03 Dec 2019
Sports News Autumn Term Week Twelve

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U16a Rugby Team in Action Against Stowe U16a Rugby Team

Many thanks to those of you who took the time to come and chat to me on Saturday afternoon in The Middle pavilion, it was great to hear so many positive comments about Uppingham sport as well as receiving some good ideas to help us make it even better.

It has been another enjoyable and successful sporting term, with performances improving all the time; we are now competing against some of the top schools in the country and more than holding our own in a range of sports. I am confident that with continued hard work and enthusiasm, we will make further progress next year.

Many thanks for your support this year, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you in 2020.

Girls’ Hockey

Unfortunately, our away games at Trent College were called off on Saturday, as their pitches were frozen. The U16 and 1st XI games were also cancelled as Trent were preparing for their regional indoor tournament on Sunday. Our 1st XI has had a fabulous season, brilliantly captained by Lucy Ewbank. They enjoyed a friendly match against our U16s before heading off for a celebratory hot chocolate in Don Paddy’s. Our 2nd XI finished their season with a commanding performance at home against Trent. Alice Tusting scored a brace and Lexy Regis added a third, in an excellent second half display, finishing the game with a full Upper Sixth team. The 3rd XI fixture was an end to end affair against Oakham School, with the game resembling ping pong at times! Playing without a goalkeeper again, our girls played with bags of enthusiasm and enjoyed every second. Our 4th XI drew with Oakham, with both goals from their top scorer, Lucy Sexton. Mr Kirkby said that the team showed great determination and created several excellent chances, only to be denied by Oakham’s keeper. Our U14Ds ended their season in style, with a close game against Oakham. Most of our girls had not played hockey before joining us in September but have made massive improvements throughout the term and were very happy with their performance at the final whistle.

Football

Our girls had their first outing of the term with a match against Oakham School, with lots of goals scored at both ends. The football season starts in earnest next term – Mr Moosajee is excited about the group of girls available for selection.

Netball

I enjoyed watching our 1st VII in a fantastic match against Stamford School on Tuesday evening. The match was tied at 18-18 going into the final quarter – the competitive position that we would like to see in every match to test our pupils. Our girls managed to hold their nerve and secure a win (24-21) with some excellent shooting from Lucy Ewbank and tenacious mid court play from Georgie Radford.

Badminton

Our boys played out a thrilling draw against Loughborough Grammar School on Thursday, with several matches going to the wire. The final match was tied at 20-20 before Loughborough manged to get two points ahead to tie the match. Our girls also had a tight match with Loughborough High School, with two matches won by just two points. The pressure of these tight games prepared us well for another close match against Oundle School, in the Independent Schools’ league on Saturday afternoon – the match was tied 9-9, but Uppingham won on countback 321-287.

Rugby

Our 1st XV has had their best season this century and topped it off with an impressive display against Stowe School on Saturday. Our 2nd XV also won by a couple of points in a great defensive effort, displaying plenty of grit. Our 3rd XV could not quite meet the heroics of last week’s display and our 4th XV finished their season with a close match away at Stowe. In the evening, I was invited to the senior rugby club dinner in Lyddington – a lovely event organised by our parents. The highlights video of our 1st XV’s season reminded us of the entertaining rugby they have played this year. Against some bigger schools, who were happy to play ‘up the jumper’ rugby, our boys ran them ragged with some superb attacking rugby and resolute defence. The highpoint of the night was Nick De Luca’s speech, reminding us that the team’s values are far more important that any points on the scoreboard. The players’ player of the year award was given to Archie Hogan, with James Chalk and Henry Langford presented with framed 1st XV shirts for best displaying the ethos ‘Warriors on the Pitch, Gentlemen in Life’.

Our U16As finished their season with a nail-biting draw at home to a strong Stowe School side. We were always chasing the game, but Herbie Linney managed to score with two minutes to go, after a Freddie Read cross-field kick and tries from Fergus Makepeace and Jack Leggate had kept us in the game. The highlights of the game were some powerful carrying from Bogdan Mogylnytskyi, great distribution from Freddie Read and relentless tackling from Samuel Burchnall and Joseph Ntodi.

Our U14s and U15s showed great determination against bigger, stronger opposition on Saturday. I have refereed and watched several of their games this term and have been very proud of their attitude and commitment throughout the season. On Saturday, I refereed our U14Cs against Stowe, Edwin Prapaisal and Charles Lam carried the ball with great gusto and Frederick Bidwell played with incredible energy. Our U14Bs took on Stamford’s U14Cs on Thursday morning, clinching the game 26-24 with a superb try from Damir Kulnazarov. The style of attacking rugby they played on Thursday, shows the potential they have when they improve their athleticism and grow a bit bigger – please feed them lots of extra food at Christmas! Both year groups have often been outmuscled this year, but have played with great heart and determination. The next two terms give these boys an opportunity to improve their athletic development with some extra training. Our next rugby fixtures are nine months away – if you were to train three times a week between now and the start of next season, that would be 117 training sessions. Imagine how much you could improve your speed, strength, agility, endurance and power if you made a commitment to train regularly. We will be offering extra skills and training sessions at school for anyone who is hungry to get better. Our current U16s had a similar season when they were in the Fourth Form two years ago, but have worked really hard to be where they are today – it can be done!

Lacrosse

Our 1st XII took on a strong Stowe School team on Saturday and enjoyed scoring two excellent goals. We have a strong group of girls who have selected to continue playing next term; I am looking forward to seeing how they progress as they prepare for their national finals.

Squash

Our senior squash team had another busy week with excellent performances away against Bedford School and Rugby School.

Results, fixtures and some more detailed match reports can be found on our sports website and regular sports updates are detailed on my Twitter page or the Uppingham Sport Twitter page