The Arnold School U11s made a tremendous start to the season as their rugby boys, many of whom were playing their first ever rugby match, were all about to see if the three months of preparation with Mr Evans and Mr Jones, and the recent additional coaching from Fylde RFC 1st teamer, Pete Altham, had all been worthwhile? It clearly had!
Arnold kicked off and from the very first tackle they turned the ball over. Captain, Sam Kyle-Clay, Harvey Moore, Adam Lusher, Sam Hackett and Isaac Eastham immediately put all of their rucking drills into action and they won the following four rucks in quick succession. This set up some space on the left hand side and Ryan Evans, who had been told by Mr Evans to snipe whenever he got the chance, darted down the left touchline for a quick opening score. 5-0 and a brilliant start for the away team.
Five minutes later more good play from Arnold, who looked very organised and well drilled, saw some strong runs from Charlie Shaw and Sam Haythornthwaite who were put into space by fly-half, James Cowburn. Sam Hackett blitzed over a few more rucks and suddenly there was space again down the blindside and Ryan Evans did not need a second invititation as he sprinted in from 5 metres out. James Cowburn added the extras and it was 12-0. Arnold could have added a few more tries if the last few passes had gone to hand rather than the player going into contact but it was an impressive first 15 minute period, although the KEQMS defence held firm extremely well.
The second period saw no scoring, with KEQMS enjoying more possession but the runs of Evans, Cowburn, Max Buckingham and Nathan Gallagher were causing problems for the KEQMS defence. Jack Grimshaw and Josh Taylor both worked hard on the wings and Harrison Thomas-Cooper almost set up a try near the end of this period but the pass did not go quite to hands. 30 minutes gone and still 12-0.
The third and last 15 minute period got off to a great start for Arnold. A wonderful deep re-start by James Cowburn was chased brilliantly by a long line of Arnold defenders. A mistake saw Harvey Moore and Sam Hackett gain possession and the flying Josh Moreau gathered the ball 10 metres out to sprint over for a 17-0 lead. KEQMS continued to work hard and they made some good runs but great tackling by Haythornthwaite, Thomas-Cooper, Taylor, Moreau, Kyle-Clay and Eastham kept the home side out.
Arnold now cut loose in attack and they followed Mr Evans's instructions well to link two passes as often as they could from every breakdown. Good hands saw the speedy, Charles Shaw, gallop over and there was a third try for the impressive, Evans, who completed his hat trick with a lovely 30 metre run. However, the best try of the day and a fine team try saw James Cowburn finish off a flowing move where every boy in the side contributed at a ruck or maul or with a nice pass. Cowburn beat the last few defenders for a superb score and a 36-0 victory with lots of parents enjoying a great afternoon's entertainment.
Sam Kyle-Clay captained the side extremely well and everyone played their part in a very good win against very hard working opponents.
Go to the Arnold School TV Channel to see some photo highlights of a successful afternoon on the rugby field.