the match, the boys’ spirits were soon raised after a drink, hot sausage roll and a chocolate bar though!

Overall it was a really good performance from everyone on the team; Wilf, Jasper, Jacob and George all played well going forward. Will, Harry and Joshua were all solid in defence, and TJ and Aaron both led the team by example.

The boys all seemed to really enjoy taking part and the match was a great opportunity for them to put the defensive line skills that we had been working on in Monday’s lesson and Tuesday’s after school club into practice.

I am excited about the upcoming rugby matches that this team have this term – especially if the boys can put the same level of effort and teamwork into these remaining matches as they did in this game!