07 Feb 2023
Sports Report – Common Time 2023: Week 4

Sports Report – Common Time 2023: Week 4

Monday 30th January 2023

Hockey v Churcher’s College (a)

On a chilly Monday Afternoon, the 1st XI squad ventured down to Churcher's for our second game of the season, an exciting 2nd round cup game. Our opposition were off the back of a win against a strong Charterhouse, and success in the Hampshire cup; we knew that we were going to be in the deep end against a strong side, and would have to be at our very best to challenge.

It was clear from the off that Churcher's were the more drilled side, passing the ball with accuracy and pace, and controlling possession in a manner we were comparatively unaccustomed to. Nevertheless, the opening 10 minutes produced chances for both sides, with Casper Hall producing a few good early saves from their keeper through first, incisive break play. Churcher's possessional control however eventually won out, and they opened the scoring roughly 10 minutes in, through a well worked move and a deflection. Buoyed by this early goal, Churcher's pressure only increased, with their runs, and passes, becoming more aggressive and decisive; a well-made second goal soon followed, through a good deflection by their striker. Winchester bean to really struggle with keeping hold of the ball at this point, especially whilst playing out from the back; our futile attempts to play down the middle of the pitch contrasting with Churcher’s well-drilled use of width. Churcher’s were thus allowed total control of the pitch, and they capitalised through 2 further goals before half time: 1 a short corner, 1 from open play. As the half time whistle blew, the score was 4-0; barring a miraculous comeback, the result was likely sealed.

After words from Mr Taylor and Mr Winter to up our ball speed, and use the width more, Winchester came out after half time a marginally improved side, resulting in more possession, and more dee penetrations, with Martin M being inches away from a superb deflection only minutes into the half. Churcher's however opened the scoring, and began to regain their dominance of possession. An increasingly weary Winchester however continued to track and defend diligently, and prevent further Churcher's goals: the success of which had been a Winchester highlight throughout the game. Unfortunately, 2 scrappy goals through a mixture of luck and errors allowed their lead to be stretched to 7-0. Winchester still pushed back, however, and began to form chances of their own, with both Stephen Lam and Casper Hall challenging their goalkeeper. Eventually, a Harry DB won short corner was well converted by Casper, to give Winchester a fully deserved goal. Two Churcher's goals however came before the full time whistle: a wonderful top-corner reverse stick finish, and a short corner on full time.

Losing 9-1 to exit the cup was a sad result, but it was a game with a lot to take away from. It was good for many of our more youthful players to gain experience against such a strong side; whilst Churcher’s ability to control possession, and use of the backline transfer, set the benchmark for the style of hockey we need to develop across the season. I personally hope we can adopt certain aspects of their play into our match against Wellington College on Thursday. Many thanks to Mr Taylor and Mr Winter for sacrificing their Monday afternoons to coach us, and to the parent(s) who watched us in the cold.

Thursday 2nd February 2023

Basketball v Wellington College (h)

This was a hugely frustrating loss. The U18 team probably missed 30 points in easy shots, so the poor passing and careless mistakes shouldn't have mattered. Wellington hung in and fought hard, but they should not have been in the game. That said, as usual there was no lack of effort from the Winchester players, we just need to trade a little perspiration for concentration.

Wellington feel that their U16s is their strongest team, and getting a positive result today was expected to be a challenge for Winchester. In the end though, the Winchester team knew that they should have won. More consistency and concentration was needed: the team swung from unstoppably awesome to expensively sloppy on a minutely basis. This is an excitingly talented group, but talent only takes one so far without discipline - once they start to function as a team (and score their lay-ups) they are going to be very hard to beat. (LNT)

Fives v Marlborough College (h)

U15’s: Winchester lost 87-105

Despite the loss this was a very commendable effort as Marlborough's top pair were actually both U16 and two of the Winchester IV were playing in their first ever match. Lots was learnt and Winchester will come back much stronger in future encounters.

U14’s: Winchester lost 70-119

Despite the loss, this was a really good outing for the U14s. The second pair were both playing in their first ever match and fought hard throughout the afternoon and the first pair won three of its four games. (JM)

Golf v Reading Blue Coat School (a)

The younger of our two teams entered into the ISGA Knockout tournament progressed to the Area Final in convincing style, beating Reading Blue Coats 3-0. This victory was made all the more impressive by the fact that our trio of JP & MP players faced a far older and more experienced group of sixth formers, who were playing on their home course - Sonning GC, Reading.

