16 Feb 2024
Sports Report – Common Time 2024, Week 5

Sports Report – Common Time 2024, Week 5

Tuesday 29th January 2024

Fives U14 House Singles (h):

Winner: M. Zhang (E)

Runner-up: H. Franks (I)

Rackets U14 v Marlborough College (a):

Sam B, Casper W, Pierre-Alexis C, Caspar J, Thomas F and Theo L all took part in a friendly fixture designed to provide valuable experience on away courts. The games followed a round-robin format where each participant combined with a different partner for each match. Everyone had impressive moments, and notably, when our A pair did team up together they managed to secure a solid win against their counterparts.

Thursday 1st February 2024

Badminton v Charterhouse (a): Won 12-0

Away in the county of Surrey, we brought our top two pairs to the first annual Charterhouse Cup. The tournament consisted of seven schools, and we came across some unfamiliar faces. With a quick win in the first game against Epsom College, our first pair, consisting of John Paul C and Ayson K, did not expect the high-quality badminton brought by Charterhouse in the next game. Having been a year-long hiatus since we last played them, we were shocked by the attacking strategy they brought. Falling behind after the eleven-point switchover, the first pair decided to be hyper-aggressive. Thankfully, the risk was rewarded, and we won narrowly by a scoreline of 21-19. The first pair then brought their A-game and decisively defeated Christ’s Hospital, who were looking sharp during warmup, with a score of 21-13. Soon after defeating Reed’s School convincingly 21-3, the first pair faced Wellington College, a formidable rival. With the match being level at 13-13, we stepped off our back foot and managed to crack through their defence, winning a string of points and eventually winning with a 21-14 score. In the final match, we faced an unseen opponent: Tiffin School. Their top pair consisted of an elite county player and a powerful partner with a strong smash. Initially, our top pair was overwhelmed by their combination of power and skill. Trailing behind, we managed to find our rhythm and went on the offence. Receiving at 20-19, John Paul and Ayson managed to hold their nerves and close out the game with a win. (JP Cheng, VI1)

The second pair breezed through the first 4 matches. The first match against Epsom was a 21-7 win. The next match against the hosts of the event, Charterhouse, was 21-10 win. It was a similar score line for the next two matches against Reed's school and Christ's Hospital. It was the fifth match against Wellington where the second pair started to be pressured. After a back and forth of points, the score was 16-20 to the Wellington. However, Winchester made a comeback to bring the match to 20 all. A short deuce (2 points clear) ended in Winchester second pair winning 23-21 against Wellington. The final match against Tiffan's was close but still resulted in a 21-14 win in Winchester's favour. Overall, we won all 6 of our matches. (B.Wen, VI2)

Basketball v Bradfield College (a):

Bradfield got off to a good start, and Winchester did not. Bradfield's powerful centre was dominating in the key and Winchester missed too many open baskets, but the intensity from both teams was there and it was a tough match. Bradfield led by over 20 at half time. In the second half Victor and Jidechi upped their physicality and took turns marking Bradfield's big man; they did so well that they almost completely neutralised him which meant Bradfield had to rethink their game plan. With Nemo finding his shooting range and the rest of the team passing and moving much better, and despite missing a few easy baskets, Winchester won the second half comfortably but not by enough to overcome the first half deficit. A scrappy match, but a good one from which Winchester U18s can take many positives. Lost 48-62

The U16s roll on with another convincing victory. They did not start well though, and it was only when the U15 players were substituted into the game that the team got into its stride. Jurdjevic controlled the point and good team passing led to Coleman, Fangzhou and Gupta scoring impressively and pulling away from Bradfield. Hampson rebounded ferociously and scored too, so when Edis, Spier and Shen returned to the court the tone was set and from then on the result was never in doubt. There was room for improvement defensively, but ball speed and passing was top class and gave the hard-working and athletic Bradfield team little chance. All Winchester players should be proud of this impressive team performance. Won 75-36 [LNT]

Chess Mixed U18C v Windlesham House School

Lost 3-3 on board count after a very close match between our C team and their A team.


Soccer XI v Epsom College, ISFA Trophy Quarter-Final (h):

After a great football term last year we went into the game on a high, but after limited time on the grass we struggled to get going in this game.

We have to give Epsom credit as they looked extremely motivated for the game, bringing an energy and intensity which we were disappointingly unable to match. Perhaps there were other things on some players’ minds? Ultimately, Epsom were able to finish the chances they created due to their greater clinical edge, whereas the few chances we created saw us unable to beat their keeper who had a great game. We went behind in the 43rd minute conceding a free kick on the edge of the area, having given away probably 4 or 5 other fouls in the preceding five minutes. It wasn’t particularly smart football and we were punished when the Epsom striker struck a great free kick over the wall and into the top corner. The goal was probably a fair reflection of the first half where we were grateful to Anthony for some important saves he made for us.

