Friday, 20 July 2018

Sport review of 2015 - part two

LEANDER CLUB won seven out of eight finals that it competed for at Henley Royal Regatta’s finals.

LEANDER CLUB won seven out of eight finals that it competed for at Henley Royal Regatta’s finals.

This included a sixth consecutive win in the Prince of Wales Cup and a win for their composite crew with Molesey Boat Club in the day’s headline race — the Grand Challenge Cup.

The composite crew, the Great Britain men’s eight, beat the German men’s eight, racing as Ruder Club Hansa von 1898 e.V. Dortmund, by two-and-three-quarter lengths. It included four Leander oarsmen in Will Satch, Alex Gregory, Pete Reed and Matt Gotrel, as well as cox Phelan Hill.

The following week at the World Cup regatta in Switzerland the GB men’s eight beat the German Olympic champions by just 0.08 of a second to win their event.

The eight, with five Leander men on board, had defeated the Germans, who were unbeaten at world championships leading up to London 2012. It had been 15 years since the GB men’s eight last triumphed in Lucerne.

Upper Thames Rowing Club took six victories at the 22nd Henley Masters Regatta. The two-day event attracted 334 entries that competed in 285 races over 1,000 metres of the regatta course.

Remenham Ollie Morgan was part of the successful Wales eight that won gold at the Home International Regatta in the blue ribbon men’s eights event, held in Strathclyde.

In cricket Henley lost their first Home Counties Premier League Division 1 match of the season away to local rivals High Wycombe. The league leaders followed this up with defeat to Reading, a draw with Slough and victory against Horspath to end the month just one point clear of second placed Banbury.

In Thames Valley League Division 2A Kidmore End beat OMT and Windsor, drew with British Airways and lost to Maidenhead and Bray to end the month in fourth place.

Elsewhere Harpsden remain top of Division 3 in the Chilterns League as they won all their matches to maintain their 100 per cent record.

All-time top Berkshire League wicket taker Roy Hayden secured his 900th scalp. The Peppard Stoke Row bowler reached the magical mark when he caught and bowled Mortimer West End opening batsman Steve Audsley, his third success during a spell of 4-55. Elsewhere Hurley’s Scott Taylor hit 177 not out during his side’s friendly victory against Fiddlers.

In bowls Watlington’s Sam Watts has won his third U25 county crown at Carterton. Watts beat Dean May, of Headington in the U25s final in a tight game by 21 shots to 19.

HOME Counties Premier League leaders Henley began the month with victory against second-placed Banbury, drew with Harefield and beat Tring Park before being knocked off top spot as they lost to Burnham. The final match of the month saw Henley stay in contention for the title as they beat relegated Oxford.

In Division 2A of the Thames Valley League Kidmore End beat Harefield, Chesham 2nds and Finchampstead 2nds while drawing with North Maidenhead and Tring Park 2nds to finish the month in third place.

Harpsden clinched the Division 3 league title and promotion in their first ever season in league cricket as they maintained their 100 per cent record in Division 3 of the Chilterns League.

Henley Girls U11s ran out winners of the Royal London Gilbert Cup played at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl.

Upper Thames were crowned the overall winners at this year’s Town and Visitors’ Regatta for the first time in five years.

The club, which last lifted the Sutherland Cup in 2010, had seven winning crews to get their hands on the trophy.

But with 10 races to go the club was neck-and-neck with Wallingford Rowing Club on 15 points.They edged ahead with wins in the women’s intermediate two coxed fours, the open elite coxless pairs and the open intermediate one eights.

There were also wins for Henley Rowing Club, Shiplake Vikings and Star and Arrow Club, the development squad at Leander Club.

In football Reading had a disappointing start to their new Championship season as they lost their opening game 2-1 at Birmingham City. The Royals then drew with Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday and Milton Keynes Dons before registering their first league win of the season at Brentford.

In the Capital One Cup Reading progressed to the third round thanks to victories against Colchester United and Portsmouth.

Henley Town kicked off their new Division 1 East Uhlsport Hellenic League season with a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Wantage Town Reserves. The following week the Red Kites recorded their first victory with a 5-1 demolition away to Old Woodstock Town before suffering a 5-1 reverse at Penn and Tylers Green. Henley ended the month with a 4-4 draw against Bicester Town.