Captain for the day, Arthur Hampel (B, MP), raced out of the blocks to get a point on the board far earlier than we could have expected. Producing some scintillating golf, he demolished the Reading number one, a +2 handicap, 6&5. In true style, he then ditched his clubs at the clubhouse to get back out on the course and urge the others on.

Sander Andreasen (A, JP) was playing at number 2 and proved a model of consistency and dogged determination. Up against a tough opponent (4 h'cap) he went 3 strokes down early on, in the face of some excellent golf from his opposite man. However, he never lost his composure and was relentless as he battled back into contention over the closing 9 holes. The pressure Sander was able to impart on his opponent finally told as the Reading man capitulated over the closing holes, succumbing 2&1 and with Sander understandably delighted to collect the decisive point.

James Redfern (A, JP) also enjoyed a rollercoaster of an afternoon. Going 5up over the opening 6 holes, the rest of us could have been forgiven for assuming the third point was all but wrapped up. The Reading Blue Coats number 3 had different ideas though and played some quality golf through the turn, with some outstanding chipping and pitching, to slowly reel James back in. There was almost a reversal but the ever-reliable Redfern was steadfast and managed to fend off the rally, prevailing 1up at the close. In doing so, he completed a victory of much promise. Winchester College's other team, or Elizabeth College Guernsey will be the Area Final opponents, as a place at the National Finals in Northumberland will be up for grabs in a few weeks' time. (RSM)

Rackets v St. Pauls (a)

St Paul's is known to be possibly the most challenging court of all where the ball ricochets at unusual angles and high speed. This makes it a tough place to play and it is not uncommon to come away having not even won one game in any of the matches. Jack Bristowe and Lukus Brunner played a highly competent Sen Colts pair whose boys had both done well in the recent Nationals Singles. Although they lost all 3 games, as the match went on, the rallies became closer and they reached 10 points all in game 3. Jamie Mitchell and Arthur James-Duff played a fairly inexperienced JC pair but intelligently managed to learn the court and win, 3 -1.

The match of the day was definitely the other JC contest. Will Hammerson-Jones and Seb Kingsbury competed against a strong St Paul's pair. Will, especially, somehow took to the court with ease. He has never played at such a high level before with spectacular returns from ruthless serves and well-judged kills. Although Seb calls upon a somewhat unusual technique at times, he seldom misses the ball, so is hard to beat. The match went to 2 games with St Paul's claiming the win in the end. Overall, a very useful afternoon for our players. (TERC)

Swimming vs Wellington College (a)

At 15:00 we arrived in Wellington with the Eton loss still heavy in our hearts. We reassured ourselves as Wellington has historically been a better match. After arriving at the poolside, we dove into the 42-year-old pool, beginning the warm-up.

We immediately had a very good start, with Ruifu Gao winning the U16 100m IM and Jacob Hudson winning the U18 100m IM. At this point, we had already gauged the ability of our opponents and had started to gain confidence. Houtin Yeung then won the 50m backstroke, and Jacob, again, won the U18 50m breaststroke and even got an unofficial PB of 29.7. It was total annihilation from then on. Ruifu, once more, won the U16 50m breaststroke, Nikita Sirotin won the U16 50m backstroke and Michael Yan won both the U18 100m freestyle and the U18 50m butterfly. To round the meet off, we won both the medley and freestyle relay in all age groups.

I would like to give a special mention to all the swimmers who participated: George Kashirin, Nurtai Alshinbayev, Charles McIntyre, Bryan Lau, Henry Steen, Tristan Fung, Ruifu Gao, Nikita Sirotin, Houtin Yeung, Khalid Elsheikh, Jacob Hudson, and Michael Yan (Capt.) for this unprecedented, landslide victory. (M Yan, I)

Hockey v Eton (h)

A lively start to the U15 game saw Eton take the lead after 5 minutes. It did not take long for us to hit back though as Oli Street struck his straight strike from a penalty corner into the bottom corner. Kennedy and Hawkins provided good width and support when attacking and Fletcher found himself in some good positions as we created plenty of chances without scoring. Askew had a good shot saved well before we eventually took the lead via Baljee's smart finish from in-line with the left post shortly before half-time.