The chat at half time asked for a response in the second half but it seemed to have no impact on our performance as we conceded three more goals, two of which were very poor from our end. Despite some promising attacks we just couldn't get the goal that might have got us back in the game. On the whole we failed to show the hunger, intensity and fitness that had characterised much of our play last term and maybe the lack of training and matches since we last played on December 4th meant we were off the pace required for a national quarter final match.

Nevertheless, the boys must take great credit for a wonderful 2023-4 season. There are a few matches left which can act as both a development tool for the future Soccer XI squad also a final hurrah for some of the senior boys. We certainly hope lots of the those boys will carry on playing for the OW's when they depart from school in the summer. L0-4 [JRD&MSB]

U15 & U14 v Bryanston School (a)

The U15 game started with the ball being passed around by our team with speed. Our first real chance came from a free kick and a ball played through to Jesse F (C) by the keeper Oskar S (G) and it was smashed into the back of the net, however the flag was put up. Our first goal came after a ball in behind from the debutant Kamran C-D (I) and it was taken around the keeper and put in the net by Prince G (D). Prince became the playmaker next and put Jesse through on goal for him to slot it home.

After halftime, Bryanston came out quickly and started to put our defence under pressure, but cool heads from Oli K (X) and Alex M (I) kept them from getting a shot away. Their momentum was stopped as after a beautiful ball from James R (A), Gabriel O (B) placed it into the bottom corner. The match then cooled down until the final ten minutes when the Bryanston striker was brought down in our box and a penalty was awarded. Their striker stepped up to take it, but Oskar was equal to it and pulled off an amazing save to keep the score at 3-0. Overall, it was a good performance from a team who had not played together this term and a clean sheet to boot. Motm: James R(A) [Oskar S (G)]

On the bus towards Bryanston School, there was a sense of both nervousness and excitement amongst the Yearlings to get back into a football game after a lengthy break. However after 15 minutes of play, we were back playing at our best, and not long after, we were 1-0 up thanks to a calm finish in front of goal from Oscar P. While our game plan at the start had been to play long balls over the top, it was a piece of brilliant skill from Isaac, and then a classy finish that doubled our lead. On the defensive side, Ludo B, Skylar B and Jarren L were rock solid, giving the goalkeeper very little to do. In the end it was a comfortable 7-0 win with two from Oscar and Osamede, and other goals from Elan O, Ollie I and Isaac H, as well as three assists from Lewin H. Our midfield dominated throughout the game thanks to Phil C, who controlled the game with fantastic runs forward, great reactionary play and visionary passing, and Will H who impressed us all with his ability to read the game. A great performance from all the boys, as our unbeaten run carries on. W7-0 (L. Hawthorn, E)

Hockey 2nd XI v King Edward’s Witley (a):

After a cancellation a couple of weeks ago by Eton, the 2nd XI finally had their first match of the Hockey Term and it proved to be a tough one at KES Witley. Captained by Miles P, Winchester were up for the challenge as KES Witley have a strong track record against us.

We started brightly moving the ball around nicely around our half with McGregor, Hensher & Hawkins keeping possession and calmly transitioning into the central area of the pitch within the first half creating multiple chances early on. A debut for Rufus W proved to be useful as he used his pace well up the wings of the pitch Whilst it was tough, Park and Tait both settled nicely and both grew into their roles pushing right and left respectively when needed. They were able to pressure often which allowed us to break up any counter attacks and push forward to use the pace of Lecourt and Winkley who were waiting up front. Some excellent saves Gianni Garcia from kept the score at 0-0 which could have easily been 2-0 but for his keeping masterclass in goal.

The start of the second half was a lot more positive from Winchester as we adopted to playing further forward to create more chances within their defensive circle. However, this didn’t last long as KES Witley moved the ball around with great pace and effectiveness making our defence work harder than ever. Short corners ultimately were our downfall as 2 goals within 5 minutes from these plays gave KES Witley a huge advantage with 10 minutes to play. The boy’s spirits remained high and although effort levels were high KES Witley neatly slotted 2 more goals in to end the game at 4-0. (TJF & AVB)

Netball 1st VII v Canford School (a):

The start of the Netball fixtures for 2024 took Winchester to Canford to play their 3rd VII. With several injuries and illnesses, we were down to seven so knew we had to stay on top of our game. The first quarter was smooth with Winchester College dominating in both attack and defence. We dictated the quarter with concise and controlled passing, which created some beautiful shots and favourable interceptions. Amara and Ami worked in sync with one another to create space for some under the net shots. This ultimately led to a 5-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter mirrored the first with dynamic plays and fantastic communication within the defensive third, allowing our players to transition the ball up the court and allow our shooters to gain more points on the board. Once again, Sanvee and Olivia created the Winchester wall of defence and made it difficult for the shooters to get a rebound, move close to the post or move within the D. 8-7