In bowls Shiplake defeated Burghfield to secure the Oddfellows Mixed Triples title.

LEANDER athletes returned triumphant from the World Championships in France, where 16 of the club’s rowers won medals and the GB team qualified 12 crews for the Rio Olympics.

The climax of the regatta was reached in the final race on Sunday when the GB men’s eight beat their arch-rivals, the German Olympic champions by just 0.18 seconds.

The crew, including Leander’s Matt Gotrel, Pete Reed, Alex Gregory, Will Satch and cox Phelan Hill, wrote a new chapter in British rowing history when they completed the hat-trick of successive world golds for GB in this event.

In cricket Henley lost out on securing their third successive Division 1 Home Counties League title in their winner-takes-all final day clash with High Wycombe. Hosts Henley batted first and were all out for just 80 runs with High Wycombe 83-3 to wrap up the title.

Kidmore End finished third in Division 2A of the Thames Valley League as they won their final game of the season against OMT.

In rugby newly-promoted Henley Hawks got their National Division 1 campaign off to a losing start as they went down 62-12 away to Rosslyn Park. The Hawks recorded their first victory of the season the following week when they won 30-28 at Darlington Mowden Park. Elsewhere in the month the Hawks lost to Blackheath and drew with Ampthill and District to end the month third from bottom in the table.

Abbey, newly promoted to South West League Southern Counties North, started their campaign with a 100 per cent record as they recorded victories against Buckingham, Drifters and Marlow to end the month in top spot. In football Henley Town beat Finchampstead 2-0, Headington Amateurs 2-1, Reading Town 5-3 and lost 2-1 to Binfield to end the month in fourth place in Division 1 East of the Uhlsport Hellenic League.

Reading had a good month in the Championship as they ended the month in third place. During the month Reading beat Ipswich Town, Bristol City and Burnley while losing to Derby County. However, in the Capital One Cup Reading crashed out when they narrowly lost 2-1 at home to Premier League side Everton.

Shiplake Bowls Club’s ladies’ champion Margaret Bullock was crowned county champion. Bullock triumphed in a marathon day of bowls that started at 10am and culminated at 7pm at South Oxford Bowls Club for the county champion of champions crown. Bullock’s first opponent was Sue Wilson from Witney Mills and in a close game the Shiplake player came out on top by 21 shots to 19. In the next round Bullock eased to a 21-6 win against Sue Stewart from the host club. In the afternoon Bullock had her closest match in the semi-final against Gill Muir from Carterton Bowls Club where she trailed for most of the match before edging a 21-20 win. In a close final against Angie Ives from Banbury Borough Bullock scored a four on the last end to secure the title with a 21-17 win.

Eight-year-old Emerson Proctor has become the U10 British Independent Schools ski champion. Proctor secured the title at the Hemel indoor snow centre last week where his time also left him as the fifth fastest skier overall out of 160 competitors including U12s and U14s. The youngster, who lives in Rotherfield Peppard, was part of the Moulsford Prep ski team where the boys’ A team secured second place and a silver medal in their team event.

In hockey Henley Ladies 1sts got their league campaign off to a winning start against Teddington Ladies 2nds before losing to PHC Chiswick Ladies.

LEANDER athletes had another successful weekend at the British Championships in Nottingham, winning five events outright, and bringing home the victor ludorum trophy. Double Olympic champion Pete Reed added another win in men’s fours, where he was joined by fellow world champion Constantine Louloudis, world silver medallist Matt Langridge, and bronze medallist Stewart Innes.

In second place was a Molesey crew featuring world champions Moe Sbihi and George Nash, but Leander took third and fourth places in the same race, with the bronze medal crew including Will Satch, Alex Gregory, Matt Gotrel and Tom Ransley.

Nick Middleton was the only Leander athlete to win on both days of racing, partnering Al Sinclair in the double sculls before racing in the quad alongside GB stroke Pete Lambert and the current GB double of Jonny Walton and John Collins.

