Loughborough High Schools Foundation was our first opponents, their GS and GK were tall, which was a telling feature of the match. We were very positive though and the game flowed end-to-end throughout. The positive was the ball was fed well into the shooting circle but the negative was we “fell short” in defence. Final score: 4-18.
After a review of all scores after the first round, QEGS knew that we had a good chance for all of the remaining matches. Next up was Repton. We had a strong start and won the first half with no errors made. This was a tight match that we were unlucky to only draw 5-5. A missed opportunity!
Oundle were to follow. The final score was 11-12 and was another match we should have won as the match is only two halves of seven minutes and yet again we were ahead at half-time, a silly mistake in seven minutes makes a difference to the final outcome.
Still buoyed by what was generally a fine performance, all the girls were playing very well together, even though the team comprised of Year 10 and Year 11 students. Not to be deterred our next opponents were Rushcliffe. Following the trend of leading at half-time our nerve wavered. We didn’t vary the tactics enough and they began to read our moves. We became too predictable and lost 8-12.
So to the final match – the play-off between the top two Lincolnshire Under-16 teams. QEGS going into the tournament as County winners were very confident of maintaining our leading title. Yet again, ahead at half-time, we held on to a fine win against KGGS, 12-9.
Overall, finishing ninth was a harsh but fair result. Those small margins in other matches could have ended up with a top five position. All of our players: Ella, Anna, Daisy, Lydia, Connie, Alice, Kirsty, Katie and Ellie were well challenged, provided answers, played well together and learnt the art of communication on a netball court.
Thanks to Mrs Parsons, Mrs Kemp and Mrs Samra for their help and support and taking us on the day.
Wednesday 19th December 2018
Buoyed by recent wins against Boston College and Grammar, QEGS made it three wins from three as the side extended their rich vein of form into the Christmas break. Marshall’s first clean sheet of the campaign laid the foundation for a victory earnt in a first half which saw Sixth Form Eleven score three without reply at Spalding Grammar.
Mr Cope made one (enforced) change to the starting eleven with Haskins unavailable; Timmins dropped into the back four as Wilson returned to the XI accompanying Gowshall up front. And it was LIAM WILSON who opened the scoring for the Boys in Burgundy, nodding home after the ball cannoned off the bar from Gregory’s long-range effort.
MAX GOWSHALL doubled the visitors’ advantage soon after, Dean’s short corner to Lindsey allowing the left winger to cross into the back post, for the captain bundle home his eight of the year in a congested box- to the delight of the two fans in attendance (both Gowshalls themselves).
Eight soon became nine this season for GOWSHALL as the frontman struck from an area of relative safety for Spalding, somehow finding the right corner with an audacious looped effort from 20-plus yards to put Horncastle three to the good before the interval.
The midway point arrived with QEGS dominating, importance now placed on a composed second half display Injury to Caswell forced Lindsey into left back as Carter was introduced to midfield a matter of minutes after the restart, as QEGS dictated the tempo and allowed Spalding possession without efforts on Marshall’s goal.
However, when Marshall was called upon he was quick to response, stifling a through ball with an aggressive slide to cut out one particular counter-attack. Carter saw an effort flash just wide after dispossessing the home goalkeeper before Spalding had a goal correctly ruled out of handball in the build-up.
James replaced Wilson up front as time ran down, the game increasingly playing out in QEGS’ half as Timmins and Emerson stood firm against the desperate long ball. Counter attacks from QEGS threatened to extend the lead, most notably James broke through to see his effort pushed away in the closing stages.
On balance QEGS were good value for their three points and now head into Christmas with a record of won 6 lost 4 for 29 against 19; and have consecutive home games upon return in January.
QEGS (4-4-2): 1 Aaron Marshall, 5 Angus Graham, 3 Sam Emerson, 4 Jono Timmins, 2 Tom Caswell (12 Greg Carter), 10 Oli Dean, 6 Dexter Coulthurst, 8 Harry Gregory, 7 Alfie Lindsey, 11 Liam Wilson (14 Christian James), 9 Max Gowshall ©
MOTMs: Coulthurst & Gregory- complete dominance over the middle of the park enabled QEGS to assert themselves as the midfielders got foot on ball and pulled off intelligent passes both short and long throughout the game.
Wednesday 12th December 2018
Mr Cope’s side completed their first league double of the campaign with another victory Boston College, this time 4-2 at Abbey Road.
Having beaten Boston Grammar last time out Mr Cope made two changes to the starting eleven, Timmins returning to the side in Burgess’ place whilst first choice ‘keeper Marshall reclaimed his place between the sticks. On the bench there were returns for last week’s absentees James and Wilson.
As with the away game against Boston College (which finished 8-1 to Horncastle), Horncastle began on top, dominating possession and territory without scoring inside the opening twenty minutes. But unlike the away tie it was Boston who took the lead, Emerson injuring his hamstring at an unfortunate juncture and the opposition took full advantage of the loose ball. Carter was introduced to replace the up to now ever-present centre back, filling his boots competently with a solid display in his unnatural position.
Horncastle weren’t behind for long. Dean’s free-kick ricocheted off the wall into a congested penalty area inside which DEXTER COULTHURST prodded home from close range. It was two not long after- COULTHURST again- this time sweeping home the rebound after Timmins’ shot was palmed back into play.
QEGS continued dominating but couldn’t grind out as many opportunities as they had in the 8-1 demolition job 3 weeks ago. Wilson replaced Coulthurst after the break. Burgess was also introduced in place of Graham as a more attacking option as Mr Cope altered his side in search of a third, identifying the right side as an area of opportunity.
But it was a ball down the left which crafted the third. A fragmented move created space for JONO TIMMINS, who found a way through a visiting goalkeeper now pulling off respectable saves following a shaky first half. James replaced Lindsey as Horncastle rotated personnel, now defending a two-goal advantage.
Inside the closing stages Bargh (taking Lindsey’s number 7 shirt in hope of a rare outfield appearance) persuaded his way into the game at Timmins’ expense, but the substitution proved counter-productive as College bagged a second to offer themselves faint hopes of an unlikely draw. However, it was LIAM WILSON who scored the game’s sixth and final goal, latching onto a long ball down the left flank before ignoring James in the centre to finish himself from a tight angle.
The contest marked the halfway point in the Sixth Form team’s season, the side boasting a league record as follows: won 5, drawn 0, lost 4, goals for 26, goals against 19.
QEGS: (4-4-2) 1 Aaron Marshall, 5 Angus Graham (15 Josh Burgess), 4 Sam Emerson (12 Greg Carter), 3 Oli Haskins, 2 Tom Caswell, 10 Oli Dean, 8 Harry Gregory, 6 Dexter Coulthurst (11 Liam Wilson), 7 Alfie Lindsey (16 Christian James), 14 Max Gowshall ©, 9 Jono Timmins (7 Christopher Bargh).
MOTM: Dexter Coulthurst- Two goals, both borne from a poacher’s instinct from the midfielder. Without his quick thinking it would have been a much more awkward road to three points.