Old Burians’ Sporting Fixtures


A Cricket Revival and a Golfing First

From an observer on the boundary:

On a cloudy July evening two six-a-side teams of Old Burians and King Edward VI School staff gathered at the School under the supervision of past pupil and PE Leader James Sturgeon, to resurrect the cricket fixture which had not taken place for some years.

Winning the toss, the Old Burians took to the square and the spirited openers Tom Robotham and Alex Lack made an excellent start, with Tom eventually retiring having made a century. Will Vale and James Poulson pushed the score on, and there were further useful knocks from Alex Urquhart and Ben Tippett, setting the School team a target of over 200. Mike Harman and Henry Colburn opened the innings and, with the help of No. 3, Rob Johnson, they passed the hundred mark. Phil Pitt and school governor Brian Field went cheaply to the bowling of Vale and Poulson, and it was left to James Sturgeon to rescue the Staff with a useful 20. However, it was the second contributions from Colburn (24 n.o.) and Johnson (46 n.o.) that sealed the victory by two runs. The most amusing off-square incident came when scorer Secretary Ottley was sent flying backwards off his bench when he ducked to avoid a six off Robotham’s bat, taking Stuart Small (Head of Sixth Form) with him !

James Sturgeon is to be congratulated on raising two full XIs for a further match between Old Burians/KEVIS staff and a Bury Academy Development XI at the Victory Ground on the hottest afternoon of the summer holiday. Our combined team was strongly motivated, and there were some notable performances both with bat and ball. Alex Urquhart, playing for the first time with his father John, opened the batting and retired not out after scoring a useful 52 runs. Hugo Rynsard-Perry followed with 23. Tom Barber (Year 9) made his cricketing debut alongside his older brother Jack (who had played cricket for his Oxford college last season). Rory Beard (ex Year 13) and Peter Thearle added another 25, bringing the total to 127 for 3. Gary Clarke, Phil Pitt and James Sturgeon did not bat.The two adult members of the Bury side made most of their team’s runs, and our bowlers disposed of the rest quite cheaply, with a total of 88 for 5 – giving the Old Burians a much deserved victory on an energy-sapping afternoon.

On Friday 1 November four King Edward VI pupils and four Old Burians met at Stowmarket Golf Club for their inaugural golf match. It was an extremely blustery day, tough conditions for all. After a meet and greet and photograph on the first tee, the match commenced. They decided to play the match under the Stableford format whereby each player played their own ball scoring points for themselves and their team. Matt O’Doherty and Luke Ambrose teed off first with Geoffrey Challacombe and Mike Young, followed by Aran O’Doherty and Sam Nicholson with James Walter and Richard Mortlock. It was a great experience for the students to spend time with the past pupils who explained how the school had moved site and had many comical stories about other past pupils and staff. Youth won over experience but we all had a great time and are looking forward to a return match on Friday 4 July [2014].


With the successful revival of the cricket match in 2013, achieved by the enthusiasm of James Sturgeon, last July’s fixture was eagerly awaited with both the School Staff and Old Burians fielding strong sides. The Staff VIII took to the square and made a modest start with only Jonty Poward posting a fine 58 before being caught and bowled by Chris Gossett. With only James Sturgeon putting up a show of further resistance (24), the team reached a total of 153 in their innings.

After being revived by a splendid tea in the interval, the Old Burians were determined to outdo their opponents! Openers Ben Tippett (29) and Charlie Johnson (5) made a spirited start, being followed with useful knocks from Chris Gossett (26), captain James Poulson (24), James Deeley (n.o. 38) and Sam Bishop (n.o. 16). Only Adam Staines suffered the humiliation of a duck and Rory Beard did not have to bat, with the team reaching 157 by the close, and registering a narrow win. The match was keenly fought in a friendly atmosphere. The 2015 match is already in the planning stage!

Our golfing partners, twins Aran and Matt O’Doherty and Sam Nicholson, having finished their A-level exams, were keen to capitalise on their 2013 success in a return match at Stowmarket Golf Club last July. We were able to raise a trio of more mature Old Burians to test their skills! Richard Mortlock and Mike Young were joined by Neil Goodchild on this occasion. The conditions were good weather-wise, a fine sunny day. The challenge proved too much for the mature ones with the young professionals putting on a masterly display of their skills. Post-match refreshments were taken in the Clubhouse and this gave everyone a chance to renew friendships. The 2015 fixture will take place on Friday 3 July. As we go to press, we are hoping to raise a team of six to play by invitation in an Inter Schools’ Old Pupils competition at Woodbridge in September, which is an exciting development in our ever-expanding Old Burians’ sporting portfolio.


A Season of Revival, Repeats and Inter-School Rivalry

as reviewed by John Ottley

The spring and summer of 2015 brought us into a period of eager anticipation for what was ahead for three of our Old Burian teams. It was with great enthusiasm that plans had been made to revive the annual hockey match against a School side, and its billing did not disappoint. The Old Burians’ team included a number who had left the School the previous summer and who wished to play against a team of younger players who shared their passion for the game. In all my wildest dreams I thought we should have to wait for a few years yet, but under the coaching of Laura Harker, the School XI took an afternoon out of their Easter holiday to make it happen.

There was a deal of sibling rivalry in the event as Jack Barber and his younger brother Tom played on opposing teams. Hugh Poward captained the School and Sam Knock the Old Burians. Clare Poole, a member of England’s U18 team, was very happy to give us her time. The School won 7 – 6 and this year’s match, to be held at the School on Wednesday 30 March at 11am, promises to be just as close and as enjoyable.

Towards the close of the summer term, the Old Burians v School cricket teams took to the field at the School on a very humid evening. Both sides were let down by some late withdrawals but those who played did so with the usual aplomb, and we are very grateful to James Sturgeon for arranging the match. The Old Burian golfers gathered at the Stowmarket club on 3 July for the annual challenge between the young professionals and the more senior contingent. Aran O’Doherty must be thanked for his arranging of the match. It was good to welcome Terry Edwards to the line-up on this occasion.

With a change of venue, six Old Burian invitees made their way to Thetford for this year’s Inter-Schools’ Challenge for the Rudyard Trophy. The inauguration of this competitive fixture in September 2014 (at Woodbridge) brought together teams from schools across Norfolk and Suffolk. Our team had received a special invitation from the organisers to take part in the 2015 match on 5 September. They were up against teams from eight other schools. Everyone enjoyed the day, with Matt O’Doherty making the longest drive, and the team being placed 4th out of 9 – a creditable debut outing. Plans are already in hand for the 2016 match on 7 September at Thetford.

If you would be interested in taking part in similar events in the future, please let us know by contacting us here.