Giles Academy vs QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI, Wednesday 15th November 2017
After a convincing victory over Boston College a week ago, it was that time again for the QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI to go head to head with another school in a game of football. Their opponents would welcome them to Giles Academy in Old Leake, who had only played one game so far this season and lost to Carre’s Grammar School and so this was the perfect opportunity for the boys to use their momentum from the last game to get their third win of this campaign. For the second week in a row Nick Benton was absent through injury, but one much different from the week prior and sadly much more serious. The current status means the centre-half will be unable to play again until after the Christmas break. Unfortunately injuries seem to be plaguing the central defensive position as Benton’s partner Sam Emerson was also ineligible for selection. This meant, with room for thirteen on the minibus, Mr Cope would bring in Jack Cooke as his replacement. Depth is a topic previously covered multiple times and this QEGS squad certainly has much of that.
Before the game had kicked off it became rather apparent that QEGS weren't in for the best game of football. The opposition were not looking the sharpest, but that did not mean that the visitors could just turn up and take a win. Starting on the front foot QEGS pushed for an early goal. A smooth turn inside from the left, followed by a cool pass slotted in behind the defenders from Kenneally-Forrester sent the ball back to the left of the box giving Gowshall a good chance to open the scoring. He eyed up the chance with time on the ball and tried to curl a shot into the far side-netting. A miss. Unlike the number nine, but the move showed that it would only be a matter of time before the Giles goalkeeper would be picking the ball out of his goal.
Disappointingly QEGS struggled to get out of first gear and it took a wake-up call in the form of Jenkins’ near post being rattled to make them realise that the opposition can only be laughed at once they’d actually beaten them at the end of the match. Promisingly an instant reply was given from the boys in burgundy, going from being inches away from trailing, to finding themselves a goal to the good seconds later. A quick counter attack down the right from Kenneally-Forrester lead to scenes all too familiar for the striker, having his shot saved, but not stopped. On its way for the number ten’s second of the season, Littleworth was there to commit the criminal act, tapping the ball into the unguarded net.
Wednesday 6th December 2017
Following a game to forget, the QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI travelled the short distance to their temporary “home ground” on the Horncastle playing fields for their 7th game of the season and their last fixture before the New Year. With 3 wins and 3 losses this campaign, the burgundy boys have shown a respectable start to the season after being promoted to the A-league, but still Mr Cope and the players know that there is more for this team yet to prove. Consistency would be the final piece of the puzzle that will allow for this squad to go on to challenge for the top spot. Thankfully, after a minor injury scare, county goalkeeper Scott Jenkins was fit to play, although neither defenders Ollie Haskins or Tom Caswell were available. So with Mr Cope’s choices reduced, a 12 man squad was selected.
A fairly poor and uneventful first half followed the referee’s first blow on the whistle, with weak distribution and a lack of movement from every player wearing the QEGS badge. With Boston dominating possession the home side struggled to get any clear chances on the counter attack, which caused problems and invited unnecessary pressure onto the defence. The opposition had only 2 or 3 talented players that were causing genuine threats to QEGS’ goal, so this slow start into the game was going unpunished. Suddenly one of the dangerous players picked up a loose ball in midfield and took a powerful shot from about 25 yards out. Travelling on a very straight flight path directly towards the top left corner everyone stood in awe at what looked to be a magnificent goal. Jenkins had other ideas though, springing into the air to intercept the ball with two strong hands and bringing it into his chest before dropping to the floor.
Keeping it at 0-0, this sparked some energy into the QEGS team which provided good chances for Kenneally-Forrester to give them the lead. After rounding the goalkeeper and staring down an open net a goal seemed guaranteed. Painfully, he, along with his teammates, watched the ball sail over the crossbar. A head in hands moment, but a goal is never too far away from the striker, so everyone knew another chance would occur. After leading several attacks at the away goal and still with no luck, Jordan felt obliged to finally open the scoring in a calm fashion converting a ball delivered accurately along the deck from Littleworth with a clinical first-time finish.
Half-time. After a good little spell towards the end of the first half QEGS were in a position to go and win the game comfortably, having learned the weaknesses that they can attack to bring Boston down. Although it seemed shaky at times the defence had clearly put in a decent performance to keep everything out up until now, with credit to Dean for dropping into full-back, a position he hasn't played before. With reinforcements ready to get involved though, he was able to get back on the wing in a position much more familiar. Robinson made way for Cooke, who went straight into right full-back and Lindsey dropped into Robinson’s position, allowing Dean to play on the left.
A much stronger faster start to the second half was owed to Mr Cope and all the players didn't disappoint. High pressure, winning tackles, getting their heads up and finding passes all on display within the first 5 minutes. It wasn't long before Kenneally-Forrester finally got his goal, but it came in a manor quite strange. Not knowing a lot about it, a defender cleared a ball delivered into the centre of the box, no further than the knee of the striker. The deflection proceeded to loop over the helpless goalkeeper into the top right corner for QEGS’ second of the match and his second of the season.
With plenty of time remaining the home side were only just getting started. A corner was awarded on the left after a good save by Boston’s goalkeeper, who was already having a much harder game this half, Lindsey walked over to take it. The visitors organised themselves ready for the delivery into the box, but to their surprise the ball was played on the floor to the corner of the box where the unmarked Jordan roamed freely. A smooth roll of the ball past the first defender towards the by-line opened his options up and the one that shone through was the far side-netting. He took another touch with his wand of a right foot, to better his angle, before casting the ball into the far corner with stupendous curl.
