10 Sep 2019
Sports News Autumn Term Week One

It has been an exciting first week back at Uppingham with lots of new faces eager to impress. During the holidays, our Fourth Form and Lower Fifth girls competed in the National Track and Field Cup Final to become the first Uppingham girls’ team to reach a national sporting final. Also, our rugby and hockey teams were working hard in preseason training and look in good shape for the season ahead.

Last year, I challenged our players and coaches to be world class at, ‘Ten Things That Require Zero Talent’ (at the bottom of this news report) – we should expect all Uppinghamians to display these characteristics every time they play sport. There is so much potential to achieve success here at Uppingham, but it will require a great deal of hard work in the coming weeks, months and years to realise these ambitions. As parents, I would ask you to judge the performances of your children, other pupils and our coaches on these ten controllable things; I am very confident that if we are able to be world-class in these ten areas, then we will continue to see improved performances and the scores taking care of themselves.

We are also keen that every pupil has an enjoyable sporting experience, which challenges them to be the best they can be. It may be that they perform a forward roll in a Physical Education lesson for the first time in their lives, run or swim a new personal best, or are selected for a national team. I would like us to create an environment that is elite but not elitist – where every pupil feels they have the opportunity to succeed. This means, for instance, that every pupil will play at least half a match if they are selected to play for Uppingham, regardless of who we are playing, what the score is, or how much time there is left in a fixture.

Hockey

Our girls’ hockey teams started their season with 14 fixtures against Oundle School. Our 1st XI girls set the standard with a competitive 2-0 victory, with Zuha Animashaun making a number of excellent saves and Kate Ewbank scoring a goal on her debut. Our 4th XI put in a huge team effort with excellent performances from Harriet Fowler and Pippa Neal, who were rock solid in defence. Our U16As played with great skill against tough opposition, with Georgia Blackman and Isabel Blackman shoring up the defence and a hat trick from Kate Ewbank. Our U15As had some good pressure in the Oundle half early in the game as a result of some great stick work from Georgina Luckin. We opened up a number of attacks and began to put together some good passing before an excellent drive into the D from Kelly Smit created the chance for Georgina Luckin to finish in style. Izzy Faris-Wilson stepped up for our U15Cs, playing in goal for the first time and making a number of great saves. Our U14 girls have been particularly impressive in training this week, even, ‘doing extra’ on Friday afternoon with some additional short corner training. We made lots of changes in every game on Saturday, with every girl being selected and playing in different positions throughout. Our U14As put in a tremendous display with goals from Poppy Wraith (3), Tallulah Lascelles and India Wyatt. Our U14Bs won a close game - 1-0, with Charlotte Bingham working particularly hard, covering most of the pitch. We managed to make a number of turnovers with some excellent pressing, and the girls were buzzing at the final whistle. Our U14Cs also enjoyed their match away at Oundle, with some excellent defence preventing any shots on target in the second half. Matilda McKay, Georgina Tarbatt and Rose Brassey played particularly well and our U14Ds played with great energy in their first fixture together.

Rugby

Our rugby teams started their season with a block fixture against The Leys School, Cambridge. Director of Rugby, Nick De Luca, was pleased with the incredible defensive effort from our 1st XV, demonstrating plenty of grit. Harrison Casey was a thorn in the opposition’s side, sniping from scrum half, and Christian Totty was magnificent as captain. Our 2nd XV were able to physically overpower their opposition but will need to add a little more guile in future weeks. George Erith, Oliver Thompson and John Max controlled the game at eight, nine and ten with Oliver Perry and Bertie Tweed scoring on debut. Our 3rd XV played out a thriller against Stamford School and will be working on their catching and passing skills this week after losing the ball a little too often. Harry Cavadias was player of the match with Harry Bonar-Law and Charles Langford also on great form. A debut try from Leo Antlitz in our 4th XV game at Gresham’s School and a fantastic attacking performance from Beltran Arteaga Barreiros were notable highlights of a strong first half performance; the opposition’s experience told in the second half, but there were lots of positive signs.

Our U16As had a really close game at The Leys, with standout performances from Joseph Ntodi, Benjamin Moss and Freddie Read; Jack Leggate and George Rycroft chipped in with a brace of tries each. In our U16B game Aidan Butler and Archie Pearson both tackled superbly in a dominant performance and our U16Cs put in a brave effort against Gresham’s U16Bs. It was fantastic to see our U15A and U15B teams play so well on The Leicester, with Tom Ray looking very good on his Uppingham debut. Our U15Cs also had a great game at Gresham’s.

Our new U14s have only had three rugby sessions this week but still performed well, with every boy in the year given the opportunity to play in a triangular fixture against The Leys and Oundle School. Our U14As improved throughout the afternoon, competing better at the breakdown and improving their organisation in defence and attack. James Lilley showed great athleticism, speed and vision captaining the U14Bs. Evan Hindle was very agile in avoiding defenders, and Imisi Odeniran looked very quick on the wing and defended well. Our U14C, D and Es, played some fantastic touch games with lots of skills on show. We played some games with two balls; players could pass the ball in any direction and there were bonus points for tries scored with a kick. The boys’ favourite rule was, ‘bank or gamble’ – after a try, the team could bank their points or turn around and attack the other try line. If they scored, they received double points, if they lost possession, the opposition took their points!

Lacrosse

Both senior lacrosse teams played two games this Saturday, against Tudor Hall School and Marlborough College. Our U18As started off strong against hosts, Tudor Hall, scoring four unanswered goals by halftime as the attack moved the ball seamlessly. Uppingham weathered Tudor Hall’s comeback in the second half, with great communication on defence and tireless effort by Clemmie Black and Alicia Colquhoun at midfield. We struggled a little in the second game, against a quick Marlborough team who kept us scoreless with their aggressive defence. Nevertheless, our own intimidating team defence kept the match competitive until the end.

Our U18Bs played similarly hard-fought matches. Freya Woolgrove played outstandingly in her first game in goal, frustrating Tudor Hall with several key saves and keeping us within one goal until the final seconds of the game. Marlborough was once again able to capitalise on the effort that Uppingham expended in their first game, but the Bs kept their composure and positivity throughout and achieved a very respectable result against a strong side.

Badminton

Our badminton teams took on Stowe School on Saturday. Our Senior 2nd team performed especially well, with all the team members making their school debuts; Tuchchapong Phoorimeti and Eito Murakami fought back from a game down to win their match.

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