Senior Boys News

Merchants’ U15 through to National Final!

Merchants’ Under 15 cricket team continued their spectacular run in the English Schools national cricket competition with a thrilling victory against Stamford School from Lincolnshire on Wednesday. This semi-final win now puts the boys in the top two teams in England and ready to contest the final on 10th July at Oakham.

Having won the toss Merchants’ bravely elected to bat and try to post a challenging total. Openers Jackson Darkes Sutcliffe and Robert Rankin made a solid start to the innings with a partnership of 55 for the first wicket before Jackson was caught for 19. After another quick wicket George Politis and Robert Rankin rebuilt the innings and set a good platform for a high total, but when they both got out for 33 and 69 respectively another couple of wickets left Merchants with an uphill battle to get a good score. At this stage some excellent batting from Oliver Meadows, Scott Thomson and Josh Carberry in the last five overs enabled the boys to reach 180. This was about 20 short of what we had hoped to achieve, but much better than had seemed probable at one stage.

The opening bowlers, Alex Barker and Robert Rankin kept it tight early on and Alex bowled one of the openers which brought Joey Evison to the wicket, Stamford’s best player. He batted very assuredly, accumulating 36 while the other Stamford players, despite the loss of another wicket or two, helped him take the total to 120 for 3 with 11 overs left. Getting Evison out was absolutely vital and Josh Carberry sent the supporting crowd, as well as his own team mates, wild with excitement when he had Evison caught at mid wicket. His dismissal seemed to spread panic among the remaining Stamford batsmen as they played a series of poor shots to the excellent leg-spin bowling of Harvey Rankin. He took 6 wickets, including a hat-trick, and Merchants bowled their opponents out for 147. mention should e made of the outstanding fielding in this game. Every catch was taken, some of them very difficult, and the boys played as a unit very well indeed.

The match was a fantastic advert for Merchant Taylors’ cricket, indeed for cricket itself. The Stamford boys played very well until the last half hour and put Merchants under more pressure than any other school has done before. Although obviously disappointed their boys and coaches were gracious in defeat and wished us well for the final.


Rhys Davies competes in National Table Tennis Championships

National Championships – report by Mark Davies

On Saturday June 17th, Rhys Davies participated in the Table Tennis U13 National Championships open to the best 48 players in the country.

The day began in the doubles where Rhys was joined by Naphong Boonyaprapa (Poww) from Nottinghamshire rekindling their partnership from the England Schools Team from 2016. As 2nd seeds they had a bye in the 1st round  and emphatically won their 2nd round match 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 to make the ¼ final where they had a similarly dominant win 11-2, 11-3, 11-9! The scheduling then switched to singles where Rhys won all 3 of his group matches by 3-0 to reach that last 16 before beating the 10th seed with his best performance to reach the ¼ final where he would meet his doubles partner, Poww – the timing couldn’t have been worse as their doubles semi-final would follow straight after. In a good match Poww came out on top, meaning Rhys would miss out on an individual medal for the 1st time at National Level.

Thankfully Rhys bounced back to partner Poww and win the doubles semi-final by 3-0 against the 3rd seeds. This set up a final against the top seeds (who were also the Individual finalists) Jamie Liu and Louis Price – In a high quality match Rhys & Poww looked on course to win after taking the first 2 sets and building a big lead in the 3rd. Unfortunately, despite having 6 match points they couldn’t quite finish the opposition off and eventually had to settle for silver.

I’ve attached the official photo and link to TTE’s video and report – it was streamed live (with commentary) and then posted on their youtube page

Twins peak at Nationals; two titles for Liu

Carter Cup

Just to cap off the season, we moved down the road to Wellingborough on the Sunday to take part in the finals of the English Leagues Cup – this is an U/18 team event and Rhys was joined by 14 year old Harry Watson (Bluecoats) to form the Liverpool Team – as the youngest 2 players in the event they were expected to finish between 5th and 8th but after some exceptional play they surpassed expectations to pick up the bronze medals. As a team they won 4 out of 5 doubles matches only losing to the champions and backed this up with strong singles results – Harry winning 4 form 7 and Rhys 6 from 7 – both only losing out to much higher ranked older players!

Old Boy awarded OBE

We are proud to announce that Old Boy Richard Greenwood has been awarded the OBE for his services to national and international rugby. Speaking to the School about the award, Richard had this to say:

It is a source of great joy, pride and fulfilment that I have been recognised by this award.

Rugby has been my lifelong passion. It is a great team game, so I am above all a team player, and my debt is to all my team-mates who have supported me through the years. I dedicate this award to all of them, who have made it possible for me.

Merchant Taylors’ School, Crosby; Cambridge University, who helped launch my international career; my England team-mates in the late 1960s; most of all, my Lancashire pals from 1961 to 1971, who gave me such a wonderful platform; my colleagues at the Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby; and now the great team I am working with at Rhyl Rugby.

