KCRFC REVIEW OF THE 2003-04 SEASON

KCs 1st XV finished in 7th place in the league and they could not have hoped for much more as they are still rebuilding their team. To their credit they have given many of their young players a chance and they did well when selected. Some of the “veterans” are still performing well, but they will soon need replacing. The problem is, the positions they play in are not always easy to fill. Andy Stooksbury at 40 is still a very competent stand-off, but it has not been possible to find someone inside the club to take over this very important position.
Number 8 Mark Cleeton must find each game hard on the body, but he still gives 100% in every game.Ambro Neri is not as quick down the wing as he was, and doesn’t knock so many opponents over with his incredible tackling, but his enthusiasm never wains.
Four young men have certainly caught the eye, more especially in the second half of the season. James Whitehouse almost became automatic choice at full back and scored four tries.
Owen Jones was tried on the wing and scored five times. Ollie Toms, still has a lot to learn but his promotion to the 1st team showed his full potential. as a flanker he was always involved. One for the future. James Guest looks as if he would not take much stopping, but opponents have found him difficult to catch.Joint leading try scorer with 9 tries, he has an incredible season’s total in the other XVs. He scored twenty four for the 2nd XV and eleven for the 3rds.

The 1st XV won 16 of their 30 games, scoring 638 points against 538. Twenty-two of those games were in the league where they won on ten occasions.
Andy Stooksbury was leading points-scorer with 208 points, which came from 44 conversions and 40 penalties.
Top try-scorers were Matt Poole, Ambrogio Neri and James Guest with nine each. Skipper Eddie Ross missed some matches but scored 8.

The 2nd XV rounded off a good season by winning the KCRFC 2nd XV Cup for the first time in its 17 year history. A narrow 7-0 win against Aston Old Edwardian’s was cause for big celebrations at the club. They won 15 out of 30 games, scoring 711 points against 490.
Once again, young players were given a chance and some good rugby was played. Pete James worked hard as manager with Matt Greene as skipper.
James Guest with 24 tries and Iain Crockett with 14 were at the top of the list, but Crockett also kicked 40 conversions and 8 penalties, a total of 174 points. The proof that the 2nd XV played open rugby is that 36 different players scored tries.

Sean Ryan was in charge of the 3rd team and they recorded 18 wins in 29 games. Their points for, 906, would have reached 1000 but for one or two games having been cancelled.
Three players got into double figures with their try scoring. Billy Chiverton scored 18, James Guest 11 and Matt Woodward 10.
Woodwards 53 conversions, 4 penalties and one drop-goal, gave him a total of 171 points. A wonderful season for a young player.
Hooker John Lloyd continued to play as well as ever . He trains hard and puts in everything he has got in every game. This veteran of many campaigns is a great example to the young players around him.

The 4th team only managed 3 games, winning one of them. Not many clubs at KCs’ level can muster 3 teams each week let alone four.

Director of Rugby Phil Knowles was pleased with the way things went.
” A mixed season, competing in a very strong league. I had hoped for a top four spot, but we underachieved a little.
There were games that we lost by the narrowest of margins which was frustrating, but it tells me that we are not from becoming a strong force once again.
I was very pleased with the turnout at training. With the return of Coach Ian Bletcher, assisted by Andy Stooksbury, things have moved up a gear. With temporary dressing rooms due to the rebuilding, the players have shown great commitment under difficult conditions. Bill Breeze has once again worked hard looking after the injuries, while Keith Crisp taking the job of KIt Man in his stride. I would like to thank all the players, no matter which team they played in, for a great effort .Finally from the players, a big thank you to our wonderful,supporters whether at home or away.”

So, a reasonable all round season that saw the completion of the building program. The facilities for players and supporters are second to none. Here’s hoping for more success next September when we kick off again.

BRIAN GITTINS (PRESS SEC) 01562 745429

Re-created with the kind Permission of Mr B Gittins