Friday 7th December 2018
The annual cross country championships was upon us again and as the norm QEGS (including 3 members of staff, 54 students) travelled to Hubbards Hills, Louth on a dull, but mild morning.
On arrival it was clear that the conditions weren't ideal and something completely new to the Year 7 students, who’s only experience of cross country is running around a flat school field. The ground was wet, some parts being extremely bogging making it difficult keeping upright and that was just walking up to the course. It was safe to say trainers were not option! However, with a job to be done all of the athletes were exited to get on the course and start moving. After setting up camp just behind the start line, the students dropped their gear and were allowed to wander to look around so they were ready for the steep hills they would face during their run. A place in the top 20 would see the selected runners qualify for the County Championships which will take place on Saturday 19th January at Burghley House, Stamford.
Midday was fast approaching, meaning the Y7 girls were the first off the starting line. The QEGS team were made up of 7 students. After completing 1 medium lap of the course, Eve Herbert crossed the finish line, finishing in 19th place, closely followed by Sophie Wilderspin in 21st position.
Up next was the Y7 boys, with 10 boys making up the team. With boys lined up at the start line, the starting gun fired and the boys were off trying to complete the 1 large lap of the course as quickly as possible. The standout performance within the Y7 boys’ team was Alex Dunkley who finished in 14th position, which was an excellent achievement.
Next to run were the Y8&9 girls, who had high expectations on their shoulders due to the success they achieved in last year’s competition. With some last minute changes to the personal, the Y8&9 team were made up of 9 students and their task as to complete 2 small laps of the course. The standout performances within this race was Alex Frick who finished in 13th place. This was an outstanding achievement for two reasons; first this was Alex’s debut running for the school and second she is in only Y8 and half the field she was competing against were made up of Y9 students. Another student who ran extremely well was Freya Solly who crossed the finish line in 20th place.
Soon after, the Y8&9 boys were waiting patiently at the start line. Unfortunately, the team only consisted of 4 students as many of the team dropped out in the lead up to the event; despite this the students that ran made QEGS really proud as two of the four students finished in the top 20. Oliver Cawston in Y8 finished in 4th place and Oliver Cridland in Y9 finished in 14th place. Fantastic achievement from the boys.
The penultimate race was the Y10&11 girl’s race. With Ella Bennett unable to run due to illness the team was made up of solely Y10 students. Competing against a field of 60 runners, the team did extremely well, with four of the team finishing in the top 30; Chloe Pickering (20th), Olivia Pavey-Roth (21st), Claire Patrick (24th) and Ellie Burbridge (27th).
Finally, it was the time for the Y10&11 boys’ team to run, in total completely 3 medium laps of the difficult course. Competing against a very strong field, the team did really well, with two of our Y10 students producing exceptional performances; Matthew Spendlove finishing 2nd closely followed by George Parkinson who finished in 4th place.
Overall nine of our students (including 3 sixth form students) have qualified for the County Championships in the New Year. A special mention goes to Mr Cope, Mrs Wilkinson and Mrs Freeman as well as the dozen 6th formers who helped manage and encourage the different teams throughout the day. Another successful year for the QEGS students.
The Sixth Form team avenged their narrow defeat to Boston Grammar a week previously with an equally slim victory in South Lincolnshire, triumphing 2-1.
Cliché as sounds the game very much was a game of two halves- Boston dominating the first half but unable to press home an advantage thanks to resolute defending from the back four which now virtually picks itself, Haskins particularly solid.
After half time the game turned in QEGS’ favour and unlike their hosts Horncastle were able to convert their dominance into a goal. Bar gh’s long ball up field was misjudged by the home defence, allowing MAX GOWSHALL to spring the back line for a tidy finish beyond the stranded ‘keeper.
It was two-nil minutes later, as the referee played advantage on a blatant handball inside the area for GOWSHALL to again beat the keeper to his right hand side, the captain reacting quickest to the referee’s decision by lashing home the loose ball.
Boston dragged themselves back into the contest with 10 minutes, Bargh unfortunate not to keep about a skidding effort on a wet pitch, but adequate game management from QEGS saw the visitors stifle any further threats to claim a solid away victory.
QEGS XI (4-4-2): Chris Bargh, Angus Graham (Greg Carter), Sam Emerson, Oli Haskins, Tom Caswell, Oli Dean, Dexter Coulthurst, Harry Gregory, Alfie Lindsey, Max Gowshall ©, Josh Burgess
MOTM: Oli Dean- Incisive attacking endeavour coupled with stubborn approach to defensive duties set the tone for a solid performance in a hard fought win.
Boston College 1 – 8 QEGS Horncastle
Emphatic. Dominant. Unrelenting. Sixth Form XI put their indifferent form behind them with an eye-catching 8-1 victory against Boston College, seven of which came in 20 first half minutes.
Travelling to South Lincolnshire with a squad of fifteen to choose from, Mr Cope went with the 4-3-3 shape that proved successful in previous wins against Deepings and Lincoln; Gowshall back into his favoured midfield role in a side that saw returns to the starting eleven for Haskins and Caswell.
QEGS asserted themselves as the side in charge from the off, penning Boston in with high pressure and secure passing. Fluid passing moves in the first ten minutes brought chances for Dean and Wilson, and the opener seemed to be a case of when not if.
