David Course Memorial Rugby Match
The annual David Course Memorial Rugby Match between Claires Court and Desborough pupils, took place on Wednesday 9 December at Maidenhead Rugby Club, Braywick. Academic Principal, James Wilding gave an account of the matches;
“When the series of matches were set up between Claires Court and Desborough, the plan was for us to play across the age groups from Under 14 through to First XV. This year's event saw two matches played, with Claires Court beating Desborough in the Under 15 game 39-0 and Desborough defeating Claires Court in the 1st's fixture 22-10.
perhaps more important than the results, is the manner in which the games are played. Each coach votes for the player on the opposition whose play best exemplified the spirit of Rugby, and this year two pairs of brother won the coveted Man of the Match awards. For Claires Court they were Myles and Max Williamson (1st and U15) and for Desborough Scott and Drew Prince (1st and U15).”
Full Match Report
Scott Harris, Teacher wrote the following report;
Claires Court pupils celebrated the life of former deputy headmaster David Course on Wednesday in the annual rugby extravaganza against Desborough College. This year’s memorial challenge came in the form of 2 fixtures with the school’s U15 and 1st XV teams going head to head to secure their respective memorial trophies for the next year. After Claires Court’s U15 side stormed to a resounding 39-0 victory in the curtain raiser, the two school’s 1st XV’s took to the field for the afternoon’s main event.
In one of the most closely contested memorial matches in recent years, the game pitted two contrasting teams with contrasting styles of play. Desborough’s experienced team looked to play a very direct and physical game. Claires Court’s young team - full of confidence having won their ‘Super Rugby’ league the previous Wednesday - looked to spread the ball wide with a more expansive game plan. Desborough’s superb Lineout and powerful tight game gave them two early tries in the first half and despite a few clean line breaks in the centres, some excellent defence from Desborough and handling errors meant Claires Court were unable to cross the Desborough line, having just a solitary penalty to show for their endeavour at half time with the score 12-3.
The 2nd half began with another stolen lineout from Desborough leading to them driving the ball over the line again from short range to make the score 17-3. Claires Court stormed back into the game and scored a try of their own with 10 minutes to go, bringing themselves to within a converted try of levelling the game. Desborough’s defence once again was exemplary under pressure as they weathered the Claires Court onslaught. With moments left in the game Desborough crashed over from short range to make the score line 22-10 at full time and give them a 5 games to 4 lead in the series. The score line possibly didn’t reflect just how close a contest it was but the game was certainly played in a spirit which the late David Course would have appreciated, as both teams did themselves and their respective schools proud.
Claires Court Squad:
Toby Yate, Ross Thorburn, Jasper Giles, Tom Stalker, Thomas May, Alexei Murphy, Myles Williamson, Jack Blakeley (Vice-captain), Kieran Grey, Joe Thomas (Captain), Dan Collins, Connor Thomas, Ronan McGann, Todd Lindley, Ben Gordon, Matthew Hine, Billy Gore, Ed Axtell, Chris Rayer, Miles Peters, Isaac Challis.