21 Nov 2023
Sports Report – Short Half 2023, Week 7

Sports Report – Short Half 2023, Week 7

Thursday 2nd November 2023

Basketball v Eton College (h)

This was not a great game for Winchester 1st team. Eton brought very few players, but those players took out a 14 point lead in the first quarter that Winchester could never claw back. Too much dribbling and sloppy passing meant that Winchester never established any consistency or made the visitors work hard enough. In the end, the best team won. Highlights were the successful debut of two under 16s, and some tough play from Etuogwu who almost singlehandedly kept Winchester in the game in the first half. There's work to do before these teams meet again in the new year. L49-61 [LNT]

This was the first game for the U14s, and was simply a chance for players to experience how a game works. Nothing was expected in terms of a results as Eton is usually stronger at the younger age groups. In the end it was a very even match. Eton pulled away at first, then Winchester caught up and overtook them. This continued throughout the game with several lead changes and both teams playing with great spirit and determination. Importantly, the Winchester team were learning and improving as the game went along, and with this their confidence grew. The final score was probably fair, but both teams knew the game could have gone either way. Winchester will have to play with the same energy when these teams play again in the new year if they are to stop Eton getting revenge. W44-41 [LNT]

Fencing v Marlborough College (a)

A consolation win for the Epee A team sweetened a somewhat chastening afternoon's endeavours - although the JP and MP teams of relatively new fencers will have learnt a lot from the experience. Next stop, Wellington.

Epee A - 42:25 Win Epee B - 17:45 Loss

Foil A - 26:45 Loss Foil B - 19:43 Loss

Rackets v St Paul’s School (h)

St Paul’ almost always manage to put out a high-level squad who challenge us at every age-group. This time however, things were a little different. Under 16's Seb Kingsbry and Pran Busrapan, started weakly - soon finding themselves 2 games behind. Slowly, momentum shifted and with long sequences of challenging serves from Pran and steadier stroke play from Seb, eventually Winchester managed to equalise 2-2. They then managed to close out the final game and take the win.

John Langdon and Thai Leetrakul in the U15B pair came up against tough opponents and the home team’s confidence soon took a knock together with the score-line. Under 15A pair, Dima Kasumov and Oscar O’Carroll, competed against a decent, athletic St Paul’s duo. However, the combination of Dima’s powerful serving which produced long runs of aces and Oscar’s textbook backing up, resulted in the opposition never getting the chance to settle and the match was soon over without the loss of a game.

Finally, it was the turn of our flagship 1st pair, Henry Nicholls and Bertie Vallat. This match produced some fine rallies with well-weighted shots from Henry and the usual solid, near-faultless stroke-play from Bertie. This combination proved too much for St Paul’s and Winchester took the win relatively easily without forfeiting a game. [TERC]

Saturday 4th November

Badminton v Magdalen College School (h): Lost 13-3

Winchester's 1st VIII badminton players played a home game against Magdalen College School at Bar End. After a long match, Winchester came out with a 13-3 loss. It was an exceptionally tough match with the strongest competition Winchester have faced this term, including the highest-ranked U18 player being on their side.

Despite this, Winchester managed to put on a good fight. Against MCS' first pair, our own first pair (Ayson Kam and John Paul Cheng) managed to eke out a great game to three sets, with the last set being very close at 21-19. Across the board, there were many close three-set games which were fun to play and watch. Going up against these high-skill pairs was a learning experience for all eight of our players, especially with regard to the chemistry in each pair. [Alvin Yu (I)]

Football v King Edward’s Witley & Marlborough College

Unfortunately the heavy rain throughout the week meant several of the pitches both home and away were unplayable but we were eventually able to host four matches at home and two matches were played away.

Soccer XI were hoping home advantage would help us against Marlborough College and were looking for a fast start. The half ended 0-0 but chances were at both ends. Jason Ma shot over the bar from close range, Aden Rubin produced a great save from their keeper and Isaac Haines put the ball narrowly wide with a header. The talk at half time was to avoid making silly mistakes and to be more clinical. The weather was poor and conditions difficult for flowing football so the aim was to limit our mistakes and take advantage of Marlborough's.

Again some great football from both teams ensued and it was Winchester who opened the scoring, Timothy poaching at the far post to nod the ball into the corner. We were looking strong as Marlborough were pulling up with injuries and fatigue but despite the half time warnings we let them back in the game with five minutes left. We switched off and did not manage the game and the mistake cost us as Marlborough equalised from the penalty spot with the match ending as a 1-1 draw soon after.

We take a lot of positives going into three games in 6 days including two big Cup games so we rest up and go again. [JRD]

The 2nd XI match kicked off with an unexpected twist as Winchester College found themselves trailing 0-2 to Marlborough within the opening three minutes due to a slow start. It seemed like an uphill battle for Winchester, but they were not about to give up. Moments after Marlborough's second goal, Laolu swiftly responded with a goal of his own, injecting hope and enthusiasm into the team.

