Sports Reports for ET19 Week 10
Having made the London Schools’ U15 Cup Final, Westminster were declared the winners – for the 2nd time in our history, having been runners-up thrice in the last four years – as the teams in the other half of the draw were unable to complete their fixtures in time. An unsatisfactory way to win a trophy, but deserved nonetheless for the quality of cricket the U15s played to reach the Final.
Meanwhile, the 1st XI finished their season with the annual fixture against the Old Westminsters to contest the Jim Cogan Cup. Having never as yet let the alumni get their ‘grubby paws’ on the trophy, the School were in no mood to see this year be the exception. Choosing to bat first, a strong OWs line-up were made to regret their decision as a polished bowling and fielding performance by the 1st XI saw them skittled for just 91. Arun Ghai (4-21) was the pick of the bowlers with his off-spin, but there were useful contributions also from Gaurav Kocher (2-9) and Alex Gardiner (2-23). In reply, the School found themselves quickly in trouble at 18-3, before Lucas McConnell (29) and Junaid Ahmed (17) added a crucial 45 runs. However, three more wickets fell swiftly and, at 74-6, the match was once again in the balance. Enter man-of-the-match Ghai (12*) who combined with Matthew Carver (8*) to get the 1st XI over the line, and, finis their rollercoaster season on a genuine high.
The following day saw the cricket season well and truly ended with the much re-arranged Final of the House competition, and, it was the powerhouse Grant’s side that swept Asburnham aside by 59 runs, thanks to a blistering knock from Ahmed (74*).
It was a hectic week for Tennis which began with the annual House Junior Competition. Ashburnham, Rigaud’s, Purcell’s and Liddell’s fought their way through the group stages to reach the semi-finals, whereupon Ashburnham and Liddell’s made the Final. It was plain sailing there for the Ashburnham duo of Oscar Rasmussen & Shinichiro Iwami as they swept the Liddellites aside by 6-0 to take the 2019 title.
Meanwhile, Isabella Sanai & Asha Bakhai were travelling away to take on two pairs from South Hampstead High, and, honours were even as each School won one set 6-0 4-6.
The next day saw four Westminster Seniors entertain their counterparts from Alleyn’s School on the courts at Vincent Square. The fixture was notable perhaps for Oliver Meredith competing against his twin brother who goes to Alleyn’s. It was the Westminster team that came out on top though as they won both Doubles sets – Meredith & Antaou Lou by 6-2, and, Oliver Anderson-Shah & Billy Sutton-Mattocks by 6-4 – and three out of the four Singles (Meredith 6-3, Lou 6-1, Sutton-Mattocks 6-2).
This invaluable match practice tuned the Westminster players up nicely for the annual Independent Schools’ Tennis Championships taking place at Eton over the weekend. The 1st IV were given a walkover into the 2nd Round of the Youll U19 Cup as their opponents, Abingdon, withdrew. This meant that they had to face one of the hot favourites, the hosts, Eton next, and, although the second pair of Sutton-Mattocks & Jack Belanger won (6-1 6-2), the first pair of Leo Rozanov & Lucien Walewski were swept aside. This sent the match into a tie-break set with one player from each pair, and, it was the Etonians who progressed, sending Westminster into the Clark U19 Trophy. There, they defeated Merchant Taylor’s Northwood convincingly by 2-0 (Rozanov & Walewski 6-2 6-2, Belanger & Sutton-Mattocks 6-1 6-1). They were even more dominant in the next match against Hymer’s College, Hull, with each pair only dropping one game across both sets. This took them into the semi-finals where they faced Leicester Grammar School. The opposition took the first pair match, but, Belanger & Sutton-Mattocks then took the second pair contest (6-2 6-4) to set up another decider. However, the Leicester combination proved too strong as Rozanov & Belanger were overpowered 6-1 to knock Westminster out of the competition.
While the boys were doing their thing, Delorenzo & Bakhai were making history as the first Westminster girls in living memory – and quite possibly ever! – to participate in the Loveband U19 Trophy at the ISTA Competition. They began the group stages brilliantly by beating Magdalen College 6-0, before being beaten 6-1 by top seeds, St George’s Weybridge. However, they bounced back with outstanding 6-0 defeats of both Pocklington 2 and St Mary’s Ascot to finish second in the group and take them through to the knockout stages. There they faced the Tennis scholars of Queenswood School, but, the Westminster girls were undaunted and put up a tremendous fight before ultimately bowing out 3-6 4-6. However, they could leave with their heads held high and with the prospect of more to come next year.
There was great success over the weekend at the Great Britain J16 trials as Westminster crews won both the Coxed Fours and Coxless Pairs races, to be selected to race for GBR J16s against France on 11th July in Nottingham. The winning crews were:
- Coxed Four: Nirav Tomasi, Caspar Griffin, Oliver Ellis, Charles Cartisser and Manal Pandey
- Coxless Pair: Wilder Fulford and Willem De Mol Van Otterloo.
Meanwhile, Emma Kohlmayer continued her recent international successes by winning the Bronze medal in the Junior Singles at the Open Czech National Championships in a full World Junior Championship field.
Focus now turns to Henley Royal Regatta and getting the job done well in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup against Winchester on Wednesday, to set up a possible clash with Eton in the next round.