The second half proved difficult due to a lack of reserves and a switch in Canford players but we did not lower our energy in the third quarter. Winchester pushed on and supported one another when needing an extra hand in either defence or attack. Cleo made her opposition work hard up and down the court as she controlled each centre play and made herself a pillar for the centre court. Amelie made some truly beautiful feeds into the D which kept our lead heading into the final quarter. Bea didn’t allow her wing attack any centre passes and made it difficult to create a flow between defence and attack. After five or six minutes it was apparent and clear that Winchester’s energy and fatigue had kicked in after playing nonstop for 30 minutes with no reserves. Unfortunately, we allowed the lead to slip through our fingers and we conceded 5 more goals. The final score came to 12-17 to Canford. We play Canford again in March and look forward to the rematch. (FIJ)

Rackets v St Paul’s School (a):

The matches needed to be shortened owing to the St Pauls boys needing to return home to attend parents meetings online. However, Pran B and Jamie M, after suffering two games of challenging serving at the start, managed to fight back and play a thrilling final game in which they really came back strongly, eventually winning it. William H-J and Seb K struggled under the different, fast conditions and didn't manage to take a game. In the final match, Dima K and Oscar O, got very close to getting into the match when, unfortunately, time was up. Overall, a useful day which provided experience on how to adapt to a testing change of conditions.

Swimming v Canford School (a):

On the first of February, the Wincoll swim team claimed our second victory in a row against Canford, making us undefeated in 2024. Riding on the same bus as the Girls’ netball team, we were looking for a double victory. Canford was a school we rarely raced against. The sense of unfamiliarity gave us both hope and doubt about this meeting. After an unusually short drive, we arrived at 1430. With a shock of cold air and beautiful surrounding forestry, victory was in our grasp.

The pool had old-school diving blocks and a shallow, 1.2 m turning wall, making it difficult to perform at our best. Despite this, we had three explosive debuts of Max B, Noah W, and Theophilus O who all had close, exciting races. In particular, Max B won the U16 50m Freestyle with a time of 32.01, impressive for a beginner swimmer! In the end, we struggled with the U16 races and had a narrow loss of 51 : 55. However, we dominated the U18 section with a score of 58 : 48 and brought the final score to 109 : 103.

Rugby 7s v Embley School

Thursday 1st February saw the Winchester college U18 7s rugby side visit Embley School for their first fixture of the season. The format consisted of 3 training matches.

The first match was a shock to the system for the boys. The opposition putting points on the board in quick succession early on. Half time gave the boys a chance to regroup and discuss their defensive structure which greatly improved during the second half. Second match, the boys got into the speed and accuracy that Rugby 7’s requires. With tries being scored off strong running and perfectly timed off loads. Coming into the third game confidence was starting to grow but fatigue was undoubtedly kicking in. Some missed tackles allowed the opposition to take control of the match and despite a better structure to our play the boys weren’t able to threaten the home team’s advantage. (THW)

Saturday 3rd February 2024

Badminton v Abingdon School (h):

On Saturday, Winchester’s top 4 pairs played a thrilling home match at Bar End against Abingdon. Despite JP Cheng in the first pair being unable to attend, all players showed great adaptation in playing with new partners against a formidable opponent. Despite a loss of 9-7, many close games were had with good sportsmanship. In particular, the last game to three sets of Winchester’s first pair of Ayson K and Yuyao X against Abingdon’s own first pair had all others from both sides crowding around to see the very close final set and some great plays being made. Because of this, the men of the match goes to both Ayson and Yuyao for overall consistent and quality play, and managing to work together so cohesively without playing together before. (A. Yu, I)

Fives v St Paul’s School (a): Both games won

Rowing Fixtures at home & Southampton

WCBC took 2 8+’s to Southampton on Saturday, a J15 8+ and a J16 8+, along with a top year filling a seat in an 8+ in an opposing crew. Our boats were already rigged and ready to go once the boys did their final checks at their designated seats.

There was a good atmosphere at Southampton Boat Club as most of the crews racing were all boating from the same place. The time trials started at 15:00, after a very brief warm – up and once all the safety launches were in position, the first boat was sent off; this was Southampton men, followed by Itchen, then our J16’s, 2 women’s 8+’s and finally our J15’s. They raced over 2.8k and once they reached the finish, all 6 boats spun around to paddle back to the start to race the course again.

Once both time trials had been raced our J16’s came 3rd in both races, with two very good times down the course. The J15’s came 4th in the first time trial and 5th in the second. Both crews preformed very well!

While the boys were in Southampton the girls were having a fixture of their own, on their home stretch of water. This was the first female only rowing fixture we have hosted on this stretch, against Tormead Girls School. The event revolved around mixing different crews up and giving an opportunity to head race (time trial) so there were no overall results but it was a very successful afternoon of rowing. WCBC girls were very generous hosts and Tormead School left very impressed with both the facilities and the hospitality. (SLG)

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, Former NCAA College football coach

M.S. Burley

Director of Sport

6th February 2024

X: @WinCollSports