Prep Garden cleanup continues…

Our Prep. Gardening welcomed some new recruits today (we now have a waiting list as we are full!) and we continued our drive to tidy up our patch after the long summer.  With a delivery of bark mulch, our young gardeners today laid down weed matting to suppress our ever present weeds, and then covered this with the bark mulch.  We still have a little to do, but after today’s session our garden area looks so much better – pop down and have a look

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Bridgewater Scrum Down in ISA North Rugby Tournament

Today a fledgling team of ten Prep V and VI travelled to Manchester Rugby Club to participate in the ISA North Rugby Tournament. With only a couple of sessions under the expert guidance of Mr. Rooney, the boys went into the world of full contact rugby for their first and only the second time in the school’s illustrious history.

With eleven schools to play in a series of eight-minute games, it was going to be a challenging day for the team. Within seconds of the opening game against Brabyns Prep, the team went a try down. Shell-shocked and stung into action, Bridgewater went on the attack and soon levelled the match with a driving run from Matteo. Both teams pressed for a winning score, but defences held firm and a 1-1 draw was a fair result overall.

Next up was The Grange School who were clearly more experienced and had in their midst, the biggest ten-year-old on the planet. Matteo once again scored a great solo try, but despite some huge tackles throughout the game, Bridgewater could not hold down Ben Nevis from leading the opposition to a 3-1 win. Bridgewater went into the next game against Scarisbrick B, relieved not to face another mountain and set about the opposition with renewed confidence. Tries from Matteo (2) and Harper gave the team a thoroughly deserved win, but the tackling from Toby, Owen and Lukee was instrumental in securing the victory.

Next up was Scarisbrick A team and they flew out of the traps and into an early lead. However, the resilience and relentless nature of the Bridgewater defending gave the boys a foothold in the game. With time running out, Matteo added another try to his name, but it was a sensational last gasp tackle from Matteo on the opposition winger that most will remember from this game. The final game of the morning was against Greenbank Prep B. With thoughts turning to lunch, Greenbank ran into an early lead straight from the kick off. Fortunately, a brilliant run from Lukee earned Bridgewater another point and so ended the morning session in the top half of the table.

A deserved relaxing lunch in the beautiful October sunshine gave the team a well-earned break. However, it was soon back to business and the afternoon session started with back to back fixtures against the top two teams in the tournament. An incredible defensive performance against Hipperholme Grammar resulted in a 1-0 loss. Toby, Thomas, Matteo, Harper and Matteo all produced try saving tackles and earned the praise and respect of the opposition players and coaches.
The titanic effort to keep out the Hipperholme forwards took its toll and in the subsequent games, injuries to Matteo, Harper and play maker Owen were to be consequential. Harrison, Oliver, Jaydon and Alfie stepped up to the challenge, but could not prevent victories for Hull Collegiate and Greenbank Prep A.

In the final games of the tournament, Bridgewater rallied to produce a great win over Beech Hall and Redcourt Prep. Lukee was key in both games, scoring the tries to beat Redcourt and to earn a point against Beech Hall. The final game of the day was against hosts Greenbank Prep A team. A diving try in the corner gave Bridgewater a flying start, but ultimately tiredness set in as the boys succumbed to a 3-1 loss. The game was notable for the sight of Thomas bouncing off an opponent and landing in the next field! Moments later the same player crossed the Bridgewater line with all seven players and three subs hanging off him!

Days like today are a joy to be a part of. The passion, commitment and enthusiasm of the team was a pleasure to see. The willingness to listen and learn so quickly was so rewarding. To see boys taking on a sport with some trepidation due to the contact element of the game was truly inspiring. Everyone played their part in a fabulous day of sport with even the sun coming out to enjoy the event.

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U9s continue strong start to the season

Bridgewater U9s headed to Wilmslow to take on a traditionally tough opponent in Pownall Hall School. The game turned into a classic with the outcome of the match ebbing to and fro at various stages. Bridgewater set off out of the blocks like a train and threatened to steam roller their opponents in the early stages.  Luca C in the Bridgewater goal was a spectator for most of the first half, with Toby and Alfie preventing any potential threats.

The Pownall goalkeeper produced a string of impressive saves in the face of wave after wave of attack from an exuberant Bridgewater team. However, he was helpless to prevent a stunning long range strike from Alfie, that rocketed into the roof of the net. Moments later Luca B saw a similar effort go narrowly wide and Tommy-Jack went close on several occasions.  On the stroke of half- time, Alfie doubled the lead with another fine strike to put Bridgewater 2-0 up at the break and nobody could say that this was not well deserved.

Despite the score line, Bridgewater knew the next goal of the game was going to be crucial. Much to the credit of the hosts they looked dangerous and with their first two real attempts on goal, levelled the scoreline only minutes into the second half. A brilliant strike from distance left Luca C powerless to react, whilst moments later defensive hesitation resulted in the equaliser being prodded home. An excellent clearance from Toby and a lightening turn of speed from Alfie to prevent another goal, proved to be the turning point in the game.   Alfie sent in a through ball to Alexander, who chased the ball down; causing the keeper to drop the ball into the back of the net!

With the lead restored, confidence also seemed to return to the team. Great wing play from Josh saw Joel fire over from close range. A superb cross from Joel found Anton in space, only to find the keeper once again in sparkling form. The pressure on the hosts’ defence intensified and Alexander again caused havoc in the Pownall defence, resulting in an own goal from a last gasp clearance.

