18 Nov 2021
Sports Report: Short Half, Week 9

Sports Report: Short Half, Week 9

Tuesday 9th November

BASKETBALL: U18A vs Bishop Wordsworth's School(h)
After a couple of years of Covid-enforced open sessions and inter-house fun, this match was a good reminder of what the team needs to do to get back to their usual standard. BWS are a strong team who have been playing together since they were 11, but matches are usually close. Defensively Winchester were generally very good, but on offence the rustiness was clear and both shooting and fundamentals need work. On a positive side, Tang returned to the fold and played well, and many players got those 'first-game-ever' nerves out the system. There were also periods in which Winchester competed very well, and the players' disappointed and determined attitude bodes well for future training sessions and matches. (LNT)

Jun Steeplechase

A field of 277 runners across the first three year groups ran Jun Steeplechase on a balmy autumnal afternoon. Hopper’s took the title with Toye’s coming in second and the individual title was claimed by Vincent Gueguen (H), followed by James Kitson (B) then Louis Fell-Gagnere (H).

Thursday 11th November

BASKETBALL: U16A vs Wellington College (h)

This was the first ever match for almost all Winchester players, so it is no surprise that Wellington got off to a better start. Trailing by 17 at the half, Winchester were not lacking in energy or commitment, but were slipping up on the basics under pressure. Nerves out of the way, the team then got stuck in and turned things around, and to their great credit they won the second half. This must give the players more confidence, and with more work on fundamentals the team will undoubtedly continue to improve with every match. L34-49 (LNT)

RACKETS: 1st vs Haileybury Mixed-U18A (h)

Haileybury produced a strong team. Our 1st.pair soon found themselves in a hard-hitting encounter which was closely contested in the first 2 games. However, George Gardiner- playing for the first time at this level - pursued a steady, measured approach to keep the rallies alive resulting in Ollie Gibbon being able to supply the winning blows; final result 3 - 0.

The 2nd pair, Gardiner again and George Nutting started weakly but recovered to complete a 3 - 1 win. The match of the day was undoubtedly the Henry Nicholls and Jack Bristowe pair taking on the best Under 15 boy on the circuit and his partner. This was a high-level match with long rallies and at 2 games all, set 3 was declared. At 0 - 1 down, Jack got the serve, kept his head and served through for an impressive win. (TERC)

SQUASH: Vs Radley College (h): U18A team won 3-2; U18B lost 0-5; U14As lost 1-4.

Saturday 13th November

FOOTBALL vs Bradfield College

The 1-8 score line is a little harsh on the Soccer XI but to be honest, Bradfield were the best team I have faced while coaching at school and they played some lovely stuff, thoroughly deserving the victory. Nevertheless, we worked hard throughout the game, giving everything and as a coach I cannot fault the boys’ efforts.

We were four down at half time and given a little composure in the box we could have nicked a goal or two but Bradfield were clinical and finished their chances well. Goals were to follow in 2nd half but maybe we could have done a little better with a few of them? Pleasingly, heads never dropped and we scored the last goal and what a goal it was! The ball was played into the left channel for Harry Coombs to power down towards the goal line and cross for Casper Hall to smash the ball in the roof of the net. This was a lovely way for us to finish the game. Despite the loss this was a great learning opportunity for our boys to play against a really strong side and we come away with lots of positives to take into the last few games of the term. (JRD)

The 2nd XI encounter was a really good game, where we showed great team spirit and a real desire to compete against a very good side. Apart from the first 10 minutes when we "let" the game happen rather than being on the front foot, it was a very close game as the 0-1 score would suggest.

Will Whitehead made one fantastic save in the first half and we had several opportunities without ever really being able to test their goalkeeper and went into the break at 0-0. The first 15 minutes of the second half saw us force the game but were again unable to really test the goal keeper despite several free kicks, long throws and corners launching balls into the box. However, the ball or the final decision or pass did not quite fall for us. We then conceded a goal, which the Bradfield winger took very well, just lobbing Will as he advanced off his line. Will later made another fine point-blank stop, but other than that the second half was once again very even. Sadly, we could not force an equaliser which on the balance of play we probably deserved. I was once again very proud of the performance, but more particularly the attitude we showed throughout the game. (PNG)

Apparently, the beauty of football is that the right team doesn't always win. Today the 3rd XI’s luck ran out. Bradfield were a very skilful and physical side, but if it were not for a 'dream' game by their goal keeper and several desperate goal-mouth clearances the score might have been very different. From the first whistle Winchester pressed without over-committing, strangling Bradfield's usually free-playing midfielders and creating chances of their own. The 3s have played much worse and won. LNT never likes losing, but if we have to lose, then this is how to do it. Let's hope the 3s can keep this standard up for the rest of the season. L0-2 (LNT)

The 5th XI performed well against a good Bradfield side. There was an element of luck in two of their goals, but we stuck to the task and made them work hard for their victory. It was probably our best performance so far this season despite the result. L2-4 (MJR)

SCA gave a resolute performance against a Bradfield side who had turned them over 15-0 in JP. Our organisation and effort were superb during the first half, but Bradfield's quality told as they took advantage of a couple of individual errors to go in 3-0 up. We were superb in the second half, playing with more ambition, moving the ball well and proactive in defence. An unbelievable double save from Charlie Barklam was the highlight and a 0-0 second half represented the huge progress the side has made this season. MoM: Leo Zhao (RJHM)

The JCA squad knew this week was going to be a test, and from the off the Bradfield team tested the newly returned Anthony in goal Generally the defence forced the shots from the edge of the box, allowing him to hold the ball well time and time again. Long kicks, both from hand and the floor allowed our rotation of forwards to chase and win the ball further up the pitch, occasionally allowing Winchester to threaten the opposition keeper. The resolute defence lasted almost twenty minutes, before an excellent through ball split the centre backs and pace down the left wing resulted in a shot from six yards, calmly placed just inside the far post. An unnecessary penalty allowed Bradfield to double their lead, but at the half time break the JCAs had every reason to think they could get something from the game.