In the women’s events GB internationals Vicky Thornley, Holly Nixon, Polly Swann and Jess Leyden took gold in the quad sculls, while Lou Reeve, Lucinda Gooderham, Ro Bradbury and Katherine Douglas won the women’s fours.

Leander recorded more than twice as many championship points as their nearest rival. Meanwhile, Henley Rowing Club secured the victor ludorum trophy for the most successful club at the autumn head of the river race organised by Upper Thames Rowing Club.

Henley won the Sutherland Cup with 19 wins from across the club, with wins for their senior men, senior women, masters and juniors both boys and girls from U14 to U18. Host club Upper Thames also gained success in numerous events.

The following week Henley athletes excelled in the Henley Sculls where they won 13 events throughout the day.

In football Reading moved up to second place in the Championship thanks to back-to-back victories against Middlesbrough and Charlton Athletic. However, the remainder of the month saw the Royals draw with Rotherham and Brighton and Hove Albion and lost 4-2 at Fulham, despite being 2-0 up at half-time, to end the month in seventh place.

A depleted Henley Town side, affected by a string of injuries, crashed out of the FA Vase at the second qualifying round stage as they went down 5-1 at home to Oxford City Nomads. The Red Kites also crashed out of the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup as they went down 3-1 at Abingdon Town and the Oxfordshire Senior Cup when they lost 4-1 at Oxford University Press.

In Division 1 East of the Uhlsport Hellenic League the Red Kites lost 1-0 at home to Old Woodstock Town while ending the month with a 6-0 home win against Didcot Town Reserves and 4-2 win at Rayners Lane to end the month in third place in the table.

Henley Hawks ran in five tries to defeat Wharfedale 39-13 in National Division 1. They followed this up with a 24-21 victory at Loughborough Students before ending the month with back-to-back heavy defeats at home to Hartpury College (46-0) and away to Richmond (54-5). The Hawks ended the month sixth from bottom in the league.

In South West League Southern Counties North, Abbey lost their first match of the season when they went down 19-17 at Wallingford before ending the month with victory against Stow-on-the-Wold to remain top of the table.

In hockey newly promoted Henley 1sts got their South Premier League Division 1 campaign off to a winning start as they thrashed country rivals 7-3 at Jubilee Park. The amber and blues followed this up with a 3-0 win against Spencer before losing their final three matches of the month to Old Georgians, Oxford Hawks and Havant.

Henley Ladies had a successful month as they beat Witney, West Hampstead and Wallingford whilst suffering just one defeat against Buckingham 2nds.

Nettlebed’s Ellie Farrow won gold at the British Independent Schools Ski Championships in the U14 category. The bi-annual event is held at the Hemel Snow Centre and attracted a field of more than 300 racers from schools across the country. Farrow was captaining the Dolphin School team which fielded a mixed team of nine racers across three age groups.

Meanwhile Gillotts skiers picked up silver medals at the Schools National Team Ski Championships. Held at Snowsport, England’s flagship venue near Norwich, the championships are the top event on the schools’ ski calendar in its 36th year.

With the best 280 skiers, in 70 schools teams from across the six regional qualifiers, the racing was hard fought. After run one Gillotts and Surbiton looked set to battle it out for the girls’ U16 title and the final race brought the best out of both teams in a thrilling climax. All the Gillotts skiers improved on their first run times with Danielle Hawkins posting the second fastest run of the day in the U16 category. However, the Surbiton girls held off the Gillotts challenge and Emma Trust, Lily, and Danielle and Zara Hawkins settled for silver.

Two batsmen who scored more than 1,000 runs between them won the Henley Standard Best of the Week award.

Will Legg and Christian Whittaker picked up the John Searby Trophy having both recorded 11 entries each. Legg, who had nine entries for Peppard Stoke Row and two for Henley 2nds, top-scored with 134 not out against Checkendon while Whittaker, who starred as Harpsden won the Chilterns League Division 3 with a 100 per cent record, made a best knock of 155 against Little Marlow.

The Best of the Week competition runs throughout the season and records the number of times a batsman scores more than 50 runs or a bowler takes five or more wickets in weekend matches.