Gianni Garcia swapped in-goal with Hagger for the second half and produced some excellent saves to keep us ahead. He might have been busier if not for strong defending by McGregor and Edwards who regularly turned defence into attack for us. Winkley and Xiao worked tirelessly in midfield and we continued to play nice hockey without the final product. Lecourt and Street forced more good saves from the Eton keeper and Jin and Baljee linked up well down the left to keep creating circle entries. Despite pressure at both ends of the pitch, the score remained 2-1 at full time. The team should be pleased with the standard of hockey they are beginning to play and the progress of the wider squad, including newer players such as Lecourt and Oliver, is also very encouraging. (JMB)

The Yearlings team made good progress in this game, especially with the number of chances we created. Gabriel Bowder, Captain for the day, scored from close range in the 6th minute. We then continued to create chances, however, it was Eton who scored next with a close finish at the far post. At this point, Plum Mannion Miles took matters into his own hands, winning the ball in midfield and driving down the left of the pitch, turned along the baseline and beat a couple more defenders before shifting the ball infield slightly to improve his angle and then placing his shot calmly into the Eton goal. It was an exceptional effort that even had our keeper applauding from the other end. Plum then added another via a straight strike from a Penalty Corner into the bottom left corner to give us a good lead going into half time.

Despite regular changes to the team with all of the squad getting involved in the game, we were able to keep relative control of the game despite not extending our lead. However, as efforts began to wane in the final 10 minutes of the game, Eton were able to add their second, again from close range, to add pressure in the closing minutes. Our guests then added an equaliser from a PC with only a few minutes to go and that was how the game finished up. The team should be pleased with their progress thus far. (JMB)

Saturday 4th February

Winchester College Football: XVs

Walking up to books on the morning of XVs is one of the more exciting walks to class that a Wykehamist undertakes, and this year was no exception. Flint Court was festooned in red, brown and white, building the atmosphere for the game (as if it needed it!). On the dot of 1430, the Chapel Bells rang out and the two teams walked from War Cloister, behind Pearl Pot (the trophy to be won), and onto the Canvas. OTH won the toss, somewhat surprisingly won the first hot, and took the first point of the game. Commoners quickly replied with a goal (3 points). However, with sustained and excellent kicking from the OTH Kicks of Caspar Hall (B), Freddie van Every and Will Whitehead (both A), it quickly became a one-sided affair. The final score was 65-37 to OTH. It is tempting to give all the glory to the Kicks, but this impressive result would not have happened without all the superb ropes-play and chasing from the OTH Ups and Hotwatches. Pearl Pot and glory, then, returned to OTH for this year, but Commoners will already have their eyes on getting it back next time! (BHGC)

Badminton v Abingdon (a)

Having to miss XVs for the hardest fixture of the season, the boys wanted to make the most of the sacrifice. Having drawn 8-8 at home last term, the boys believed they could achieve WinColl's first ever victory against Abingdon. Abingdon however, were missing a couple of their star players and this seemed a great chance for victory for the badminton squad.

The fixture started with a shock, our fourth pair beating Abingdon's first but our second pair losing to Abingdon's third. The game was drawn 4-4 going into the latter two rounds with our fourth pair of Vincent and Derek putting in stellar performances to come to three sets in every game they played. The penultimate round was also tied with our first pair smashing through Abingdon's third. 6-6 was the score coming into the last set of games. Yuyao and Ben and JP and Rudra gave Winchester a 8-6 lead winning both their matches convincingly. All eyes were on our third and fourth pair. Both matches went to three sets and tensions rose as victory was one the line. Sadly, our MOTM Vincent and Derek could not convert what had been a superb performance against Abingdon's fourth losing 21-16 in the final set. All hopes were now on Ashmit and Alvin who had a relatively poor outing at Abingdon until the last set of the last game. They showed their teamwork and aggressive attitude, as they beat Abingdon's third 21-13 to give Winchester the win. The final scorecard read 9-7 to WinColl. Even with few Abingdon players missing, they put up a great fight and the resilience and determination showed by our players won us the final points. Overall, the best result of this year. (R. Patel, I)

In addition

There was a win for the Chess team against RGS Guildford last Thursday and congratulations to rowers Hugo Killian Dawson (E), Maxim Koval (E) and Lawrence Hagger (G) who all passed the GB ergo test last week. All three move onto the pairs trial during half term. Hugo deserves a particular mention as he managed to complete his 5km in 17:00.6, an incredibly impressive time which may well put him in the top 15 nationally. Congratulations also to JP pupil Ivor Martin (G) who competed for Hampshire at the ESAA Southern Inter-Counties cross country championships last Saturday. Ivor finished 4th amongst the Hampshire Junior Boys and was a top 25 finisher in the overall Junior Boys race. Ivor now progresses to the English Schools Cross Country Championships in Nottingham later this term.

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

Sporting quote for the week:

“The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.” (Joe Paterno, Former Penn State College Football Coach)

M.S. Burley

Director of Sport

7th February 2023

Twitter: @WinCollSports