29 Nov 2022
Sports Report – Short Half 2022: Week 10

Tuesday 15th November Rackets v Clifton College

Tuesday afternoon saw Winchester take on Clifton on our home courts for a fun afternoon of rackets. Pran Busrapan (D) and William Budden (D) were the first to play on the right court, against a girls pair from Clifton. This match was far closer than expected and it all came down to the final game, in which Winchester narrowly won. The next match saw Bertie Vallat (F) and Jack Bristowe (A), playing together for the first time, take on Clifton’s first pair. Jack, playing on the right, played with a mature steadiness, serving clinically and executing well placed shots, in what was his first time playing at this level. Bertie displayed hints of his excellence and more would be needed in a tougher challenge. Winchester won - 3-0.

Meanwhile, there was continuous action on left court as our Yearlings spent a valuable afternoon consolidating their rackets skills against their counterparts from Clifton. Everyone played in at least four one-game matches, mixing up pairings each time to ensure that they played both with and against as many pairings as possible. Much fun was had and the occasion was a notable success. (TERC)

Thursday 17th November Football v Marlborough College and Bradfield College

The 1st XI stepped onto the storied stage that is Doggers to take on Marlborough in the second round of the ISFA Trophy. Having demolished our opponents 5-1 two weeks earlier, there was a building sense of confidence in the air, especially considering it was not pouring with rain. In typical fashion however, we started sluggishly. Regardless, Winchester's cutting edge soon shined through- a goal kick routine and a masterful long ball from Dom to Doddsy’s accompanying cry of ‘unleash the rocket’ put Caspar in behind, who shrugged off a defender and stroked it past the keeper to make it 1-0. We racked up further chances in the remainder of the half, but we lacked the final pass, so found ourselves only one goal up at the break.

Readers and watchers of the showtime blues must wonder what on earth happens during our half time team talks. Is it something in the water? Is it the Ramos-esque team talks that skipper Van Every delivers time and time again? Whatever the secret, we once again raised our game for the next 40 minutes. The second half was tight at times, but just as the pressure began to build, a second Caspar Hall goal arrived, as he nicked the ball off the defender and slotted the ball in from close range. It felt like deja vu just thirty seconds later, as Caspar again stole the ball (almost directly from kick off) giving him a one-on-one to complete his hattrick. He all but ends any sort of golden boot race this season, taking his tally to an astonishing 14 and making you question whether Gareth Southgate should have booked one more plane ticket to Qatar. Fergus Brant got in on the act minutes later after yet another Marlborough error, coolly finishing past the keeper. But it was for Luca's Ryan goal that time stood still. Kneeing up the ball about 25-30 yards out, he flicked it over his head, before taking another touch and rifling a sweet, dipping volley into the far-right corner, a la James Rodriguez 2014.

Shortly from time, we won a penalty, which Brant tucked away for his second of the game. We defended bravely throughout the tough moments today, and kept another clean sheet, meaning we have not conceded in 160 minutes of football. We are through to the ISFA Trophy Quarter Finals, and for the first time in the school's history, have confirmed that inter-school football may well be played next term, too. We are 12 games unbeaten and will play a strong Charterhouse side next Saturday. Thank you for all your support. W6-0. (L. Paviour, C).

On Thursday, the 2nd XI travelled to Bradfield to face their toughest opponent yet. Poor conditions combined with fatigue from Sen led to a slow start from the boys; Bradfield capitalised on this and found themselves winning 1-0 after a through ball found their striker in on goal. Having been in this situation before, the 2nd XI weren’t intimated by the prospect of coming from behind to win. Shortly after Bradfield’s opener, Patrick Ritchie (A) seized upon a heavy touch from the Bradfield defender and calmly converted an equaliser, exerting the composure of a prime Eric Choupo-Moting. As the second half progressed, Winchester grew into the game with chances falling to both sides. Unfortunately, on the stroke of half-time, we were unable to deal with a cross into the box. A Bradfield player reacted quickest, slotting home their second.

At half time, we discussed how to deal with Bradfield’s back five as our pressing, despite leading to our goal, had neither been organised nor consistent enough. When play resumed, we appeared to be the better team and often looked like scoring, however, a good save from Stephen Lam fell to the feet of the Bradfield striker. 3-1. Nevertheless, the boys refused to let their heads drop and dominated the remaining period of the game. Sadly, we were unable to put away our chances and the game ended 3-1. We can be relatively happy with our performance, however, it’s imperative that we win our remaining games. (R. McNeil, G)

3rd XI L6-0

The giant-slaying 4th XI went back to Bradfield seeking vengeance for a 3-1 loss earlier in the season. With some injuries to the side and against a creative Bradfield team, we looked to level the series. All was even after 15 minutes until Graepel (A) picked out target man Park (F) who slotted one away under the Bradfield keeper’s right boot. We continued to press high and efforts from Bowden (F), Curwen (K), and Jiang (C) put their ball-playing centre-backs under pressure, creating an opportunity for Park to bag his brace. After a dominant performance, we went in 2-0 at half-time.