With time running out, Bridgewater finished the game as a contest with a fifth goal and a fourth from the impressive Alfie. It looked like Josh had won a penalty, drawing a handball from the stranded full back. However, the referee awarded a free kick wide on the angle of the area. With the goal line packed and the wall expecting a driven shot, Alfie calmly chipped the ball over everyone and into the far corner of the net. The “Messi” type touch of genius was the perfect way to the end game for the jubilant youngsters. An impressive all-round team performance once more earned praise from the opposition coaches who admired the shape, set up, discipline and passing style that the team are developing. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the performance was the brilliant response to losing the two-goal lead, as this team certainly showed that they have the desire and heart to match anyone. Well done once more boys!

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Prep V’s watery reactions

Today Prep V were investigating how some materials react with water. Emphasising the importance of fair testing, the children were careful and accurate with their measurements and observations of the results. They discovered that some materials do not change at all whilst others dissolve or react in other ways. Now they are all keen to try similar investigations at home. Watch out at home for your mini scientists searching the kitchen cupboards to do some extra investigating!

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Bridgewater U6s City Slickers

Friday 5th October was a special day for seven lucky Reception and Prep 1 football fanatics. The Manchester City Football Club held their annual football tournament at the amazing Academy, surrounded by Youth Team players and young stars of the future.

With seven teams present, it was going to be a tall order to get to the final, but the boys were in a confident and excited mood. First up was The Ryley’s School and Bridgewater dominated the game early on.  Mason thought he had opened the scoring only to find the goal was disallowed for sliding into the keeper and not just because he had his boots on the wrong feet! Moments later, the opposition keeper could not hold onto a shot from Christian and carried the ball over the line to give Bridgewater a 1-0 lead. The game finished this way and we moved onto play Wilmslow Prep. Both teams had chances to score as the game flowed from end to end.  Jacob made some crucial saves in goal, whilst at the other end, the opposition goal somehow managed to stay intact.  A 0-0 draw was probably a fair result and we moved onto the next opponent, Terra Nova.

Terra Nova looked a cut above the other teams, with a Liverpool FC Academy player running the show.  Oliver C had moved into the net and made some great saves, but the pressure on the Bridgewater defence finally told.  In the last minute, an error at the back led to a goal for Terra Nova and a 1-0 defeat.  If Bridgewater were to book a place in the final, nothing but victories from here on in would do.

The goal of the tournament came in game four, when right from the kick off, Mason dribbled past three players before firing into the bottom corner. The stunned opposition Moor Atherton barely had time to recover before Oscar added a second and then a third in quick succession. Mason scored the fourth goal, before a jubilant Sam completed the 5-0 rout with the last kick of the game and the best celebration of the tournament.

St. Ambrose stood in between Bridgewater and a place in the final. Henry was a rock in defence and Oscar was growing in stature and attracting attention with his energy and dynamic approach play. Goals from Mason and Oscar again ensured a 2-0 win and a place in the final against the undefeated Terra Nova.

Much to the credit of the Bridgewater team, fear was not on the agenda and the only thoughts were of victory. Even after Terra Nova took the lead, the belief remained and when Sam equalised the celebrations were a joy to see. Unfortunately, with seconds to go, Terra Nova were awarded a penalty and with the last kick of the game, won the match 2-1 and the tournament overall.

The U6s can take enormous pride and credit for how they played the game. Their enthusiasm was infectious and the pleasure in just playing the game was so refreshing to see. The future is bright for the talented youngsters and I for one cannot wait to see them in action again.

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The loneliness of the long distance runner… Cross country club resumes

The Prep. Cross Country Club resumed today with sixteen eager participants venturing into the woods for the first time this year.  There are still more places available – please see Mr. Grant for registration forms.

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Adios Valencia – day 6

The sixth and final day of the Valencia trip arrived with a surprising start… a lie in!  Having looked at the rooms before bedtime last night it was clear that a major tidy up was due before the 11am room inspections. A last breakfast was served by our fantastic fabulous waiters, before the room transformations began in earnest.

Miss Armstrong and Mr. Suter reluctantly took charge of those who needed additional attention, whilst Mr. Altdorf and Mrs. Hewitt took the rest up to the roof pool for one last blast of the Spanish sunshine. Room inspections revealed that the girls are actually more untidy than the boys.  Harrison and Owen swept aside all challengers in the quest for the best kept room. Half way through the inspection, Luiz revealed that a call has gone out this morning to appeal for the return of tonnes of seaweed that went missing from the beach at Malvarossa yesterday.  On closer investigation of the bathrooms we think we know where most of it disappeared to!

A quick word on our Spanish rep Luiz. He has made our stay here so much easier and ensured every aspect of the trip has ran smoothly. A great sense of humour and he inter grated with the staff and the group brilliantly. Bridgewater salute you – gracias amigo.

With last minute dips in the pool, final moments in the sun soaked up and the room inspections complete, it was time to board the coach to the airport. The six days have flown by and every member of the group will have special memories to last a life time. Coaching with Valencia staff at the Paterna complex is an incredible experience.  Playing against Spanish teams and being shown just why the national side is so good, being brought up with patterns of play and feeling comfortable on the ball. Watching a La Liga game at Villareal and seeing VAR in action. A stadium tour around the amazing Mestalla, with its beauty and its proud history. Barcelona FC ladies team turning up to our hotel for a meal and taking the time to sign autographs and take priceless photograph. A night out in a Spanish restaurant and crazy games of Lazer Quest to follow. Walking around the futuristic and spectacular looking Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.  A football tour with an afternoon at the beach was the perfect way to end a trip that has been everything it set out to be.

As we board the flight home, we all leave with special memories, individual achievements and hopefully a desire to return to Valencia one day – or perhaps another destination. Thank you to all thirty-five children for their excellent behaviour on the trip, Bridgewater will always be welcome back to the Hotel Mas Camarena and to Valencia CF.  Finally, a huge thank you from me to Mr. Suter, Miss Armstrong and Mrs. Hewitt for making the trip the success it has been.

See you at the airport. Adios!

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