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Saints finish season in style

 St Mary’s College 13-5 Runshaw College

A pulsating game on Thursday 22nd March under floodlights at Liverpool St. Helens saw St. Mary’s finish their season (and for some their school careers) in style, winning the Lancashire Plate final.

Lancs Plate 1

A group of players who have won the Lancashire Plate once previously, as well as being runners-up, and who have won the Nora Lipscombe 7s and been runners-up in the Arnold 7s, held on to beat a huge Runshaw side.

St. Mary’s started the stronger and were on the front foot when an Owen Griffiths penalty gave them an early 3-0 lead. Jack Dwyer, outstanding throughout, set the defensive tone for what was to come. Good field position was attained again by the classy scrum-half Chris Bartolo and a break by Owen Griffiths saw Anthony Bennett finish excellently for the first try of the match. St. Mary’s scored soon again when a good lineout ball from the excellent Greg Best, a constant thorn in the side of Runshaw, saw a three-quarter move that ended up with a sublime finish by Tom Owens in the corner. The score remained at 13-0 until half-time, although there were signs that Runshaw were coming back into the game - indeed, they would have scored had it not been for last gasp defence by Dalitso Mwandumba.

Lancs Plate 2

The second-half was a different affair with Runshaw on top in every aspect of the game except the lineout, and their physical advantage, evident to all, was beginning to tell. The defence, however, was nothing short of heroic with the ball being held up over the St. Mary’s line on no fewer than four occasions. St. Mary’s were outstanding in defence, led by Joe McGrady who has had a brilliant year and James Taylor who had one of his usual great games. Michael Bennett came on to nullify the dangerous Runshaw winger and his ‘thou shalt not pass’ attitude spurred the team on to even greater effect.

Lancs Plate 3

Runshaw scored on the last play, a just reward for their second-half superiority, but perhaps St. Mary’s narrowly deserved it in view of their excellent defence and their clinical finishing out wide. To a man, St. Mary’s were outstanding. At the final whistle there were no histrionics from either side, simply gentlemanly handshakes and a tunnel before coming back to Crosby to celebrate. Respect given and earned by 40 young men who gave their all and can be proud of their efforts.

Lancs Plate 4


Jonny Bonner (Captain), Paddy Nevin (Joe Campbell 63), Andy Adams, Greg Best, Dom Allen, Dalitso Mwandumba (Chris Clarke 61), Joe McGrady, James Taylor, Chris Bartolo, Owen Griffiths, Jonny Ford (Ben Blackburn 40), Jack Dwyer, Sean Marren (Michael Bennett 53), Tom Owens, Anthony Bennett. Sub not used: Ben Wilson


St. Mary's College rugby skipper receives national recognition

This year’s rugby captain at St. Mary’s College has received national recognition.

18-year-old prop forward Jonathan Bonner has been selected as a member of the English Independent Schools squad, popularly known as The Lambs.

The St. Mary’s sixth former had previously played for the English Independent Schools northern team. Now he has been invited to join the national squad for a match against the Irish Exiles this month.

As well as his rugby commitments, Jonathan is busy preparing for his A-level exams this summer in Business Studies, PE and History. His aim is to read History at university before embarking on a career in teaching.

St. Mary’s Principal, Mike Kennedy, commented: “It’s been obvious for some time to everyone here that Jonathan is a very talented rugby player and excellent skipper, so we’re delighted that this has now been recognised by the English Independent Schools selectors.

“The fact that he’s one of only two Merseyside players in the squad is a real tribute to his skills and commitment. We wish him every success at national level,” added Mr Kennedy.

Jonathan Bonner is one of 17 St. Mary’s College rugby players who have achieved representative honours this year and there are a number of other current sporting success stories at St. Mary’s.

For example, upper sixth form cricketing colleague Gavin Griffiths has been a member of the England Development Programme squad for his age group, identifying him as one of the country’s most promising fast bowlers.


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