28 Jan 2020
Sports News Spring Term Week Three

It has been another busy week of sport at Uppingham, even with the Leave-out weekend. Our 1st XI boys’ hockey and 1st VII netballers excelled against some of the very best teams in the country this week, and performances are steadily improving in a range of activities as we seek to develop a reputation as a national centre of excellence for school sport.

Hockey

On Wednesday, our 2nd XI competed in Tier 4 of the England Hockey National Cup; after a cagey 1-1 draw against Welbeck College’s 1st XI, we were beaten by a strong Loughborough Grammar 1st XI. Our 1st XI had a superb match against Repton School on Thursday, losing out 3-5 after being ahead on three occasions – our boys played unbelievably well, working incredibly hard throughout the match. Our 3rd XI took on Ratcliffe College with goals from Luca Skelton, Archie Rubins and a brace from Sam Martin. There was some excellent teamwork throughout the game, with great leadership from Charles Langford and Hans Mehta. Our U16s travelled to Cambridge to play The Perse School – the U16As won a scrappy match by a single goal and the U16Bs lost out in an end-to-end thriller, with Captain Adam Gray our stand-out performer. Our Fourth Form and Lower Fifth had their pool rounds for House Hockey.

Basketball

I was really impressed with our basketballers when I went to see them train last Thursday. Mr Fletcher has done a fantastic job with the players in creating a great atmosphere – they obviously love playing and work hard to improve their skills; some are in the Sports Hall for more than seven hours a week! These values were reflected in an excellent performance against Oakham School midweek. Having been behind early in the game, we fought back for a close victory, with Nuar Phoorimeti and Giles Hall spearheading the team.

Netball

Our 1st VII had a fantastic, but ultimately heart-breaking, weekend at their regional finals on Saturday. Despite the Leave-out weekend, we had a full squad raring to go against other county qualifiers from Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. After drawing our first match with Repton School, we lost out to West Bridgford School and then beat Kesteven & Grantham School to set up our final group match against an undefeated Oundle School. In an end-to-end encounter, we managed to win by a single goal, to finish the group tied in second place with Repton. Both schools had the same points, the match between us was also tied, our goal difference was the same as was our goal average – the group was finally decided by the fact that Repton had scored 39 goals and we had scored 37. The margins in sport are often fine – if we had managed to score one more goal or concede one less goal in the whole tournament, we could have progressed to the national finals. We are very proud of the whole squad; they have trained so hard this year and have developed well as a team – I am looking forward to following their progress over the rest of this term.

Thursday afternoon was an opportunity for our 1st VII squad to fine tune their preparations ahead of Saturday’s regional finals, while other year groups enjoyed some local fixtures. Our 2nd VII had a superb match against The Peterborough School’s U16As; we were behind for most of the game but fought back to tie the scores at 34-34. There were some lovely patterns of play and excellent work in both circles, with Emily Bell as Player of the Match. Our 3rd and 4th VIIs both had well contested fixtures against Ratcliffe College; Sienna Middleton was Player of the match in our 3rd VII, a team that are really starting to gel. Our U15As had their first real challenge of the season against Oakham School and struggled to change their game plan against a good side. Our U15Bs showed lots of positive energy and effort with some excellent passages of play. Our U15Cs improved as their match progressed, with Savannah Hunter making a big difference when she came on in the second quarter. Our U14Cs played The Peterborough School and continued their excellent progress this season with some excellent midcourt play. Our U14Ds and U14Es played Loughborough Amherst School’s U14As and U14Bs – Charlotte Munro was Player of the Match for the U14Ds, turning over lots of ball and working hard all over the court, and Olivia Jordan was the U14E’s Player of the Match.

Badminton

There were two cracking wins for the 1st VI Mixed this week against Stamford and Oakham Schools, to put us at the top of the East Midlands Independent Schools League.

Squash

Oundle School are currently riding high in squash and, although they have lost some key players to other sports this term, their 1st V still managed to record a comfortable 4-1 victory against us in Tuesday’s fixture. Alex Southern, our number one player, continued his impressive development and recorded an excellent 3-1 victory against his opponent. The 2nd V games were keenly contested and the teams more evenly matched; we eventually emerged 3-2 winners with Oliver Ind winning the deciding game.

The girls’ 1st and 2nd Vs played Oundle on Tuesday. For all the 2nd V players, this was their first squash match for Uppingham, they played with real spirit, with Harriet Smith displaying great determination by winning her final game on a tie-break (14-12). Our 1st V was on fantastic form, dominating most games with some excellent squash.

Swimming

Thursday’s gala against Oakham School was fantastic and filled with personal bests. The highlight was Albert Tanner taking 2.6 seconds off his 50m breaststroke time. It was an excellent opportunity to combine different year groups, with younger pupils Maude Poulter and Altair Kurban really stepping up. Fishes of the Fixture went to Natalie Chu for jumping into the most difficult races and swimming to a very high level, Hugo Ross-Wilson for a fantastic performance in butterfly and Martha Greenall, setting a new personal best in the 50m breaststroke.

Parkrun

It was great to see so many staff at the Parkrun at Rutland Water on Saturday morning. It is not just our pupils who enjoy discovering their best!

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