The second half saw Winchester adopting an aggressive high-pressing strategy, and their efforts were rewarded when George Bowder executed a superb corner set piece, placing the ball precisely into the bottom left corner of the net. Winchester were back in contention. Ten minutes later, Otto added to the excitement by narrowing the score to 3-2. The game was on a knife-edge, and the tension was palpable. In the closing stages, Marlborough mounted a determined offensive, but Winchester's steadfast defence, led by Bosco, remained unyielding. As a result, Steven had little to worry about in the final moments. With just two minutes left on the clock, Winchester College sealed their victory in style. Charlie Barklam delivered an exquisite cross, and Jad expertly headed the ball into the bottom right corner, securing a remarkable comeback. The final score stood at 4-2 in favour of Winchester, a testament to their resilience and determination in the face of adversity. This match will be remembered as a thrilling showcase of Winchester College's fighting spirit and teamwork. [Bosco Oficialdegui (G)]

Sen Colts A v KES Witley 2nd XI: Won 5-1

The JCAs travelled to King Edward’s, Witley on Saturday for their first match after the enforced two week break due to Leave-Out. We started brightly, and in the second minute we had a great passage of play, which started from Seb (G) in goal and made its way to Jesse (C) who played a well-weighted through ball to Freddie (X) who crossed it towards the back post, where Prince (D) finished it off calmly. For once, we were ahead in the first few minutes. We continued to dominate the opposition, but a miskick saw their (possibly offside!) winger in behind, who passed to the edge of the box, and despite Seb’s (G) heroic efforts it couldn’t be kept out. 1-1 at halftime.

We started strongly in the second half, and an excellent delivery of a corner from James (A) saw Gio (D) rising at the back post, only for his header to be parried away by the keeper. Freddie (X) guided this ball back towards the goal line, where, in a mess of Jesse (C), the keeper and a defender on the floor, Jesse very cleanly swung both the ball and the keeper over the line. (2-1 FT) Some notable performances were Jesse (C) in midfield, Ned (B) who, for the first time this season proved he has a left foot and Oli (X) who played perfect “brexit football”. [Freddie Matthews, (X)]

KES Witley began the Yearlings A game the brighter side and moved the ball around quickly. After a few early efforts from them that Hawthorne was able to deal with easily, one of their leading players then struck a sweet half-volley from 20 yards that just evaded Hawthorne's dive and gave our guests the lead after 10 minutes. Despite having had previous success on Lords 2, we struggled to create many opportunities going forward with many of our through balls running through to their keeper. The exception was when Odogwu was sent through and took one touch before unleashing his effort towards the far bottom corner from the top of the box. However, the ball struck the inside of the post, rebounded across goal to strike the other post before bouncing clear. Husband was busy in midfield and linked well with Catsaras and Pritchard on the wings but we struggled to create anything further in the half. Hunt's introduction in midfield had helped break up the KES play more and, on the whole, we dealt with our defensive duties easily enough.

We aimed to test the KES keeper more in the second half and Catsaras was the first to try. We saw more of the ball in the third quarter of the game but still struggled with that final pass. McGregor and Bilfinger dealt with most things calmly at the back and, when called upon, Hawthorne pulled off some good saves. He was particularly brave when diving at the striker’s feet on one occasion and produced another good save in one moment of panic when KES then hit the bar twice during a goalmouth scramble. Still we pushed on but seemingly could not find the breakthrough we sought. In the final minute of normal time, Odogwu and Aighe linked up on the right which then found Odogwu moving onto the ball in the opposition area. He took his effort quickly with a left-foot toe-poke that this time went inside the far post for our equaliser. The group showed good persistence in their efforts to get back into the game and feel like they take some momentum into our next game. D1-1 [JMB]

After having put JCB to the sword on Thursday I encouraged the Yearlings Bs to show the same tenacity, spirit and confidence for today's match. They delivered in spades. After going behind to an unlucky own goal, we scored, also with an element of fortune. From that point on, we dominated the passing and created a multitude of chances, ending the half 4-1 up. Orson and Danny were superb midfield dynamos. We continued to create chances in the second half but we got a little overconfident and midfield left too many gaps. Nevertheless there were some well worked goals: Matthieu 2; Graydon 2, including one top corner screamer; and one for Edward who was a revelation on the wing. Barney made some excellent saves and men of the match were Slade and Henry who rescued a hesitant defence on numerous occasions. [PAH]

Sailing: Twisted Tube (Firefly) at Spinnaker SC

In the aftermath of Storm Ciarán, as we set out from school in torrential rain, it was not clear whether we would get any sailing in on Saturday. It all cleared up as we arrived at the club, and rather than the force 5 gusting 7 winds that were forecast, there was a nice gentle force 3-4, excellent sailing conditions, and although there were a few short squalls during the day, the rain mostly held off.

The Twisted Tube is a 'Random Pairs' event, in which each of our boats is teamed up with another boat for each race. As usual the format was team racing, but with only two boats in each team, the object is just to make sure that you don't have the boat in fourth place to win. Winchester was the only school which had entered boats into the event, with the other sailors being club and university sailors. A couple of the boats in the event were helmed by people who were veterans of high-level adult team racing competitions. Our sailors held their own, garnering praise from the more experienced competitors and the race officer on the standard of their racing. At the end of the day, one of our boats (Rupert Balmain and Max Büchner) was placed joint 5th out of 15, with the others joint 9th and 13th. Everyone had a good day's sailing, with the majority of the races being contested and close, and this brings to a conclusion a good season for the team who have developed an excellent team spirit and camaraderie, as well as progressing their sailing skills enormously over the last few months. [JAAB]

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

Sporting quote for the week:

“Winners train. Losers complain” Red Aurebach, former NBA Coach

M.S. Burley

Director of Sport

7th November 2023

X: @WinCollSports