See the Pilgrims Booklet 2016 for a report on the 2015/16 season.

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Saturday January 14th  2017 v The School  Won 94-173

Naturally the battle to fill the absent Struan Coad’s shoes was always going to be a struggle however Toby Dean and David Kirk stepped up admirably, joining veterans from last year MacIver, Ambrose and Stokes. A late and welcome addition of recent leaver Findlay completed the six.

In the twelve months since our last visit to the School the Pilgrims have all taken different but equally strict approaches to preparation. The final scores – and any witnesses – would concur that MacIver’s relentless regime of complete abstinence from any fives whatsoever proved the most successful, whilst Stokes’ tally of approximately 50 competitive games the least.

It will come as no surprise that group of individuals who choose fives as their pastime are also balancing right leading edge of technology and accordingly The Pilgrims Rugby Fives WhatsApp group celebrated its’ one year anniversary recently. For many of the members it’s become one of the few go to places that combine rugby fives news and tactics with warm, reassuringly ill-informed political discussion.

The School’s top pair of Shardlow & Smith were joined by the Masters Scorer, Mercer, Reynolds and Crawford

Although ultimately the result was a victory for the Pilgrims, the boys played extremely well and showed great resilience, not least when beating Ambrose and Stokes.  Both boys were consistently hitting the ball low and hard and demonstrating outstanding retrieval skills. They should take some comfort also in the fact that Maciver, Dean and Kirk all won varieties of the nationals in their time and are never going to be easy opposition.

Highlights include a hard fought victory by Mr Scorer over Stokes. Some decidedly tricky serves by the Chaplain Tim Ambrose combining his usual energetic playing style with a hitherto hidden talent for Team shirt design. Mr Kirk leading the charge of the third pair with powerful play and court dominance. Toby Dean’s determination to play top level fives in a down jacket, MacIver’s continued frankly absurd level of skill and Mike Cleaver quietly and successfully testing his right-hand-down-the-wall shot ( it was the possibly the best shot played on court that day)

A huge thanks to the School for acommodating the ever growing Pilgrims fives team at a time when the sport isperhaps struggling for numbers. We in particular thank Nick Scorer and the masters who made the time to play. We enjoyed the day immensely and are already plotting next year’s match.

It may be worth noting that Pilgrims ( David Kirk, David Park, Simon Stokes) entered the Owers trophy held at St Paul’s back in October and it would be excellent to get even more Pilgrims involved this year as well as next year’s halo fixture against the School.