Dear SRFC VP,
All three senior sides were in home league action last weekend and with all three facing tough opposition there was certainly pressure on the three to stretch the unbeaten run into December.
The 1st XV entertained Marlborough who had lost just the once coming into the game. On a bright and cold day hats and gloves were the order of the day for most watching but with the visitors fielding a squad that contained eight Fijians there was no doubt that the action on the pitch was going to be fast and physical.
Sherborne looked good from the outset with all 15 players working hard to shut down the opportunity of space to the visitors and to make the most of their own attacking chances. Sherborne looked to be in danger of running away with things as the scoreboard ticked over in their favour but with the foot perhaps slightly lifted off the pedal Marlborough enjoyed the extra space they were offered and scored some points of their own. With the score 26-12 in Sherborne's favour at the break everyone on the line knew that the game was certainly not over.
The second half saw both sides cross for two tries, for Marlborough a well deserved losing bonus point for scoring four excellent tries and entertaining with their style of rugby. For Sherborne another bonus point win as reward for their hard work in defence and their ability to find the opposition try line from all areas of the pitch with their own exciting and fast style of rugby.
The win sees Sherborne continue to lead the Southern Counties table as Christmas approaches. Elsewhere in the league Trowbridge identified that they have now hit form as they annihilated Devizes 80-5 in their league encounter and Swans continue to struggle as they lost at home 17-15 to Frome. Next week's cup final opponents suffered a 25-32 home defeat to Swindon College.
Whilst the 1st XV kept their run going the 2nd XV faced an even sterner challenge as visitors Puddletown 1st XV had the perfect record with eight wins and eight bonus points from their season to date. Sherborne were able to field a strong side for this one and that worked in their favour on the day. Whether Puddletown froze a bit or whether Sherborne were that little bit better throughout the side is difficult to tell but Sherborne's winning margin of 40-17 was certainly far greater than many would have been expecting at kick-off.
The win sees Sherborne open a precious four point gap over Puddletown at the top of the table. With these two teams dominating the league everything will probably come down to the return fixture in the second half of the season.
On Sunday the Colts attempted to make it three from three over the weekend as the hosted Salisbury in the final round of the first phase of the Merit Table. With Salisbury having only lost the one game an exciting match was expected. However, the expectation never materialised and Sherborne ran out very easy winners by 72-10 to see them finish top and unbeaten in their section.
To have reached the end of November with all three senior sides unbeaten is a remarkable achievement and one that I do not remember the club having come near in any previous season. With both the 1st and 2nd XVs containing a large percentage of players who have represented Sherborne for many seasons through the youth and mini sections this is not only a tribute to the players and the current coaching staff but also to the many coaches who have helped these players develop down the years.
This weekend sees another big day for the club as the 1st XV represent the club in the Dorset & Wilts cup final. This will be the first time D&W final Sherborne have played in for many seasons and whilst the competition is now an intermediate competition - so no Swindon, Bournemouth, Salisbury etc. it is still a valued competition that sees the winner progress through to a National Cup competition.
The venue is Swanage and Wareham's ground and the opposition Sherborne's old rivals from up the road, North Dorset. Sherborne will know that league form and position counts for nothing when cup finals are on the agenda and can expect North to provide a stiff test come Saturday. For those not booked on the coach please note that kick off is at 14:00 and the postcode is BH20 4HY.
The 2nd XV have a weekend off and the Colts have an interesting looking friendly against Wimborne at home. Kick off is also 14:00 for this one.
Future dates of note included below.
Key future dates for your diary:
Saturday 9th December 1st XV v North Dorset RFC (Away) KO 2.15pm
Saturday 30th December U16s/Colts Inter-Club Fixture KO 2pm
Saturday 30th December SRFC 1st XV v President’s XV KO 3.30pm
Saturday 6th January Dorset & Wilts 2nd XV Shield Semi Final v Dorchester RFC (Away) KO 2pm
Sunday 14th January U18 Dorset & Wilts Plate Final v Chippenham RFC (Home) KO 2pm
Saturday 3rd February 1st XV v Yeovil RFC (Away) KO 2.30pm
Friday 9th February Social/Vets XV v North Dorset RFC (Away) KO 7.30pm
Saturday 24th February Club Away Day Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints
Friday 16th March Social/Vets XV v North Dorset RFC (Home) KO 7.30pm
Friday 6th April 1st XV v North Dorset RFC (Home) KO 7.30pm
Saturday 21st April SRFC Annual Dinner & Dance
Updated 12:27 - 30 Nov 2017 by Philippa O'Grady