Match Report
Sherborne School Boys-U15A vs  Radley College
On: Saturday, 17 Sep 2022
Venue: at Home

Lost: 19-24

Tries: Charlie W 2, Edwin L

Cons: Edwin L 2

The Junior Colts A XV started their season with an excellent performance on Saturday which, despite the final outcome, promises much for the coming season. The narrow margin of defeat tells its own tale: either team might have won but, ultimately, Radley were just a little more clinical at the key moments and - just about - did enough to leave Dorset with the win.

Sherborne started the stronger of the two sides as a sustained period of pressure, in which backs and forwards combined brilliantly through multiple phases, saw Charlie W go over from close range. Radley hit back with a score of their own, and the stage was set for a contest in which the lead constantly changed hands as the power of Sherborne's forwards was countered by the pace and skills of the Radley backs. It was a classic clash of styles, one which Sherborne seemed set to dominate when Charlie W scored his second, as Edwin L conversion enabled the home side to take a 12-10 lead into the interval.

In such a tight game, the first score after the break always looked likely to be pivotal; sadly, it went to our visitors in the aftermath of a backline reshuffle when the influential Jem L took a knock, and it was then compounded by a second when a promising Sherborne attack broke down. Nonetheless, a 12-point margin with twenty minutes left to play was far from insurmountable, especially when Edward L raced home from fully 60 metres before converting his own score to peg the margin back to 19-24. The boys in blue showed tremendous character and might have snatched a win in the final minutes when Albi R broke free, but the Radley cover held firm and, with it, went the game. Players from both sides sank to the floor at the final whistle, in both joy and dejection, but also in utter exhaustion as both sides had absolutely given their all.

Given that last year's fixture saw Sherborne beaten by 50 points, defeat by just one score demonstrates very clearly the potential of this side, as well as the progress they made over the course of last season. The forward pack was magnificent - powerful, abrasive and commanding - whilst the backs enjoyed some excellent possession as a consequence. If the boys can just cut out the errors in key areas, this team could be capable of some really exciting things and, already, they look like a group of players who want to play for each other. By the time Millfield come calling in two weeks' time, they could be quite a unit; we hope you can join us...

Player of the Match: Charlie W - perpetual motion in attack and defence, two tries, and even a stint in the centre!