The fragile home defence- stunned by the burgundy onslaught- caved in just before the 15-minute mark, MAX GOWSHALL winning a penalty then converting the spot kick himself into the bottom right. QEGS had their goal and were not going to stop there. What followed was slick, easy-on-the-eye football which the hosts simply couldn’t contend with.
Lindsey set TOM CASWELL free on the overlap and the left back made no mistake with a calm finish inside the near post. Further good work down the flanks brought a string of corners, Haskins nodding onto DEXTER COULTHURST at the back post for the visitors’ third, despite the best efforts of a Luis Suarez-esque effort from the Boston midfielder on the line.
OLI DEAN added a fourth almost immediately, carving open his marker down the right wing before cutting in a cross-come-shot which found the net via a flick from the College centre back. Dean backed his goal up with a quickfire assist for ALFIE LINDSEY, before ANGUS GRAHAM got in on the act dispatching a loose ball into the bottom left from 12 yards.
The game still only 30 minutes old, Horncastle made it seven as Timmins sent LIAM WILSON through for his second of the year. Aaron in the Horncastle goal was yet to have a touch outside taking goal kicks, Emerson and Haskins mopping up occasional forays forward from the hosts; Horncastle were simply too good for their Boston counterparts.
Mr Cope rotated the team at half time, introducing Carter, Burgess, Gregory and James before switching personnel throughout the second half. The game now well and truly sealed, Horncastle enjoyed playing with freedom and confidence, stringing good moves together without rewards parallel to the seven first half goals. Dean’s cross reached Burgess, who’s deft touch in turn served ALFIE LINDSEY with his second of the game, and QEGS’ eighth.
Boston bundled in a consolation from a rare corner, before Harry Gregory exited the game early following a nasty collision leaving the midfielder with a damaged nose. With chances now at a premium- both sides with little left to compete for- the game ended 8-1 to the visiting QEGS side for their first away win of the year.
QEGS Starting XI: (4-3-3) 1 Aaron Marshall, 5 Angus Graham, 16 Sam Emerson, 3 Oli Haskins, 2 Tom Caswell, 6 Dexter Coulthurst, 9 Jono Timmins, 8 Max Gowshall ©, 10 Oli Dean, 11 Liam Wilson, 7 Alfie Lindsey. Half time subs: 15 Harry Gregory, 12 Greg Carter, 14 Josh Burgess, 4 Christian James
Man of the Match: ALFIE LINDSEY- Two well deserved goals and an assist capped off an impressive display for the second half skipper, who turned the opposition back line inside out throughout the game.
Wednesday 10th October 2018
A tough trip to Boston Grammar School saw QEGS miss out on a Round 2 tie at Carre’s as the hosts knocked Horncastle out of the National Cup.
On a baked Boston pitch in the surprisingly warm October sun, Mr Cope’s side battled hard against good quality opposition, and in the early stages Grammar rattled Marshall’s bar with a looped header. Lindsey and Timmins both saw efforts tipped over, before the hosts broke to take the lead as Horncastle committed men forwards in pursuit of an opener.
Boston hit a quality second which again gave Marshall no chance, and Emerson and Haskins withstood considerable pressure as the home side pushed for a third. With 10 minutes left of the first half, Horncastle clawed their way back into the cup tie. Emerson’s lofted through ball found Wilson, who’s snapshot deflected to JONO TIMMINS, and the forward finished with aplomb for his third goal in three Sixth Form games.
Half time came and went in the 24 degree heat, and the second half saw QEGS play with the sun behind them. Continuing with the 4-1-3-2 shape that served the side well against Deepings, Horncastle began to dominate. Lindsey and Caswell produced some fine overlapping play down the left to win a series of corners, but to no avail. It was then that QEGS found themselves feeling hard done by, as the referee awarded Boston a soft penalty for a “trip”(dive) on the edge of the area, and the hosts’ centre forward completed his hat-trick; Marshall guessing the correct way but unable to keep it out.
With twenty minutes left, and Carter and Burgess now introduced into the attack, QEGS pushed for a second in what was swiftly becoming a classic cup tie. Dean found space inside the six-yard box, but his attempted chip was gathered in by the home goalkeeper to thwart QEGS a second goal.
A few minutes later the boys in maroon silenced the home crowd that had congregated throughout the game, as with 6 minutes left Burgess and Dean exchanged passes along the right flank, the former finding MAX GOWSHALL whose initial shot was blocked, but Horncastle Town’s midfield engine scored with his second bite of the cherry, the ball nestling into the bottom left.
Further chances came and went, predominantly from corners, but QEGS returned to Horncastle frustrated and with just league action to focus on for the remainder of the year- starting with next week’s home tie against Lincoln College (at Woodhall Spa United).
QEGS Starting XI: (4-1-3-2) 1 Aaron Marshall, 5 Angus Graham (14 Josh Burgess), 15 Oli Haskins, 3 Sam Emerson, 2 Tom Caswell, 6 Dexter Coulthurst, 10 Oli Dean, 8 Max Gowshall ©, 7 Alfie Lindsey, 11 Liam Wilson (12 Greg Carter), 9 Jono Timmins. Unused sub: 4 Christian James; Sub GK: Christopher Bargh
MAN OF THE MATCH: JONO TIMMINS: A third goal of the campaign, alongside impressive hold up play and creation of space for teammate’s earnt the Year 12 the accolade from Mr Cope this week.
Report by Christian James