Sports Reports for ET19 Week 9
It was a hectic week for Cricket Station with recent rain having caused a cup fixture backlog to add to the existing matches.
Alas, the week did not start well for the 1st XI as they relinquished their grip on the London Schools’ U19 Cup as they lost their semi-final away to Colfe’s on Tuesday. Having been inserted, in a T20, Westminster never really recovered from a disastrous start which saw them 29-6 off just 5 overs. Vayu Singhal (30) and Oscar Young (22*) did their best to repair the damage and got the 1st XI to some measure of respectability at 104-8. However, this was just too far below par and although Westminster fought hard in the field to take the game into the last over, Colfe’s deservedly got over the line.
The batting woes were to continue the next day for the 1st XI away at Alleyn’s School in another T20. A respectable bowling performance, led by Arun Ghai (2-16), was undermined by a case of the ‘dropsies’ in the field as 5 catches went down, including three in three consecutive balls! Nonetheless, Alleyn’s were restricted to a very gettable 126-6 in their innings. However, nobody on the Westminster side took responsibility with the bat as they limped to a disappointing defeat at 108-9.
Back in their ‘safe place’ of SW1 and Vincent Square on Saturday, the 1st XI underlined their consistency in being inconsistent by bouncing back with an outstanding all-round performance against a very capable Emanuel School side. In a 35 over contest, Westminster stuck the opposition in and restricted them to just 56-1 at the halfway mark. However, Emanuel then began to accelerate effectively and a challenging total of 170-180 looked on the cards, only for Gaurav Kocher (3-22) and Alex Gardiner (2-32) to peg the opposition back and hold them to 158-8 at the close. When Westminster batted, it soon became obvious that Emanuel were a superb fielding outfit with two handy opening bowlers as the 1st XI were reduced to 19-2 off 9 overs. Enter Junaid Ahmed (43) and Tarun Eapen (43) who put together one of the most mature partnerships of the season in adding 83 for the 3rd wicket with some excellent shot-making and running between the wickets. With Ahmed’s departure, Lucas McConnell (32*) entered the fray and added a vital 41 runs with Eapen before the latter fell. This brought in the enigmatic Angus Mackay to apply the ‘coup de grace’ with 14 runs off just 6 balls and take the 1st XI to an outstanding 6 wicket win with 4 overs remaining.
It was a busy week for the U15s also but with much greater cup success. Having been rained off on Tuesday, they hosted City of London on Thursday in the London Schools’ U15 Cup quarter-final. Batting first in a T20 match, Westminster were indebted to Sachin Lavender (36) and Arjun Kapur (30) in posting a competitive total of 114-8 in their innings. In reply, City’s openers lacked attacking intent in the face of some accurate Westminster bowling, and, ultimately they left themselves too much to do as they finished 15 short at 99-5.
With the Final scheduled for Tuesday, this meant that the semi-final, against The Charter School, had to be played the very next day, with Alleyn’s School kindly agreeing to host both teams. Batting first, The Charter’s top order was decimated by Alec Brooke’s opening spell of 3-8, and, this good work was continued by Kapur (3-14) as the opposition were restricted to just 81-9 off their 20 overs. It soon became apparent though that The Charter had at least three ‘proper’ bowlers as the Westminster batsmen found the going tough. Gradually however, they began to get on top with Eapen (34*) playing the key innings to see Westminster over the line with several overs to spare, and looking forward to a Cup final the following week.
The 2nd XI were in cup action also during the week as they travelled to Newham Vic 6th Form College on Wednesday in the quarter-final of the London Schools’ U19 Cup. The opposition were a mature, experienced and talented group and Westminster did well to contain them to 125-5 in their innings. However, the opposition bowlers proved just too good and the 2nd XI eventually subsided to 60 all out in reply.
Saturday brought the chance to bounce back though with a fixture away to Emanuel School – and it proved to be a thriller! Batting first, Emanuel were bowled out for a competitive 124, and, it looked like Westminster would fall short as their ninth wicket fell with several runs required still. However, Ewan Hincks (41*) proved to be the match winner as he batted through and saw his team through to a nerve-tingling one wicket win.
The U14Bs enjoyed two home matches in a week as they hosted Alleyn’s on Thursday and Emanuel on Saturday. Bolstered by the presence of a couple of 14A squad players, and with runs from Alexander Feldman (59*) they were able to post an imposing total against Alleyn’s, which the opposition were never able to get close to. It was much tougher on Saturday though as a weakened side with only 8 players did very well to restrict Emanuel to 118-7 off their 20 overs, with Harry Day (3-14) and Ishaan Bansal (3-18) taking the bowling honours. In reply, the captain, Joseph Stern (28) tried valiantly to get his side home, but they came up 17 runs short.
The last piece of cricket from the busiest of weeks saw the much-delayed House Competition semi-final between Dryden’s and Grant’s take place finally. It proved to be a runaway 6 wicket win for Grant’s, including Ben Preston taking a hat-trick.
Henley Womens Regatta day 3: Emma Kohlmayer (DD) continued her impressive debut rowing season by reaching the Q-final in Junior singles but then losing to the girl who would go on to be the eventual winner. Some consolation gained from the fact that Emma gave the winner the closest race.
Meanwhile the Boys were at Marlow Regatta Yesterday. The First eight again showed an improvement in form since National Schools with a solid win in Junior Eights. The Second Eight showed perhaps even more improvement, rowing down Shrewsbury to finish second behind NSR silver medallists Eton and well in front of Eton’s J16 eight. The J15 eight found the form missing at National Schools when they finished in fourth place in their last regatta of the year. The Quad did well to make the C final from the large entry field.
The weekend brought more Westminster School at Fencing as Mark Evgenev, Om Chikane and Bhuvan Belur took bronze in the London Youth Games, representing the City.