Please see below for a termly roundup from Aquatics, Squash, Rugby, Rackets and Rowing.
St Paul’s Rugby Football Club has enjoyed a fruitful season following a lengthy absence due to the pandemic. The season began with preseason training camps at Newcastle, Cardiff and Durham, a chance to bond and prepare for the season. The season started well, and the coaches prepared the 17 teams to form the Club for the 2021-22 season.
The 1st XV performances have been full of passion and commitment, recording memorable wins over RGS Newcastle and Solihull. The U16 teams have also had a good year, with the A team beating Epsom, Radley and Tonbridge. However, one of the highlights comes from the U16C team, who produced a successful drop goal in the last play to beat RGS Guildford. The U15s enjoyed an impressive season, with the U15A team recording noticeable victories against Hampton and Tonbridge. The U15B team squeezed past Tonbridge in a physical game, while the U15C team produced their performance against Epsom. The U14s have made immeasurable improvements this term; with the U14A team enjoying memorable success over RGS Guildford, the U14D produced an immaculate performance to beat Harrow. The U14E overcame a strong Eton team.
It has been a challenging but enjoyable season. The pupils have adapted to new rules, Covid disruption and illness. However, they have successfully competed on one of the most challenging fixture lists in the country throughout it all. They have represented the school with distinction, as have the outstanding team of coaches, medics, groundsmen and parents who support them.
On Sunday 28 November at Wallingford Fours and Eights Head, St Paul’s entered eleven crews and won four events: J15 eights, J16 eights, J18 coxed fours and J18 second eights. This was the first major outing of the year for the whole club.
This Saturday, SPS Aquatics swam at the Atlantis Christmas Cracker 2021 Meet (county qualifier). Fourth Form swimmers, Andy Wang, Anderson and Wilder Daffey took a total of eight medals – two gold, three silver and three bronze – and qualified for six races for the county which will take place in February 2022.
Anderson and Wilder have also spent most Saturdays this term representing the Under 14 A/B rugby teams – their coaches granted permission for them to swim. Alongside their achievements, both their rugby teams also won their matches against Solihull.
A great example of all-around sporting development, excellence and cooperation between sports with the pupils at the centre of the decisions.
James Rossiter won the Middlesex U17 Squash tournament and progressed to the English u17 Junior Championships, where he placed 26th nationally.
Both the U18 and U16 squash teams progressed through the group stages of the National Schools Cup. The U18 team consisted of George Livesey, James Rossiter, Rana Sarin, Oliver Hatfield and Vikram Bhamre, beat Reed’s School and Hampton and narrowly lost to one of the Cup favourites Epsom College. They progressed through the group stages with sights firmly set on making the national finals once again.
The U16, consisting of Adrian Siniscalco, Emerick McMahon, Neil Prabhu, Nabil Alizadeh and Rakan Sharaiha, beat Trinity School, Reigate Grammar and Whitgift School. They progressed as group winners.
The U14 and U15 teams have opened their accounts playing and winning against Eton and KCS, respectively. It’s great to see a large cohort of Junior players enjoying their squash after such a long absence.
The first fixture had the (mainly) junior team travel to Charterhouse for three doubles matches and five singles matches, and only two games were lost the entire afternoon. Well done to Alexander Hogben and Rory Todd, who were all playing in their first fixture. Special mentions must go to Sixth Form Nicholas Dyer, Eshan Hall, Alec Mitchell-Thomson, John Moretti.
An away fixture at Harrow School had the nerves jangling for our first pair, Oliver Hatfield and George Livesey. At two games, they faced match point at 4-14; luckily, showing implacable resolve, Hatfield led a successful rear-guard action helping the boys to win (17/14).
At Tonbridge School, our first pair and second pair’s closest rivals came to us in early November. Hatfield and Livesey dropped just 20 points in an impressive 3-0 win. Sarin and Rossiter won comfortably (3-1).
Hatfield and Livesey also heavily defeated Cheltenham College away 3-0, although all four pairs (1st, U16, U15, U4) won, dropping just one game the entire afternoon. Highlights of that fixture were Rory Todd, Adrian Siniscalco and Shlok Poddar, all performed magnificently on a tricky court, winning 4-0 without conceding a game.