19 Mar 2019
Boys' Weekly Sports Review: Week 11

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Football Review

It was a disrupted week with all but one game cancelled at St. Paul’s due to wet pitches. The 15A team travelled to Barnes and found the good very hard against an incredibly strong wind. St Paul’s scored all six goals in the first half of the game which meant it would be a very big ask for the boys to come back. But the team gave it a valiant effort and managed to score three goals when the wind was in their favour.

At home the U14A & B not only had the wind to contend with, but were both on heavily sloped pitches for their matches. The U14B lost narrowly (a mark of their season) and the A team managed to win comprehensively against a strong opposition. Three more goals were added to Head’s already impressive tally. The U15B were equal to anything their opponent could through at them and their game finished 3-3. The U16B were beaten 2-0 whilst the A team managed to beat their opposition in a thrilling match. Four first half goals from the boys saw them take a 4-1 lead into the half, but with the wind still to come the team new they had a battle on their hands. The unbeaten Pauls team (already crowned league champions) reacted too late in the game to mount a serious threat to the result and had to settle for a 4-3 loss. This was a fantastic spectacle and the team can be proud of their dogged defending in the last 15 minutes.

The 3rd XI drew 2-2 and remain unbeaten this season. A fantastic effort considering some of the strong opponents they have faced. The 2nd XI unfortunately lost 1-0 in a tight match up with a penalty chance spurned before the end of the game. The 1st XI had perhaps their best win of the season winning 3-1 courtesy of goals from Nathan (2) and Harry. Berkhamsted faced the full force of the storm in the first half but still managed to create numerous chances. Nathan scored twice but could have had more with his devastating pace on the left wing. St Paul’s fought back through a fluke of a goal – a cross which was blown by the wind into the top corner! St Paul’s pushed but Berkhamsted managed to stay calm and with about 10 minutes to go Harry received the ball on the half way line dribbled past his man, looked up and saw the keeper off his line… Harry struck a well placed shot which lobbed the keeper before settling into the back of the net. A huge cheer from the crowd and it meant Berkhamsted were now home free.

Team of the Week: U16A

Player of the Week: Harry McHugh

Mr D. Vila – Head of Football

Fives Review

The weeks continue to count down to the main Nationals up at Shrewsbury but there was still plenty of Fives throughout the week to keep the boys sharp ready for it.

Tuesday saw the U15 squad travel over to Eton College to against them in the prestigious Hughes Cup, a three pair U15 team tournament. This is the first time ever Berkhamsted had reached the final of this competition having dispatched Shrewsbury the other week with an overall 2-1 win. It is always a tough ask to play against Eton on their home courts but the boys did admirably. Doe & Hubbard took on their long standing rivals whom they lost to in the U14 Nationals Final last year; it was a high quality match with lost of good rallies play, but the clinical finish from the Eton pair allowed them to take the match 0-3 but with the firs5 two sets being very tight. Foster & Pemberton played a stunner at 2nd pair walking away with a reasonably comfortable 3-0 win. Due to a last minute drop out our final pairing saw young James Boylan stepping out of his comfort zone at U14 level to play not only a year up but also against one of the top schools in the country. He was paired up with Thompson and 3rd and a cracker of a match ensured! The boys got off to a flyer taking the first set 12-9; Eton then found their fee5 8n the second and adjusted their game plan with lots of targeting shots towards Boylan allowing them to take the second set 4-12. The Berko boys were unfazed by this however and the heavy play towards Boylan actually helped improve his game allowing h8m to adapt to the Eton boys’ style of play. The next two sets were very tight all the way but unfortunately both went the way of Eton 10-12, 10-12. A great effort and result for a first time Final in this competition.

The following day an almost identical squad travelled over to Mill Hill to play up against their U16s, though Longbottom was changed in for Boylan. They pulled off a very convincing overall 3-0 win with all the pairs making light work of their opposition thanks to some fine set piece and rally play throughout. This was a good reminder for the boys of just how high up the rankings they are as a year group across the schools U15 category.

Thursday saw a different U15 squad alongside the U14s taking on Aldenham; always an enjoyable fixture so it was nice to have them back in the card having had to cancel or las5 few last term due to poor weather. The U14s performed well walking away with an overall 3-0 win while the U15s had a slightly tougher time losing at 1st and winning at 2nd pair leading to a draw in that age category.

Thursday also saw the U11 Nationals (see separate report).

The week rounded off on Sunday with four U15 pairs travelling over to Eton to compete in the Kinnaird Cup; this is the men’s adult competition but the boys were entered into the Festival section to gain some valuable match experience against adult players. There were some good results across the day but the highlight was young Doe & Pemberton making it all the way to the quarter-finals before being knocked out by an experienced coach playing with an U18 player.

Next week sees the continuation of the U12s Nationals in the form of the Elite competition as well as the Prep Championships and a home fixture against Stowe for the U18s

Team of the Week: U15

Pair of the Week: Joe Thompson & James Boylan

Mr A. Theodossi – Fives Professional