The best team of all is my family – the Greenwoods, the Maziaks, the Stewarts and the Bradford-Nutters – all of whom have given me wonderful support, encouragement, and occasionally a well-merited kick up the backside.

“Primus inter pares” is my daughter Emma, who took the initiative in putting me forward for this award. I offer a huge thank you to all those who have contributed to Emma’s application – an overwhelming tide of support, indeed.

Then there are the rugby clubs I have played for – Waterloo, Rome, Blackburn and Preston Grasshoppers – great places for a rugby bloke to have plied his trade, and now Rhyl, to put the icing on my rugby cake.

My warmest thanks and appreciation to all concerned.

Richard Greenwood

Mr Greenwood is currently chairman for Rhyl RFC, and represented England both as a player and coach. His son Will also represented his country as a player, and posted the following message to social media:

Congratulations Richard!

Merchant Taylors’ 1st XI wins annual fixture against MCC

Merchant Taylors’ 1st XI won its annual fixture against MCC by 7 wickets. The School’s bowlers worked very hard in the morning session to restrict MCC to 110 for 3 at lunch. With the temperature pushing 30 degrees this was a fine effort. After lunch MCC improved their scoring rate but the School bowlers stuck to their task very well. Isaac Lea with 2 for 50 and Jackson Darkes-Sutcliffe with 2 for 53 were the wicket takers. MCC declared on 221 for 4 – a challenging but simultaneously inviting target.

Openers Ehren Agarwal and Kunal Mahambrey put on a splendid partnership of 110 which set up what proved to be a straightforward victory charge. When Ehren (63) and Kunal (41) were out Isaac Lea (33) and Alex Rankin (50 not out) continued to play positively and the game was won by 7 wickets with 8 overs to spare. After the game Chris Bell awarded the Simon Bell Trophy to Merchants’ winning captain Tom Barker in memory of his son Simon.

Simon was a student at Merchant Taylors’ from 1982 to 1987. He had two passions in life – Liverpool Football Club, and the game of cricket. He represented Merchant Taylors, the Northern Club and Lancashire in his age group. He was a more than useful batsman and an extremely accurate and skilful medium paced bowler, who honed his skills with hours of dedicated practice, often spending summer evenings bowling at one stump in the nets at Northern until it got dark. Simon very sadly lost his life in the tragedy at Hillsborough in 1989. As a mark of respect and in his memory the Northern Club and the Camels Club (former MT cricketers ) started playing an annual match for the Simon Bell Trophy. In recent years this fixture has happened only intermittently, so Mark Edwards, who was a friend of Simon’s at school suggested switching the focus of the trophy to the School’s annual match against MCC. From now on the winner of the game will be awarded the trophy at the end of the game. In the event of a draw it will stay, like the Ryder Cup, with the team which holds it. It is an appropriate way to remember and honour Simon Bell.

Carnegie Lunch 2017

The Carnegie Lunch 2017 – Library MTBS

Over 50 pupils from Holy Family Catholic High School, St Mary’s College, Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School, and Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School, gathered in the library for the annual Carnegie lunch, to hear the announcement of the winner of the Carnegie Medal. 2017 is a special year for this award, named after the famous American philanthropist, whose wealth founded many libraries on both sides of the Atlantic. It is 80 years since the first winner, Arthur Ransome was awarded the medal for Pigeon Post. The parents, grandparents and even great grandparents of today’s readers, could have read the winners from earlier years.

Today, modern technology makes possible the Carnegie shadowing scheme, enabling pupils to post reviews of the shortlisted books on a dedicated website, for other children, and even the authors to read. We were able to watch the announcement, live from London, that Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, was the latest winner. In her acceptance speech the author said that history always records the names of the villains, but never the names of the victims. She wanted to redress this in her moving and vivid novel based on the 1945 sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the largest maritime disaster in history, with the loss of over 9,000 lives. It is a disaster that was kept secret at the time and for many years after the war, in spite of the huge loss of life. The winner here in the library was voted Railhead by Philip Reeve, a work of science fiction set in a parallel universe. However the second favourite was Salt to the Sea.

The winner of the raffle was Caleb Pleavin, from Holy Family, and the winner of the best review was Oliver Bigley, from MTBS.


Service of Thanksgiving for Louis Simpson

The whole school, alongside his family, joined together on Friday 16th June for a Service of Thanksgiving to remember and give thanks for the life of Louis Simpson, a pupil at the school from 2013 to 2017.

The service was held in St Faith’s Church, Crosby and was planned and prepared with great love by Louis’s friends in Year 9  – they had reflected on their friend who had such an impact on them and with whom they shared laughter, joy, fun and also difficult times.   Through it all, and through facing the death of so lovely a friend, they honoured Louis in their prayers, readings, music and thanksgiving.   The service was very beautiful and all of us who were privileged to be there, while very sad, were also uplifted by the actions of Year 9 pupils and deeply proud of them.  The Middle Girls’ School Chamber Choir’s rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, one of Louis’s favourite Liverpool anthems, was particularly poignant.

