13 Mar 2019
Uppingham Sport Spring Term Week Eight

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It has been another busy and enjoyable week for Uppingham Sport. On Saturday and Sunday we hosted two sporting events that required a great deal of team work from staff in many departments. On Saturday, we hosted a cross country match on The Middle, with the added challenge of some brutal hills in the arboretum. Mr Matthews organised the event superbly, with staff helping with marshalling, scoring and cheerleading. Our grounds team had marked the course out immaculately and our catering team provided hot and cold drinks for runners and staff. Our cross country athletes were given the option to run or to help marshal the course; there were some excellent performances from those competing and real team spirit from those cheering them on. It was particularly heart-warming to see David Wang cheered in by the team as he finished his first race for Uppingham. On Sunday we hosted our annual U16 and U18 Rugby Sevens tournament on The Leicester. It was another brilliant community event with support from all areas of the school. Our events team put on a great show, Nick De Luca organised the whole tournament brilliantly, our graduate sports assistants co-ordinated the results, New Lodge Farm provided lots of tasty hog roast rolls, we had hundreds of staff, parents and pupils supporting and both of our teams performed well. The feedback I received from other schools was excellent – it was the best tournament they had been to in a long time.

Swimming

What a week for our swim team! We started off with a fixture against Oakham School in which more than 15 personal bests were made and four school records were broken; Emma Holmes broke the U17 50m Backstroke, Adrian Ting broke the U19 50m Butterfly and the combinations of Emma Holmes, Karli Choy, Lara Scott, Carmen Pérez Pera and Natalie Chu helped to break the U17 4x50m Medley relay and take three seconds off the Freestyle relay record. Overall, amazing performances by the whole team with, ‘Fish of the Fixture’ going to Angus Betts for his incredible effort in the Individual Medley race.

On Friday the team travelled to London to compete in the Bath and Otter Cup at the Olympic Pool. It was a fantastic day for the team, which consisted of Adrian Ting, Hugo Ross-Wilson, Matthew Au, Marcus van Rest, Joss Moore, Emma Holmes, Carmen Pérez Pera, Lara Scott, Karli Choy and Natalie Chu. The girls came 11th after their Freestyle relay heats, narrowly missing the final; however they did break records for both the 4x50m Medley and Freestyle relays, with Emma also breaking the 50m Backstroke and Freestyle records. Our boys 4x50m Medley Relay team qualified 3rd after their heats, breaking their record by three seconds but narrowly missed out on a medal by coming 4th in the final. The boys 4x100m Freestyle Relay team again qualified 3rd after their heats whilst smashing their target of going under four minutes. The final of the Aldenham Cup was tough, with Mrs Finch-Wale almost unable to watch, such was the excitement! The team held their nerve to secure their bronze medals.

Hockey

Our U14 boys travelled to Repton School to take part in the Midlands Tier 2 Regional Finals Tournament last week. It was a great experience for them, coming away with two losses and a win in the Pool stage, finishing 5th overall after the 5th/6th playoff, with a real surge in the final playoff to win 5-2, with a hat-trick from Captain William Cardozo, and goals from Finlay Alderson and Jake Brunner (making his A team debut after working his way up from the C team at the beginning of the season). Our 2nd XI put in a magnificent display to finish runners up in the Tier 3 regional finals scoring 20 goals, conceding seven, with George Cunliffe (8), Tom Stone-Wigg (3) and George Jones (3) our top scorers.

It was a busy week for all our teams, with fixtures against Bedford School midweek and Rugby School on Saturday. One of the highlights was our U15Bs’ victory with the last play of the game against Rugby, after losing out in the final minute against Oakham School last week.

Football

After losing 1-9 to Oakham School earlier in the season, it was great to hear how much our girls’ 1st XI has improved, with a narrow 1-3 defeat in a match that could have gone either way. Our boys’ senior teams have had some really competitive fixtures in recent weeks. This week they took on Bedford School and Rugby School, losing out by a single goal in both 1st XI matches – playing in such close matches every week is a real test of character.

Lacrosse

Our two U15 teams put in their best performances of the season in their matches against Oakham School on Saturday. Despite the windy conditions our girls kept the ball well and scored some brilliant goals.

Netball

Our netballers took on Rugby School on Saturday afternoon. Following their terrific win last Friday night, our 1st VII had a well-deserved day off – it was great to see a few of them out supporting our younger teams. Our U16s were particularly impressive in windy conditions on The Leicester courts and Mrs Breakwell reported that our U15 girls played their best netball of the season away at Rugby. Every one of our Fourth Form girls played in two games this week. On Thursday we travelled to Stamford High School to play seven versatility matches, where every player changed position at the end of each quarter. We also switched players from Stamford and Uppingham to have mixed teams and put constraints on the games to challenge the girls; some girls were given “superpowers” – the “Rock Stars” had no rules, they could do anything and the “Wonder Women” played attack for both teams. We also played one quarter with a handball, and one quarter where no one was allowed to speak! Girls from both teams umpired the games – the whole morning was a tremendous success and one we will look to repeat in the future.

Rugby

Uppingham Sevens Tournament

Our U16 team had an outstanding day, topping their group with good wins against Oakham School, Stamford School and Oundle School before taking on Bedford School in the semi-final. After going 0-19 down, our boys demonstrated superb grit and determination to equalise with an Oliver Perry try that started in our own 22. The match went into sudden death extra time with Bedford scoring the decisive try with an excellent finish. I was so proud of our boys; they were gutted to lose but played some great sevens all day. Our 1st VII also had a good day – they were beaten in a tight encounter by eventual winners, Denstone College, before making their way to the Bowl final against Framlingham College. The starting team was exclusively Lower Sixth, which shows how much potential this team has.

Zoe Pyott and Deborah Kargbo represented Leicestershire against Warwickshire on Sunday. They both played brilliantly, Zoe with a couple of fantastic runs and Deborah with some stunning tackling.

Shooting

We had a successful Saturday fixture away at Rugby School where our 1st and 2nd teams competed. Following two close victories, we are in the final of the area cup against Oakham School on 23rd March at Holwell School. Our Player of the match was Emilia Briggs representing our 2nd team with a top score of 91/100.

Fives

Our world record holders took on Shrewsbury School on Saturday. Our girls’ pair was in fine form, coming out on top with some superb play, whilst our three boys’ teams were challenged by good opposition.

All our results and fixtures can be found on our sports website and regular updates on my Twitter page