Sports Update for Week 8
05 November 2012
In recent years the 1st XI have been notoriously slow starters after the two week Play half-term break, and so, it is most refreshing to report that they were quick out of the blocks in their match against the Leopards on Saturday. The opposition comprised several Old Westminsters as well as a few recent Cambridge University Blues and they began by putting together several intricate passing movements. However, they lacked the threat and pace up front provided for the 1st XI by Louis Fellows and Henry McNeill, and it was the former who opened the scoring as he beat the opposition offside trap to latch onto a through ball, round the keeper and finish with aplomb. This gave the School side confidence and they began to dominate for the rest of the first half. Firstly, Fellows put in a teasing cross following some good work down the right only for McNeill to hit the inside of both posts with his header when it seemed easier to score. Then, McNeill turned provider as he capitalised on indecision in the opposition defence to square the ball unseflishly for Fellows who finished into an empty net with ease to make the score 2-0. This became 3-0 soon after as Fellows linked with David Vardanyan down the left and then delivered a tantalising cross to the far post where Kwesi Peterson, the goalkeeper and a defender all converged on the hanging ball. Noone was entirely certain how but the ball ended up in the back of the net off some part of Peterson's anatomy to give him his first goal for the School - own goals excluded - in five seasons of trying.
With this filip, the 1st XI went into half-time in justifiably buoyant mood but were warned against complacency and that the match was far from over. So it proved as, to their credit, the Leopards came roaring back as they pushed their strongest players forward and began to dominate possession. However, they struggled still to create any clearcut chances against a well-organised and resilient Westminster defence until two moments of indecision and lack of communication cost them dear and allowed the opposition to pull the score back to 3-2 with a quarter of the match remaining. The 1st XI were rocking at this stage but were able to steady the ship by starting to keep the ball better again, and, the victory was sealed with just over five minutes left as Oliver Iselin pushed forward and hit a scorching, dipping half-volley from 35 yards which flew into the top corner with the goalkeeper clutching at thin air.
Overall then, a competitive match played in fine spirit saw the 1st XI gain a most deserved and encouraging victory which should give them a lot of confidence moving into the 149th meeting between Westminster and Charterhouse on Tuesday.
Westminster's A and B teams continued their excellent form from the first half of term as they travelled to North London to take on Highgate's girls and came away with the spoils in both contests. In the A match, Westminster secured an emphatic victory by 16-7, but it was a much closer game in the Bs which went all the way to the wire before the 'Pinks' clinched a 10-7 win.
There was plenty of Westminster success at the Teddington Small Boats Head as the First Quad won Junior Quads section and finished second overall to London Rowing Clubs Elite Quad.
Meanwhile, the J17 Four finished second in the Under 18 Fours and the J16 Quad won the Novice Quads event whilst the large J15 squad had something of a field day with the the top crew finishing 2nd in Novice Quads, the second Westminster crew winning J15 Fours with the third crew finishing second in the same division.
Finally, to cap an excellent day, the fourth Westminster J15 crew won the J15 quads by half a second from Kingston GS.