27 Apr 2021
Sports Report: Cloister Time, Week 1

Sports Report: Cloister Time, Week 1

Cricket

Cloister Time has brought with it not only a spell of fine weather to lift our spirits but also the return of competitive inter-school fixtures. An extended Lords Squad were first up for their PCR tests two weekends back in order to begin their pre-season preparations. The spoils were shared with a victory against an U15 Hampshire County squad on Saturday the 17th and a defeat to Epsom College on Sunday 18th. These matches are all about fine-tuning and getting one’s eye in and plaudits go to MP Henry Nicholls for his maiden century on the Saturday and Lords skipper Caspar Byers for his 100 against Epsom.

It is pleasing to see the flagship side leading the way on the field so far this term. Lords won a T20 against Hampshire Cricket College on Thursday and then went up to Bradfield on Saturday for the first official match of the season.

On a sun drenched if breezy day we lost the toss and Bradfield elected to bat first. The wicket looked dry and potentially would be tougher to bat on later in the day, so it did look a good toss to win.

Bradfield started off quite well although in the 4th over of the day, Zach Roberts struck to reduce the hosts to 12-1 which gave him his first wicket at Senior level. Subsequently, Bradfield moved serenely on to 52 in the 9th over. It was then that skipper Caspar Byers decided spin might be the best option and both Zain Malik (3-26) and Callum Whillock (2-30) produced fine spells, reducing Bradfield to 68-5 and 97-6. This was a fantastic effort and was brilliantly supported by some excellent ground fielding, in particular Chris Batten who put his body on the line on several occasions and also caught their best batsman.

Bradfield’s lower order batsman played very well throughout the next 20 overs and eventually finished on 209-7 off their 50 overs. There was some fine “death” bowling in particular from Paddy Fisher, his 6 overs went for only 14 runs, and Dom Hall who mixed up good line and length bowling with excellent variations.

So, we required just over 4 an over, a rate that was achievable if we applied ourselves in the right way and took all available runs. Unfortunately, we lost Zain Malik early on, but a wonderful partnership of 121 between Wilf La Fontaine Jackson and Jack Heyworth ensured we were well and truly in the game. They both batted extremely sensibly, punishing any loose balls, but always looking to keep the score board ticking. Wilf played their spinners with extreme confidence; Jack played some wonderful shots through mid-on in particular, but also used the sweep shot to great effect under quite intense pressure and “chatter” from the opposition. We then suffered a mini wobble losing 3 quick wickets and at 162-4 the game was in the balance. However, Dom Hall ensured there was no panic, hitting 3 successive fours in one over and we won with over 5 overs remaining and 5 wickets in hand. Wilf scored 79, Jack 50 and Dom was 34 not out.

This was an excellent team effort and one the boys should be very proud of, both in the way they played the game, but also in the correct manner and spirit. (PNG)

The 2nds had a tight game at home in which they ended up on the losing side. They did commendably well with the ball to make the game so exciting. On Doggers, the 3rds did not start well but grew into the game as it progressed. Chasing a large score, Heywood’s 46 and Kleingeld’s 44 helped them make a decent fist of the run chase. In the final home game, Yearlings A did well to post 203-7 from their 35 overs. Seb Morgan scored 80 in around 25 overs whilst Alexander and Humphreys offered good support.

Away from home, the going was tougher. Both Sen Colts sides showed good spirit and Freddie East’s 41* was a defiant knock for the Diggers. JCA struggled to restrain the Bradfield scoring and were set a daunting total. Captain Nicholls continued his fine form for another half century before a swift collapse left us well short of the target. Having scored his maiden century against Hants U15s last Saturday and followed it up with 50 on Thursday for Lords, Henry is in fine form with the bat in these early stages of the season.

On Sunday, Lords played two games at The Oratory School, against the Oratory and Lord Wandsworth College in the first round of the National T20 competition. Against LWC in the first game, who had just beaten our hosts off the last ball of their game, we bowled very well to contain them to 95-8. Whillock seemed unplayable with 4-7 from his 4 overs. Captain Byers and Wilf LFJ added 58 for the first wicket in reply, before Caspar finished the game off in haste, finishing with 62 off 33 balls as we won inside 11 overs.

The deciding game saw Oratory bat well and put us under pressure in the field. They scored quickly throughout their innings and looked set for 180. Fine bowling from Fisher (1-11 from 2) helped Dom Hall (2-18 from 4) keep the score down towards the close: 168-6. At this point some of us were discussing the net run rate scenario, in case we fell short of the target. Whilst doing so, Captain Byers stood quietly to one side. The quiet before the storm, Caspar quickly settled in to the bowling on offer, demonstrating his great ability in this game and format, flashing quick hands through the ball and sending it to all parts on his way to 50 off 29 balls. At the other end, LFJ, not one to be outshone, replied with paddles, pulls, reverse sweeps and slog sweeps to add his 50 off 34 balls. The two continued to share blows off the Oratory attack and completed the run chase with 41 balls to spare. This really was the most impressive display of explosive batting that either myself or Mr Gover have witnessed from Wykehamists; I only wish more could have been around to see it. (JMB)

Sailing

On Saturday, the sailing team competed in the BSDRA Southern Area championships. This event, organised by the school, usually takes the form of 16-20 teams competing in a team racing regatta (team racing is an exciting form of sailing consisting of many short races, very tactical, in which the objective is to use the racing rules of sailing to ensure your team ends up in a winning position). In the light of COVID, we adapted the format, inviting three local teams (RGS Guilford, Sherborne and Wellington) to Spinnaker Sailing club for a morning of training exercises followed by a regatta in the afternoon. A great way to kick off the season, and the first school sailing event to run since the start of the pandemic! Our team had not been on the water together since October and facing stiff opposition from some excellent teams and sailors, we did not, unfortunately, prevail. Nonetheless, the team remain in good spirits, enjoyed the fantastic sailing weather in the afternoon and are looking forward to getting back in fighting form for the rest of the season. (JAAB)

Last Thursday saw the Winchester Football game between College and Commoners take place on Palmer Field. This match was unable to take place before the end of last term and the four weeks off from the game was evident in a scrappy affair which saw Commoners come out 38-25 victors.

A final note of congratulations goes to MP pupil Lawrence Hagger. During the Easter holidays he broke the British rowing ergometer age group record (13-14yr olds) for distance achieved in 1 hour. Lawrence completed a staggering total of 15662m which is not only mightily impressive physically but also illustrates a great deal of psychological strength too – well done!

Week beginning Monday 26th April

This week sees the tennis and golf teams start their competitive season. The tennis teams face Charterhouse on Thursday and Magdalen College on Saturday with the golfers up against Bradfield on Thursday. There is an U17 National Cricket Cup match away at Sherborne on Tuesday, 2nd XI & 3rd XI play Harrow at home on Thursday with the JCA home against Bishop’s Wordsworth School. Matches against KE Southampton and Lord Wandsworth College finish off the week on Saturday. I’d like to remind all boys selected to represent the school next weekend that these commitments must be met before the exeat begins.

All fixtures details can be found on: https://sportsfixtures.winchestercollege.org/

Sporting quote for the week:

“Complacency is the forerunner of mediocrity. You can never work too hard on attitude, effort and technique.” (D. Meyer, US College Basketball Coach)

M.S. Burley, Director of Sport

Winchester College

26th April 2021

Twitter: @WinCollSports