The message was to hold firm in the crucial first 10 minutes of the second half. With Brooke (A), Graepel, and Hairy (H) pocketing their men, we continued to dominate the play despite Bradfield’s efforts. Our defence remained resolute until Draper-Barr (I), who was otherwise outstanding, was miraculously lobbed by a misfired cross. Bradfield’s chances came little and often as they sent ball after ball into the woods behind the goal. We continued to park the bus with CDMs Robert (Coll.) and Harker (I) shielding the backline from much of the onslaught. The whistle went. Bradfield were on their knees. We were satisfied at a job well done. Here’s to another W, thanks to another Dr T masterclass. 2-1. (Georg Graepel, A, and Gus Brooke, F)

5th XI D1-1

6th XI L0-2

The 7s had some good moments against Bradfield 7s and were unlucky not to score. The game had quite a few phases where the teams were equal. The score line of 8-0 was a bit harsh, especially on our goalkeeper, Will Burley who had an excellent game. (RS)

In the most anticipated game of our season, the SCAs played against Bradfield on Bulls Drove. We knew it was going to be a very tough match against such formidable opponents, especially given the scoreline from last year. However, we entered the game on a winning streak, and felt confident that we were a muchimproved side since our last meeting. The game started off at an impressively fast tempo, with Winchester coming out of the blocks quickly. Midway through the first half, we won a free kick on the edge of Bradfield's box, and Agunbiade's strike forced a good save from the Bradfield keeper. However, the ball could only be parried into the path of Dom Jackson, who with his weak foot smashed in his first ever goal for Winchester.

It was at this moment when the SCAs first began to believe that a win was in sight, but we were reminded at half-time that Bradfield could take the game away from us at any moment. Sure enough, a newly rejuvenated Bradfield piled on the pressure straight after the break, and we were reminded of their serious quality. The back line kept us in the game with some fantastic slide tackles to deny the Bradfield forwards, and Anthony Cloke Browne made a spectacular save that eventually bounced out after hitting both posts. Soon, we managed to escape the press, and a sweeping move orchestrated by Adan Rubin got the ball up the other end of the Sports Department pitch. A scramble in the box following a corner finished with Laolu chipping the ball over the keeper's head, securing a 2-0 lead, prompting ecstatic celebrations from Mr Mercer and Mr Gould on the sideline. Soon after, Dom played a ball played over the top for Laolu that appeared to be a lost cause. However, Tim valiantly sprinted towards the touchline, intercepting the ball before thrashing it past the near post to make it 3-0. Late on, we were unlucky to concede a penalty, but it proved to be merely a consolation for Bradfield as the scoreline ended 3-1. The score symbolized what was a truly incredible display from the lads, and one that we should all be proud of. (J. Bristowe, A)

SCB L0-6

A return fixture against a superior Bradfield side did not yield the result the Sen Colts Cs were looking for. We struggled to find fluency against a team who were able to move the ball more efficiently, and the clinging mud of the Gater pitches coupled with a lack of communication meant that we found it challenging to move the ball out of our own half. Of the five Bradfield goals, two were well deserved, with three coming from unfortunate and often bizarre circumstances, but the result certainly reflected Bradfield’s dominance. That said, there were heartening points within the match: there was a stalwart defensive effort, not least from the Phil’s trio of Perks – whose perfectly timed slide tackles kept us in the game – Tait and Baghobati., along with Berlingheri and Haddad adding energy and what at times even bore passing resemblance to elan. We look forward to our final match of the season against Charterhouse, where hopefully the fire will be more successfully lit. (TDQ)

The SCDs took on Bradfield on Thursday, on a tighter pitch than they were used to, but with a complete and energetic team. An aggressive first half from Winchester saw cross after cross coming through the Bradfield defence, which they resisted well. This intensity was maintained for the rest of the first half, with a half-volley from Daniel Garrett (G) narrowly missing the crossbar, and another shot from Andre Ugalde Tchinov (C) zipping past the Bradfield keeper’s left post. The play was restricted to Bradfield’s half, with the Winchester defence winning every ball back with expert defending, making Edison Xu’s (Coll) life very simple. The first half ended 0-0, leading to a switching of sides, where the sun would now be in their backs. An early opener by Daniel Garrett, created by a great through ball played by Andre Ugalde Tchinov leading to a one-on-one against the Bradfield keeper, put Winchester ahead for the first time. From here, play became slightly more even, with both sides tiring slightly. An absolute screamer from Daniel Garrett, delivered from the edge of the box, extended Winchester’s lead, giving the players a boost of confidence. However, Bradfield quickly responded, making the score 2-1. The match tightened for the final 15 minutes, but a magical direct corner goal from Francis Cleary (E) once again extended Winchester’s lead. Great skill from Oscar Oldenhove (Coll) and Henry Husband (H) created wonderful through balls, ending in the fourth goal for Winchester, scored by Maxence Hairy, in a last-minute rush on the Bradfield goal. W4-1 (Oscar Oldenhove & Edison Xu, Coll))

