Published: February 8, 2013
Highbridge's King Alfred School crowned Sedgemoor rugby champs

Highbridge's King Alfred School has been crowned Sedgemoor Area Schools Rugby Champions this week after its two teams won hard-fought matches.

The Year 8 team competed in an end-to-end battle with Haygrove School from Bridgwater, going ahead with a try from Captain Dan Curry in the opening ten minutes.

Haygrove battled back to 5-5 then two quick tries from Manu Vunipola took the Highbridge school's students into a 15-5 halftime lead.

The second half saw Haygrove start the stronger using their pacey centre to good advantage, soon turning the ten point deficit into a 19-15 four point lead.

This lead could have been bigger had it not been for the courageous and excellent defence of full back Anthony Taylor.

King Alfred rallied once more and Curry went close on two occasions before man of the match Vunipola completed his hat-trick and added the extras to regain the advantage. Dan Curry crossed for his second moments before the final whistle, which Vunipola again converted from wide out to give the final score line of 29 – 19.

The Year 8 squad featured James Cameron, Sam Everett, Jon Green, Birkan Gundez, Luke Mifsud-Bonnici, Lawrence White, Cameron Derrick, Dan Curry, Lewis Crosby, Manu Vunipola, Joseph Collman, Harrison Givens, Scott Beard, Mitch Kingston, Anthony Taylor. Reps: Archie Neale, Archie Williams and Leon Mills.

The second match of the day saw the Year 10 team from King Alfred again take on Haygrove.

A cagey, nervous start from both sides soon erupted into a classic game in the red mud of North Petherton RFC.

Once the players relaxed, the ball was handled well with both teams showing their class in difficult conditions.

The defence from both teams reached epic proportions as wave upon wave of attacks were repelled.

On the 20 minute mark, winger and eventual man of the match Chris Marsh slipped a tackle and showed great pace in the bog to score under the posts allowing Ryan Dickson an easy conversion.

The game stayed at 7-0 from the remainder of the first half and midway into the second.

Haygrove threw everything at King Alfred’s and as the Bridgwater School over committed to a breakdown some quick thinking from flanker Ben O’Halleran resulted in Will Potter beating two covering defenders to score from 50 metres.

Haygrove sparked to life and maintained possession mounting several promising attacks, however mistakes or turnovers in the scoring zone allowed the Highbridge school's side to clear their lines.

From one such clearance a great chase from Charlie Harding and Sam Thomas resulted in a penalty that saw the hard-running number eight Ryan Beard crash over near the posts, with Dickson again converting.

With only two minutes remaining, King Alfred secured the restart before kicking the ball into the stand to bring on the final whistle.

The Year 10 squad included George Gardner, Josh Field, Lewis Dodge, Henry Hall, Andrew Aldred, Ben O’Halleran, Jake Harding, Ryan Beard, Charlie Criddle, Will Potter, Chris Marsh, Aiden Osman, Harry Marks, Charlie Harding, Ryan Dickson. Reps: Sam Thomas, Rory Shadbolt, Jason Roots, Jordan Cann, Jack Manlow.


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