QEGS were dominating the match and the game looked like it was now a question of “how many?” To assure more goals, Mr Cope substituted Robinson back on for Dean, now playing in his more favoured position on the wing. Quickly he received the ball and with a bit of trickery turned and ran past the full back, driving straight into the area. He took on the shot from the left of goal with his left foot, aiming across goal to the far right. The goalkeeper got a small touch onto the ball which added unwanted height to the shot, however it still looked goal bound. But as it dropped it kissed the top of the woodwork and unluckily went over.
The attacks were now flowing thick and fast with a fourth goal looming. An overlapping run on the right hand side saw Cooke, who had been enjoying his new found position, receive the ball out wide. He dug out a cross to the goal hungry attackers, which Gowshall received at the back post and played across into the feet of Robinson about 10 yards out. Unable to take on a shot first time he shifted the ball onto his left foot and took another touch past the defender out to the by-line. Taking on the shot at the tight angle he did well to beat the goalkeeper, but once again the woodwork came to Boston’s rescue.
Trying more and more inventive ways to get another, Lindsey took a corner that intentionally cleared all the players in the box with a pin-point pass to the captain waiting at the edge of the area. He hit the shot on the volley and although it was very well controlled, the shot was low and easy for the goalkeeper to smother. Despite save after save in the match, keeping the deficit at 3, Gowshall was still on the prowl for double figures this season. Having scored for 5 consecutive matches previous to the game, it was no surprise to Mr Cope and the rest of the team to see him bag another from within the 6 yard area and to then further push his tally to a staggering 11 goals in 7 games with QEGS’ fifth, placing the cherry on the top.
An easy victory in the end, with 5 goals and a clean sheet making a suitable early Christmas present for Mr Cope. A marvellous performance to end a year of fantastic football for the QEGS Sixth Form 1st XI. May the winning form continue into the New Year!
Man of the Match: Max Gowshall
Match report by Ben Robinson
District Cross Country 2017
It was a cold frosty morning on Friday 8th December, coming to the end of another hard working week for the students of QEGS Horncastle, but for the school’s elite group of cross country runners the work was only just beginning. Rallying up in the main hall after first period, the team was escorted onto the team coach by the Sixth Form leaders, ready to drive to Hubbard’s Hills in Louth.
On arrival it was clear that the conditions weren't ideal. The ground was wet, some parts still icy and everyone was feeling the bite of the frozen air through all of their layers. However, with a job to be done all of the athletes were exited to get on the track and start moving. After setting up shop in the centre of the circuit, the students dropped their gear and were allowed to wander to look around so they were ready for the steep hills they would face on the course. A place in the top 16 would see the selected runners qualify for the County Championships which will take place on Saturday 20th January at Stamford.
The Year 7 girls, managed by Chloe Donohue, were up first, facing the approximate distance of 1580m. QEGS’ eight competitors all did exceptionally well; Amy Christofi of 7S came in at 33rd, Caitlyn Bennett of 7J finished 25th, Jessica Dodwell of 7S finished 18th, Freya Solly of 7S finished 10th, Evie Blow of 7J finished 8th, Sophie Hutchinson of 7HN finished 6th, Emma Eastham of 7J finished 5th and Harriett Emsell of 7W came in at 4th place. The girls set the bar high from the first race with five of a possible eight taking places in the County Championships, narrowly missing out on a sixth with an 18th place finish. Well done to all the girls!
Now it was the Year 7 boys’ turn, managed by Jack Rushby and Megan Bennett, to face the approximate distance of 2320m. Once again a strong performance from QEGS’ team left Tommy Leggate of 7HN finishing in 67th, Alex Whelan of 7S finishing 63rd, Elliot Wilson of 7HN finishing 56th, Tristan Cull of 7W finishing 47th, Max Wilson of 7J finishing 44th, Oliver Cawston of 7S finishing 10th, Rowan Bramley of 7HN finishing 9th and Redford Bramley coming in at an impressive 3rd place. Another fantastic result with three more of QEGS’ team going to Stamford in January, a massive well done to all the boys!
QEGS travelled to Skegness Grammar School to play in a 7-a-side hockey tournament. In their first match they faced opponents JSTC. QEGS played consistently well and held their defence, preventing the opposition from scoring on a number of occasions. They were unlucky themselves not to finish any of their attempts at goal and the match ended in a 0-0 draw.
Their next match saw them up against the hosts, Skegness Grammar School. Feeling confident, having settled well in their first match, QEGS dominated from the start. Most of the match seemed to be played in the opposition’s D, where Skegness Grammar School were put under pressure by QEGS’ attacking players but defended extremely well and prevented them from scoring. Again, the match ended 0-0.
In their final game against King Edward VI Grammar School, Spilsby (KEVIGS), the QEGS team carried their momentum forward and left very little for their own defence to do. They attacked heavily through the middle and down the left wing and KEVIGS struggled to defend these attacks. Despite a couple of counter attacks from KEVIGs and a good save from the QEGS keeper, the team managed to score 4 well placed goals, winning the game 4-0.
Mr Cope and the team would like to say special mention to Sam Howden, for travelling with the team to officiate the matches and also to assist in warming up, encouraging and advising the team throughout the tournament. The team finished 2nd as a result of their undefeated record.