Three Stonyhurst teams through to the Lancashire Cup Final!
Three Stonyhurst rugby teams are through to the Lancashire Cup finals on March 25th: the U14s and U16s both won their semi-finals against Manchester Grammar and Kirkham respectively, and the Stonyhurst St Mary's Hall 1st XV are also through. If the U15s win their semi-final on February 8th, also against Kirkham, Stonyhurst will have a record-breaking 4 teams in the Lancashire Cup final!
Mr Charles, the Director of Sport at Stonyhurst, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the development of our U16 and U14 rugby teams this season and the fact they have both won through to the final of the Lancashire County Cup is just reward for all their hard work and commitment. The U15 team also shows real promise and they will play in the semi final of their age group competition in a few weeks time. It is great to see so many young players achieving such a high standard and very obviously enjoying the experience".
U14s Match report
U16s Match report: Stonyhurst 12, Kirkham 3
The Christmas break meant the U16s had not played a game in six weeks and recent adverse weather had hampered training and preparation for the U16 Lancashire Cup semi-final against Kirkham. Both sides showed signs of rustiness and a lack of cohesion during the early exchanges which were hard-fought on a heavy pitch. With a place in the Final at stake, both teams almost tried too hard and numerous handling and breakdown errors littered the first half, with defences firmly on top and Carroll and Oduoza enjoying a ridiculously high tackle count. First blood went to Kirkham with a well-struck penalty from a breakdown infringement. Stonyhurst slowly came into the game and some all-too-rarely recycled possession released Lavarini who made good yards down the right wing before being held up short and injuring his hamstring in the process; Melchiorre replaced him just before the halftime whistle with Kirkham 3-0 to the good. Improved ball retention and presentation and greater composure were stressed at half-time. The second half saw immediate improvement and from a series of phases, fullback Casanueva darted over in the right corner. The quality of play improved from both sides in the second half, a real battle of attrition upfront and Kirkham looking to pin Stonyhurst back with accurate kicking from hand. As the minutes ticked away, both sides threw their all into the game but were unable to breach the others' defence. In the last play, a Stonyhurst penalty on the Kirkham 5m line was tapped by captain Morgan, who fed Kilby, who bulldozed his way agonisingly short of the line. Fortunately Carroll was in close support to apply the finishing touch, with Morgan converting the extras to seal a hard-fought 12-3 win and secure Stonyhurst a place in the Lancashire U16 Cup Final on March 25th at Southport RFC.
Team: Yeung, Johnson, Bolton, Kilby, Carré (rep Khan), Oduoza, Carroll, Stewart (vc), Baker, Davies, Turner, Morgan (c), Fitzgerald, Lavarini (rep Melchiorre), Casanueva
Match report for the U14s to follow.