This week's Sports news

Desborough retain David Course Memorial Trophy

The annual David Course Memorial rugby match took place on the 9th December at Braywick Park. The match aims to place the best of Maidenhead school boy rugby against each other. The game, in its 9th year, see’s Desborough takes on local independent school Claire’s Court. The trophy was won by Desborough last year after a 29-3 victory over their rivals. The excellent season the 1st XV have had all led up to this game.

The game started at a ferocious intensity with neither side giving any quarter. Desborough gained early territory and pushed Claire’s Court back on to their 5 meter line. This led to a lineout that captain Shane McKenna stole, a theme for the rest of the match, and the first try saw Ahmad Hussain burrow over for his first of two tries. The Desborough side brought a level of focus and intensity to the game that saw them defend superbly throughout. After the great start they withstood a sustained period of Claire’s Court pressure which led to a penalty which the opposition fly half pushed wide.

Following a fantastic clearing kick by scrum half Scott Prince, Desborough, again, exerted huge pressure on a 5 meter lineout for Claire’s Court. Shane McKenna poached the ball and a few phases later the physical Alex Gloster crashed over. A penalty was converted by Claire’s Court towards the end of the half making the score 12-3 in favour of Desborough at half time.

Following some simple messages at half time the boys refocused and exerted pressure on Claire’s Court in their half of the field. Some outstanding driving play for the forwards got the side within 10 of the opposition line. Ben Lawrence, playing out of position at inside centre, carried the ball even closer and the rest was done by the hugely impressive forward pack. Ahmad Hussain scored his second of the game. Ahmad had waited all season for his first try in a 1st XV shirt and both his tries were just rewards for his contributions all season. The score was now 17-3 with 25 minutes to play.

Claire’s Court increased the pressure on Desborough straight from the restart in play following the try. They camped inside the Desborough half for the next 15 minutes and probed the defensive line continually with some excellent passing and width. The line was broken a number of occasions but the scramble defence of Desborough recovered and some key turnovers allow some relief for Desborough. However, the dam eventually burst as Claire’s Court finally managed to convert a chance. This made the score 17-10. The defensive effort by Desborough was superb but the try had galvanised the opposition. The composure shown by the boys in the final 10 minutes of the game spoke volumes about their belief in their ability to win the game. Two well executed rolling mauls brought Desborough within 5 meters of the Claire’s Court line. The writing was on the wall and after a number of well executed pick and go’s Reece Long sealed the game.

With 3 minutes left the side saw out the game and huge celebrations ensued. Those players in year 13 will relish this experience for many years to come. Laurence Jones, Ollie Malik and Tom Judd, to name but a few, where outstanding as they have been all year. Man of the match was awarded to Scott Prince for his superb marshalling of the forward effort.

A great result, that caps off an even greater season.

Mr J Allen

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