The second half began far better for the Wykehamists. Tim and Laolu’s tireless efforts led to several promising shots, including rattling the post. Sadly, two own goals, from a cross and (more unluckily) from a free kick put the game out of our reach going in to the final ten minutes and a few heads began to drop. The boys can be rightly disappointed not to have scored a few themselves and it is important that they recognise that the performance was still a good one - just not enough to beat an excellent opposition on the day. (BMG/JPT)

A narrow defeat was the result after a battling performance from Winchester’s JC B team. Employing the tactics of counter-attack, Winchester often allowed Bradfield to dominate the midfield in the hope of poaching the ball and utilise the pace of Esphandiar Ramezani on the break. Unfortunately allowing Bradfield so close to the goal saw the visitors race to quick 2-0 lead. The second half saw a more resolute display and cool-headed penalty by Stefan Ungureanu saw the home side pull a goal back. The game finished in a 3-1 defeat but the second half will hopefully provide a springboard into the next game against Bedales. MotM: Stefan Ungureanu. L1-3 (JCP)

A strong effort from the JCC team in what was, for the most part, a very competitive match. The first half in particular was very even with Winchester scoring a goal and creating a number of chances. In the second half Bradfield brought new energy and the momentum shifted in their favour. However, after conceding the final goal of the match Winchester found a second wind and finished strong. A 1-3 final score and some things to think about going forwards but nonetheless another good game of football. (FLC)

A spate of last-minute injuries prior to kick-off meant that the JC Ds were sadly only able to field ten men against a Bradfield side that already held a significant advantage in both technical ability and physical prowess. A valiant effort in the first portion of the game saw the Ds restrict their opponents to only a single shot on target in the opening twenty-five minutes. However, the numerical, technical and physical hindrances ultimately took their toll in the second half, with a rapid succession of quick-fire Bradfield goals generating a sobering final score line of 6-0. The team should not be disheartened by this - heroic displays of defending in the face of adversity, especially from Oli Tait, Rajesh Pakrashi (on debut), Inigo House and Alex Winnifrith demonstrated inspiring defiance and determination that will stand the group in good stead moving forwards into the final part of the season. (JL)

The Jun Colts Es produced the result of the day in their 2-2 draw. A cagey first half saw some chances for both sides with good blocks by Jonas Bhattacharya keeping the Winchester goal intact, while the crossbar doing the same for Bradfield. After half-time our opponents stepped up a gear and soon a great run and cross created a close-range header for their striker. A further goal followed when a long rang speculative shot sailed over everyone's head. 2-0 down might have broken fainter spirits, but not the mighty Es. Our hopes and spirits were lifted with the velocity of Rhys Downer's tracer bullet of a free kick that followed Alex Cirstea being manhandled (assaulted) just outside the box. Alex then found the net himself for our equaliser with a shot so slow, so ponderous, and yet so accurate that the despairing, diving Bradfield keeper could get none of it. Credit to all the players who kept on going and both sides had chances before the final whistle. Notable performances include Rhys Downer for his all-action centre-forward play, Rupert Balmian who is turning into a very accomplished left back and Jonas Bhattacharya who made a fine debut between the sticks. (RS)

A much depleted and hastily restructured YA XI, and only XI, arrived at the large and well-kept Bradfield pitch knowing the challenge ahead of them would be hard. Needing to maintain our structure and press well in our own half, we struggled with both of these allowing Bradfield to make good use of the time and space offered to them. Three goals in the first quarter took the wind out of us and thereafter we knew it was a damage limitation exercise. Theo Coles deserves credit for his performance in goal, doing well dealing with crosses and making regular saves. Other players were clearly not feeling their best but had done well to come and play whilst Sasha Rich stepped up at the last minute to help the team out. Hopefully we regain our momentum from the two wins either side of Leave Out and get back to winning ways for the remainder of term. L9-0 (JMB)

Despite being outplayed for most of the game the YB kept pressing and managed to force some errors from Bradfield resulting in two very satisfactory goals. L6-2 (PAH)

The Yearlings D were away to face Bradfield this weekend. Having drawn against them earlier this term, we hoped to snatch the victory this time. Bradfield made very fierce attacks from the start, most of them brilliantly deflected by our keeper Nikita Sirotin (G), or stopped by Charles Richards (I). The first half concluded at 0-2 to Bradfield. In the second half, our goal was slightly downhill and Bradfield’s strikers took the opportunity to score five more goals, despite the brilliant efforts of our captain, Anton Oliver (H), to organise the defence and use every empty space for counterattacks. We had a few opportunities to score, but our strikers were quickly overwhelmed by their defence. The last goal of the match was scored by our team. Vhardan Merhotra (F) kicked the ball in on a free kick with an amazing lobbed shot. This brought the final score to 1-7. (KF)

Other results:

6th XI lost 2-5 4th XI lost 1-4 SC B lost 0-6 SC C lost 1-5

SC D lost 1-2 Yearlings C lost 6-2 Yearlings E lost 6-1

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

Sporting quote for the week:

Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” (Lou Holtz, US College Football Coach)

M.S. Burley

Director of Sport

Winchester College

16th November 2021

Twitter: @WinCollSports