A confident JCB team travelled down to Bradfield with heads held high and a desire to keep their unbeaten streak of this half-term. We started off strong with immediate pressure and for the first 10 minutes of the match there were constant attacks, through-balls and some excellent slide tackles from both Tom Gordon (B) and Daniil Vorobev (F). Unfortunately, after some brilliant footwork their winger crossed it in to meet their striker who calmy slotted it into the bottom corner. Only 5 minutes later we again succumbed to pressure and conceded. It was 2-0 at halftime. After a good team talk and some positional changes, we were ready to go again. However, we started off weaker this time and this led to them scoring two goals in quick succession. We kept going and won a free kick on the edge of the box. Piers Fletcher (A) was selected to take it and in Messi-like fashion he beautifully placed it in the side netting. Man of the match is awarded to Daniil Vorobev (F) who was a rock in defence. L4-1 (Zain Naqui ,A)

The JCC played Bradfield on a very cold and slightly dark afternoon, giving the fixture quite an “end of season” vibe. Bradfield were certainly the better team, but the half-time score of 4-0 to the hosts was more a sign of how clinical Bradfield were rather than a reflection of domination. Winchester kept battling though, keeping both morale and energy high throughout the second half. In fact, we managed to win the second half as the match ended 4-1, Arthur Duckworth the scorer. This was a good performance against strong opposition and fairs well compared to some of the other results across the block fixture. (JWS)

JCD L11-0

JCE L2-0

The Yearlings B were too timid today. There were only flashes on tackling, good control and passing that I know we are capable of, particularly from Lev and Freddie. Still in it after 40 minutes at 1-1 but then it all went a bit wrong! Fair result though. MOTM, Monty for stemming the Bradfield onslaught. L1-5 (PAH)

Another thrilling encounter for the Yearlings D against Bradfield in a rematch the team were looking forward to and had a very good chance of winning. Bradfield scored in the first few seconds but we got one back and this back and forth continued until the score was 2-3. The last ten minutes was all WinColl but sadly we couldn’t take any of the chances made. A thrilling end to a most competitive game. L2-3(PM)

Overall, a tough result for the Yearlings E, but a really well fought match with the team putting in a really good effort against a team we had previously lost to. The score line didn't reflect how even the second half was at certain points, especially in the last 10 minutes where we pushed for and got our first goal of the season which no one would have put their money on coming from a cross! (JOC)

Squash v Westgate School: Drew 3-3

Friday 18th November Soccer XI v OWFC (a) Maclure Pot

Soccer XI had their second experience of playing two games in 24 hours this term when they travelled up to West London to face the OWFC in the annual Maclure Pot match. Perhaps the limited warm up time was to blame but although Soccer XI started well and hit the crossbar after 5 minutes the OWs took the lead against the run of play. It didn’t take long for the boys to respond though with a cross/shot from Fergus Brant lobbing the OW keeper to equalise. This sparked some excellent inter-play and after a neat exchange between debutant Ronan Allen, Anthony Oshai, Freddie van Every and Caspar Hall, Fergus bagged his brace. The lead was short-lived as the OWs bounced back after a defensive error to make it 2-2.

The second half saw a positive start with Alex Foster, Caspar Hall and Freddie Van Every all going close and the fast transitions from Soccer XI were causing the OW defence some problems. Nevertheless, the OWs were always capable of producing some excellent play and they broke away to make it 3-2. Once more Soccer XI bounced back with Seb Fennell following up well after a free kick was saved. Would this be the catalyst for another victory? Unfortunately, the defence switched off when the ball seemed to be cleared from an OW corner and they took a late lead. It looked like we had missed our chance to equalise when Seb Fennell just ran out of room after having beaten the keeper 1v1 but in the last 30 seconds of the game Luke Paviour hit another cross/shot so well that the OW keeper was lobbed again. A 4-4 thriller meant Maclure Pot is shared this year. D4-4 (MSB)

Saturday 19th November: Rowing: Fours Head of the River

On the 19th November, the Fours Head of the River Race took place on the tideway in London. It is both the largest and longest head race of its type in the world. WCBC took eight of our senior athletes to race, split evenly between two boats. This year, we were able to race in four man cox-less sculling boats (quads). This boat type requires a lot of skill to row, and gives an extra challenge to the steersperson who both has to row and steer the boat with a rudder line attached to their shoes in the boat. The crews contained a mix of our J17 and J18 athletes, allowing us to mix up the year groups and create cohesion in the squad ahead of coming together in the first eight. This proved successful in creating two competitive boats, that rowed to a high standard. Results were promising, putting us very much in the mix with some much more established sculling schools. Being able to field two competitive coxless boats at such a large event, shows great development in the level of rowing at WCBC and puts us in a great position for upcoming training.

All fixtures details can be found on:


Sporting quote for the week:

The secret to success is...THERE IS NO SECRET! If you want to be ELITE, then you have to live the life of an ELITE athlete on a daily basis. It's not a sacrifice, it's just a part of the process! Your actions determine your success! (Joey Woody, Former US Olympic 400m runner)

M.S. Burley

Director of Sport

22nd November 2022

Twitter: @WinCollSports