After the service, a tree was planted in Louis’s memory on the Boys’ School site in the presence of his family and friends.

This service will undoubtedly remind the pupils of the friend they have lost and their personal sadness so the following advice from bereavement experts may be helpful as you talk with your son or daughter:  

  • Tell the truth. Talk about death vs. “going to sleep.”
  • Allow for your son to talk about feelings. If this is the first loss your son has experienced, he may not know how to respond and will be looking for your guidance.
  • Affirm all expressions.  It is okay to express feelings honestly. Tolerate the expressions rather than dismissing them or discouraging the expression of feelings.
  • Encourage for written expressions such notes, letters
  • Reaffirm that your child is safe and that your child is loved.
  • Affirm that your son’s reaction is normal and you understand the way he feels.
  • Help your son to return to as normal routine as possible.

Delighted Pupils from Little Crosby Primary School Win Cricket Festival

Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School was delighted to welcome 80 Year 5 and 6 primary school pupils to take part in its annual Kwik Cricket Festival in Crosby.

Kwik cricket is a high-speed version of cricket aimed at encouraging children to take part in the main sport.   Many of the rules are adapted from cricket and can be altered so that virtually any number of children can play in the time available.  For this festival each school brought 10 players – with 8 per team on the pitch at one time and each team played 4 games and had a great day of cricket.

The festival winners were St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Little Crosby.  Rachael Webb, who brought the victorious team, commented that “the pupils were absolutely thrilled to win.   For some of them, it was the first thing they have ever won with school”.     Thomas from Year 5 said “it was amazing!    We’ve never done a cricket tournament before, or even really played cricket, so it was really great to win!   It’s one of my favourite memories ever from school.”  It was the first time the pupils from Little Crosby had visited Merchant Taylors’ which made the victory even more special for them.

David Cook, Headmaster at Merchant Taylors’, was delighted to welcome so many enthusiastic cricketers to school.  “Currently we have 8 boys from various year groups who have been selected for Lancashire cricket teams.  One of our pupils, George Lavelle, captained the England Under 16 team in 2016 and has been selected to play for the full Lancashire 2nd XI in several games already this season.   Another of our 1st team players, Tom Hartley represented MCC Schools at Lords last year and we are celebrating our Under 15 team recently becoming North of England champions in the ESCA Cup.   It is excellent to see so many boys and girls taking part in today’s festival and that the future of the sport looks to be in safe hands”.



Merchants’ beat RGS Newcastle to become North of England Champions

The Merchant Taylors’ Under 15 cricket team continued its impressive run in the ESCA Cup on Friday by defeating RGS Newcastle on their own patch thanks to an impressive performance with both bat and ball.

Having lost the toss Merchants were invited to bat first on a good looking pitch and despite losing Jackson Darkes-Sutcliffe in the first over the other early batsmen began to build a good start to the innings. The Rankin twins took the score to 50 before the second wicket fell, and the next partnership between Robert Rankin (64) and George Politis (57) really set the foundation for a good score. With wickets in hand the boys were able to really attack the bowling in the closing stages and Merchants ended with a very challenging total of 200 from the 40 allocated overs.

Although the Newcastle boys got off to a fast start their innings faltered against the mean bowling of Jackson Darkes-Sutcliffe (1 for 18 from 8 overs) and Robert Rankin (1 for 8 from 6 overs). These two forced the required run rate up to a level where Newcastle had to take considerable risks to win the game, and against Oliver Green and Harvey Rankin that was never going to be an easy task. Both of them finished with 4 wickets from their spells as Newcastle were dismissed for 101.

This is the first time in its history that a Merchant Taylors’ team has gone so deep into a national competition. It is a credit to the boys and their coaches that they have done so well. They are also through to the quarter final of the Lancashire T20 Cup following an eight wicket win against St Mary’s School last week.

Success for Rhys at the Inter Regional Table Tennis Championships

Congratulations to Rhys Davies who competed for the North-West U/15 (Cadets) team last weekend. On Saturday they were split into 2 groups of 5 teams with the North-West winning all four matches 4-1 to qualify for Sunday’s final against the South West. The squad of 4 players all one at least 50% of their matches with Rhys and Harry Watson unbeaten in singles or doubles!
In the final, they completed a 3-1 victory with Rhys securing the winning point after a difficult loss in his opening match! The link to the TTE report is here;
After a short break the singles started and after winning his group Rhys battled past both of the opposition’s players from the team final (seeded 5th and 9th) before beating the 2nd seed in the semi-final. This set up an all North-West final with Rhys eventually losing to his team mate Harry Watson 11-9 in the 5th and final set. Again the TTE report is here;
A very successful and exhausting weekend picking up a Team Gold and Individual Silver in a national competition!