On the last Friday of term, our First House football team, captained by Will Street (UVI), put on a fine show of skill to win their quarter-final. Goals from Ladi Okusanya (UVI) and James Nelson (LVI) sealed a 2-1 victory against a talented side from Radbrook, who won the competition last year.
On the following Monday evening, 20 students from each House competed against each other in the Hope-Simpson Ergo Challenge. This is a rowing machine relay involving teams of four from each year, over 2000m or 3000m, depending on the age group. All the boys from School House contributed strong performances and earned themselves a place on the podium in third position at the end – a great effort by all!
On the penultimate day of term, we were up against a fast and physical Oldham’s team in our semi-final of the First House football competition. The opposition took an early lead with a well worked move down the wing. However, we were not going to be beaten so easily. Early in the second half George Newton (LVI), who stood out throughout the match, was brought down in the box. He kept his nerve and skilfully put the penalty away, levelling the scores. The rest of the half was a tense affair with chances falling for both sides, but some determined defending kept the opposition out and the match was drawn at full time.
In extra time, the wind and rain arrived and conditions deteriorated, but the boys dug in, encouraged by the passionate vocal support from the enthusiastic School House fans, who were not going to let the weather dampen their spirits! At one point, there was a big cheer from our side-line as the ball appeared to cross the line and we thought we had one foot in the final, but their keeper hooked it out of the net… without goal line technology, we shall never know!
Extra time finished without any more goals and the scores level at 1-1 after an exhausting battle of almost two hours. Then came the moment any football player or fan dreads: the cruel penalty shoot-out. Five brave boys from each side stepped up to the spot and excellent penalties were taken by all. However, a fantastic save by the Oldham’s keeper was enough to keep one of ours out, so it was not to be our year.
Kwaku Antwi (LVI), our outstanding centre back, was Man of the Match. This was a well-deserved accolade that came a few days after he was awarded “Newcomer of the Season” for the School’s 2nd XI.
Deputy Head of House, Will Street, was awarded his House Scarf in recognition of his service to School House over his time here, including his outstanding contribution to sport.
On the final day of term, several of the boys involved in the gruelling football semi-final, showed great resilience to run in the cross-country “Paperchases”. Especially impressive in the senior category was Matt Rowe (LVI), who put in one of the quickest ergo times on Monday evening, played the full football semi-final on Tuesday and came in first for School House over the 6km course on Wednesday – a highly talented athlete! In the junior race, Mark Pangin (IV) came in first position for School House and ran a superb race to come third in the School, winning the bronze medal overall.
The last few days of term were not just about sport. We were treated to beautiful music in the carol services, with several School House boys involved in singing or playing an instrument. Congratulations are due to Frank Coughlan (III), who did exceptionally well to win prizes in both divisions of this year’s Brass and Piano Prizes; he was Highly Commended in the Senior Brass and Intermediate Piano categories.
Meanwhile, Alfred Mitchell (UVI) was back on stage for the School’s musical production of Great Expectations; his musical and acting flair combined in his masterful performance as the mean and abrasive Bentley Drummle.
With sport, music and drama featuring prominently in the calendar, it was left to three of our new entrants to make the academic headlines, reminding us that progress was also being made in the study! Examination Prizes were awarded to Punn Vajrabhaya, Freddie Lawson and Tianci Wang for their outstanding results in the recent Third Form exams.