Senior School Sports round-up May 2016
Thursday, 26 May 2016
Sports Awards Dinner
Sarah Hunter, MBE, was the guest of honour at Monkton's Annual Sports awards dinner. As captain of the recent tour of New Zealand and player of the year, Sarah delivered a very interesting speech to Monkton's sportsmen and women.
With such unpredictable weather this term, the Monkton girls tennis teams have done well to fulfil a pretty heavy fixture list.
The 1st VI competed in the Aegon Team Tennis Competition for the first time in a few years and reached the semi-finals, only to lose out to a strong Millfield School team. Louie McLelland has been an instrumental player and shown why she has represented Scotland at the Junior Commonwealth Games.
Year 10 pupil Lily Crowther has continued to perform well with solid performances in the 1st team and has the potential for further impressive displays.
Playing alongside Erika Cotton and Georgia Williams has inspired the team to a great win over local rivals Prior Park College.
Our junior teams have also had encouraging performances against KES and Dauntseys. Christina Hamilton-Foster is on the way to achieving her potential with Bea Bayntun-Coward and Violetta Janes making big strides in the right direction with excellent performances.
Overall the senior girls have been demanding lots from each other, showing comitment and a high work ethic which has acted as great role models for the junior teams. Progress across the tennis club has been impressive and this is reflected in their improving results.
Monkton has made a very pleasing start to the season. Both senior and junior boys committed to pre-season training which meant Team Monkton Cricket were able to hit the ground running. At the Senior end, the 1st XI started the season with convincing victories against Wycliffe and local rivals Prior Park before a poor performance against Kingswood. They have also enjoyed two excellent days playing against adult sides, the XL Club and the Wiltshire Queries. Both of these two opponents positively commented on the quality of our cricket but the excellent sportsmanship in which our boys played the games. Ben Wells and Tom Salmon have both scored freely while the top wicket taker has been Ed Halse who took five wickets in an innings against Prior Park. The Juniors are playing very well with encouraging signs of improvement for the future. The boys have trained excellently and progressed with every game. At U14 level Rory Myers has bowled well and Daniel Hammond has shone with the bat. The U15s, unfortunately, lost their captain, Luke Walker to injury before the first fixtures but Jake Abington has filled in effectively. Despite a wet start to the season and a leave weekend, we have fitted 15 matches into the first four weeks so well done to the players, ground staff and coaches for the persistence!
Ben Wells is an outstanding cricketer for Monkton. He has recently been selected to play for the Somerset U17s team and has been invited to attend the potential Somerset players programme based in Taunton. Ben is an opening batsman and wicket-keeper and being on the programme means he receives regular one-to-one training sessions throughout the winter in Somerset's high-performance indoor training centre. Ben is committed to attending sessions on Friday nights for two and a half hours and Sunday afternoons for three hours. Further to this, he also has weekly one-to-one sessions in Bath. Ben says, "This training has benefited my cricket at school massively as I now have much more confidence within matches. As well as school matches, I also have regular Sunday fixtures and development squad fixtures in the summer holidays'. Ben, who also plays for the boys hockey first team in defence, has learnt to combine school work with cricket and his social life by being very organised and planning ahead. He says "I don’t mind having to do this as I am proud to play for Somerset and it’s something that I would like to continue to develop in the future."
Mr Sam Palmer, Master in charge of Cricket explains, "Ben modestly fails to mention is that he is an U16 age group player; as such he is actually a year younger than many of the boys who play for the county U17s. Last year he was one of the most prolific scorers in the U15 County Championship so had fully deserved his inclusion in the U17 squad." Mr Palmer also confirms that "Ben certainly trains hard. Last term he attended Monkton 1st XI squad evening sessions as well as early morning individual sessions with me on top of representing the 1st XI hockey team! This term, the school allows him to miss school training on Mondays to have a one-to-one session with Somerset but the mark of his enthusiasm is that he rushes back to Longmead to make the tail end of our session!' We are all very excited both about Ben's future with Somerset and Monkton and wish him continued success.
Monkton Fencing 2016
2016 saw the emergence of Monkton on the Public Schools' fencing scene, entering the foil championships. This followed the success of winning the team event at the Bath Schools Competition and the team comprising Gabriel Ross, Tom Giles, David Palmer and Justin Ko (C) trained hard for this major Championship. All the fights were terribly exciting to watch, Gabriel, Tom and David fenced with determination and were not daunted by fighting against GB and England team fencers. Their results were amazing considering the short length of time they have been fencing. Justin, who has represented Hong Kong, fought well in the early rounds but unfortunately went slightly off the boil in the elimination rounds and lost his fight 15-13. As a Captain, Justin was superb, passing on information and advice to his team and prior to competition day he assisted his coaches during training sessions, whilst acting as a mentor. A huge thank Mrs Bowden for her help and support of fencing at Monkton. Fencing is currently offered to all year groups, boys and girls. Beginners welcome!
Boys tennis this term has continued to thrive with the 1sts still unbeaten and the 2nds winning their second match of the season. The team has progressed through to the 4th round of the U18 Aegon National Knockout competition, with Beechen to face in the final round, before the national finals which will be held at Queenswood in July.
The previous rounds have included a 10-2 win against St Peter's and a 12-0 win over Dean Close. So far in the first three rounds the boys have won 213 games, only losing a total of 46. Notable performances in the school matches go to Sam Angell, who is a very talented individual, Benji Mock and Tom Park. A special mention goes to Jonathan Shirley and Tom Salmon who are not in the tennis club but stepped in to play when numbers were short.
This term in rowing we have demonstrated strength in depth in all year groups and genders. This was highlighted at the Avon Regatta, with some excellent wins in the earlier rounds.
Two of our crews were selected to represent WAGS (Wales, Wiltshire, Avon, Gloucester and Somerset) at the inter regional regatta. At this regatta Olivia Caesar won the silver medal in an exceptionally strong national field in the J16 1x (year 11 girls single). The Year 10 boys were outstanding racing side by side in a nail-biting race in which they finished third by 0.08 seconds. The crew however did not go away from the regatta disheartened and they are all determined to be in the Medals at the National Schools Regatta at the end of May.
This term would not be complete without the inaugural Monkton House Regatta, which in its fourth consecutive year. It is now an event, which is fixed in the rowing calendar along side the National Schools and Henley Royal Regatta as though it has always been. This year saw a new event introduced, novice crews of students who had never rowed before competing in their own event along side the hardened seasoned rowers who battled it out for house supremacy. All houses won one event with Farm and Nutfield claiming the lion’s shares of victories of 4 and 3 respectfully.
Fresh from the Easter training camp on the purpose built 2000m international rowing course in Belgium the rowers are feeling physically fit and ready to take on the challenge of the summer term competitions. Over 10 days in the Easter holidays, the rowers balanced academic work and physical training clocking up over 20km per day along with 4 hours of study.
We have had training weekends which have not only enabled the rowers to finely hone their skills, aerobic fitness and technical application but also to build the strong team which will support each other in the summer regattas and in the future.