Week 6 – Sports Report

13 October 2023

Under 11 Regional IAPS Football Report

Last Friday, the U11 football team reunited for a tour of the Midlands in the form of a regional IAPS tournament during which they would showcase some of the best football they have played as a group to date. An unexpected format change would see us drawn into a larger group of 7 where the top 4 teams would qualify for the knockout stages.

The importance of starting quickly in such short games was reinforced before the boys took to the pitch. Wolverhampton GJS were first on the chopping block, as the boys took on board what was said and were 3 goals up within the first 5 minutes. The remainder of the first game was managed well through keeping possession of the ball which didn’t allow any of the game to be played by the other team in our half of the pitch. Similar performances saw us past Laxton and The Perse School in the next couple of games, both with a convincing 2-0 scoreline.

Our next game was against the toughest opponent on the day, the eventual winners, Repton Prep. Signs of complacency were starting to set in after our perfect record from the first 3 games, considering our qualification for the knockout stages was all but guaranteed. Repton started quickly and we were 1-0 down within the first 2 minutes. However, after a few minutes of pressure up their end of the pitch, a rash challenge brought down Jude in the penalty area and Lochy converted from the spot to equalise and earn what turned out to be a valuable point come the end of the group games.

The penultimate game of the group stage saw us play Fairfield Prep, who having seen our results against other teams in the group, opted for a 3 at the back formation to try and counteract our attacking threat. This only played into our hands as they couldn’t seem to get the ball out of their own half with our overload in midfield winning the ball back. Constant pressure throughout the whole of the game seemed like it would come to nothing but a calm finish from Jude broke the deadlock and meant we picked up another win, this time 1-0. It was a similar story in the final game of the group against The Croft where chances were spurned but up stepped Rocco arriving from the right midfield position who netted his first goal of the day to win the game 1-0 for us.

5 wins and 1 draw saw us pick up 16 points in the group stage and meant we went through to the knockouts as group winners. The importance of winning the remaining the group games following the point against Repton was stressed to the boys because the results that followed had earnt us an ‘easier’ quarter-final against the 4th placed team from the other group, who happened to be Nottingham HIJS. The opposition had no idea what had hit them when we were up 4-0 inside 5 minutes and confidence was flowing within the team going into the next round. Solihull Prep awaited us in a semi-final match where we had a chance to make it to the final and punch our ticket to Millfield in November. The game panned out in the same way as most others did; Henry in goal was a spectator watching an onslaught of attacks on the Solihull goal, but we failed to convert our chances and the game finished 0-0 AET. If there was one way which we were going to be knocked out of the competition, it would be reminiscent of England’s Euro 96 loss to Germany through the lottery of penalties. After Henry’s save from Solihull’s first penalty, the final seemed within touching distance. However, it wasn’t to be and we lost 3-4, so we had to earn the final remaining spot at the national finals the hard way.

The group were in tears and quite disjointed following the semi-final exit, as it was a really tough one to take. Despite this setback, the boys showed unbelievable character and resilience to pull themselves together and go again for the 3rd place playoff, which would decide the final school to make it through to the national finals. Fortunately, we had overcome the opposition previously during the group stage, The Croft. It took until the final couple of minutes to break the deadlock; the goalkeeper came out to clear the ball from a through pass, and it fell straight to George on the left side of midfield. The keeper was out, all he needed was two touches, one to control, and one to fire the ball off the underside of the bar and in from range to win the game at the death and send us through.

All the boys eagerly await the trip to Millfield in late November where our boys will be put to the test against the best that the country has to offer, and I must admit, I can’t wait either.

Squad: Henry M, James C, Harry A, Rocco G, Lochy M, George O, Jude J, Hugo C, Boyd T

Reported by Mr Sutcliffe

Under 8 A and B Rugby Against Moulsford and Chesham Prep School 

The U8A and B1 put on a thrilling display of running rugby on Willsfield yesterday as we hosted Moulsford and Chesham Prep. The high octane, high risk approach did produce the odd error but they paled into insignificance compared to the quality of try both teams scored. Defensively both teams proved their mettle and it bodes well for when the tackle is introduced in Year 4. All boys shone but I thought Barney K, Teddy SS and Peter C were particular standouts for the A1, while Freddie F, Jack W, Seb W and Hendrix K excelled for the B1. The A1’s managed to win both, while the B1’s (playing against A teams) drew one and narrowly lost one. Special thanks go to Mrs Sandy who managed, coached and cheer-led the B1’s in style!

Squads – Peter C, Bertrand H, Barney K, Quinn R, Teddy SS, Macsen T, Austin B, Edward B, Freddie F, Hendrix K, Milan M, Jack W, Robert P, Ronan W, S Ward, Wilf W.

Reported by Mike Williams

 

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