23 Sep 2019
Sports News Autumn Term Week Three

It has been another fantastic week of sport, with successes for our 1st XV boys’ rugby, 1st XI girls’ hockey and junior tennis team. With a Leave Out weekend, we booked in some block fixtures on Thursday, with the whole school timetabled to play sport. Our Fourth Form and Lower Fifth girls had their house hockey tournament, with Constables coming out as champions.

Hockey

On Tuesday afternoon, I went to watch our 1st and 2nd XI girls train on The Sunley pitch. After a disappointing performance last Saturday, there was a different energy about the group. The session started with a pep talk from Captain Lucy Ewbank before the girls warmed up with some small sided games. It was great fun but with real purpose, the noise level was high, the attitude was first class and the effort from every girl was superb. The following day our 1st XI girls had their second fixture against Oundle School this season, in what turned out to be an epic match. We started strongly, with great defence from the newly formed back four of Olivia Clarke, Neve Walker, Ellie Buttery and Breanna Tye. Isabel Greenslade set the tone in midfield, working tirelessly both on and off the ball. Up front, Lucy Butterworth and Hannah Cowie were on fire, using their pace and skill to get through the strong Oundle defence and always looked dangerous on the counter attack, giving us a well-earned 4-2 lead at half time. At the start of the second half, the team was aware that Oundle would come out strong, particularly as they had a loud vocal backing on the sidelines from their rugby 1st XV. The Uppingham girls showed great character and determination, rising to the challenge and performing well under pressure. Even when Oundle pushed to try to get back on level terms in the last five minutes, taking off their goalkeeper to play with eleven outfield players, our girls defended resolutely. The final score was 6-4 to Uppingham, with Lucy Butterworth scoring four superb goals and Hannah Cowie chipping in with two; a fantastic team performance and a great game of hockey for the neutral!

Rugby

After an impressive start to the season, our 1st XV was named as one of the top five school teams of the week by Fifteen Rugby. On Wednesday evening, I looked out of my office window to watch our boys prepare for their match against Bedford School the following day. They trained at high intensity and focus, with some fantastic skills on display. Most impressively, there was not an adult in sight; this was a completely player led session and a reflection of the values that our Director of Rugby, Nick De Luca, has instilled in our boys. They were relentless in their pursuit of excellence, individually positive towards themselves and each other; they really looked to be enjoying themselves.

On Thursday, they continued their impressive start to the season, with another fantastic display of their values away at Bedford. In a physical start to the game, deep in our own half, we repelled several Bedford attacks with the ferocity and energy in defence that we are becoming known for. This was epitomised by the relentless Henry Langford and Sam Westmacott around the breakdown, Angus Duff in the line out and the gritty James Chalk hunting for big hits in the loose. In attack, things clicked for our impressive back line. Charlie Richardson bossed the game from Fly Half, Ethan Hodgson is getting better every game and his ability to link with skipper Xavier Cranwell and Charlie, led to the game’s first try from Sam Westmacott, who beat the covering defence before converting his own try. The next score came after a massive hit from Henry Langford, forcing a knock on from the big Bedford pack. A powerful run from Carlson White at the resultant scrum allowed Harrison Casey to show a clean pair of heels, to scorch under the posts. From there, our boys continued to grow in confidence and were unplayable at times. Archie Hogan again showed why he is the most feared full back on the circuit, and Christian Totty had another outstanding match in the loose and tight. This was an incredible performance from all 18 players, with injured Edward Clayton also providing great support; our boys were paragons of their rugby values, ‘Warriors on the Pitch, Gentlemen in Life’.

Tennis

On Wednesday evening, our U15 boys’ team took on Lutterworth Grammar School in the National Schools’ County Playoff. William Butterworth, Alex Liu, William Barbrook and Oliver Wyatt all played superbly to qualify for the regional finals in Tipton next month.

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