TWO defeats, a draw and a win saw Reading slip to ninth in the Championship table. The Royals beat basement side Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at Madejski Stadium and picked up a point in their 2-2 home match with Huddersfield Town while losing 2-0 at Cardiff City and 3-1 at Nottingham Forest.

Due to a combination of wet weather and having been knocked out of three cup competitions Henley Town found themselves with just one fixture in the month in which they defeated Headington Amateurs’s 3-1 at home in the league.

Henley Hawks slipped to third from bottom in National Division 1 as they lost all four of their matches. The Hawks went down 36-6 at home to Plymouth Albion, 32-5 at Hull Ionians, 23-18 at home to Fylde and 29-15 at Coventry.

Abbey remained top of South West League Southern Counties North after beating Swindon College Old Boys, Aylesbury and Thatcham.

In hockey, Henley 1sts had a disappointing month as they lost all four of their league matches to London Wayfarers, Oxford University, Old Cranleighans and Milton Keynes.

Henley Ladies 1sts fared better as they had wins against Maidenhead 2nds, Hampstead and Westminster, a draw against Eastcote whilst suffering just one defeat against Milton Keynes.

Leander athletes had another successful day in London when the club’s lightweight GB internationals recorded the fastest time in the Head of the River Fours.

Their quad, stroked by Olympic silver medallist Richard Chambers, backed up by Will Fletcher, Jamie Kirkwood and Jono Clegg, sculled a storming course to beat several GB heavyweights including the second-placed Molesey/UL/Brookes composite. The lightweights weren’t the only crew at the top of their game – five more Leander crews won their events, including all three of the club’s women’s crews in the elite quads and fours, and IM1 quads.

Vicky Thornley stroked the elite quad, with Polly Swann, Emily Carmichael and Vicki Meyer-Laker on board, and recorded a time four seconds faster than Imperial College in second place.

Lou Reeve stroked the women’s four to a win over Cambridge University, while former international Jane Hall was back in action in the bow seat of the winning IM1 quad.

Paracyclist ex-serviceman Jaco van Gass, who is supported by Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery programme, came away with gold, silver and bronze medals at the Manchester Para-cycling International event held at the National Cycling Centre, Manchester.

Van Gass, who lives in Nettlebed, won gold comfortably in the C4 3,000m individual pursuit after catching Japan’s Ishii Masashi.

IT was all change at Madejski Stadium as the Royals parted company with manager Steve Clarke after a string of poor results. Clarke, who the previous month had held talks with Fulham about their vacant manager’s job before turning it down, was sacked after Reading lost 1-0 at home to QPR.

Martin Kuhl took charge for the Royals’ next two matches that saw them lose 3-1 at Preston North End and 2-1 at Hull City before former manager Brian McDermott was installed as manager for a second stint in the hot seat at Madejski Stadium.

McDermott’s first match in charge saw the Royals beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 at Madejski Stadium. This was followed up with a 1-0 defeat away to Wolves and a 2-1 home defeat to Brentford. The results left Reading in 12th place in the Championship with 30 points from 24 games at the end of the year.

Henley Town ended the year in third place in Division 1 East of the Uhlsport Hellenic League. During the month the Red Kites won 5-0 at Wantage Town Reserves, drew 2-2 at home to Holyport, 1-1 at Finchampstead before ending the year with a 2-1 victory against Rayners Lane at their Mill Lane ground.

In rugby, Henley Hawks moved off the foot of the table after winning their final National Division 1 match of the month. Earlier in the month the Hawks lost their seventh consecutive match when they went down 39-5 at home to Esher.

The following week, having travelled to the North East to face Blaydon, the Hawks were left frustrated as their game was postponed due to snow. The Hawks triumphed in their bottom-of-the-table clash with Cinderford to move up to third from bottom in the league.

Abbey went into the new year in pole position in the Southern Counties North Division after beating Beaconsfield and Bletchley with a defeat at Bicester sandwiched in between.

In hockey, Henley 1sts won both their fixtures as they triumphed 3-0 at Staines and 1-0 at home to Lewes. Henley Ladies 1sts had mixed fortunes as they lost to Wycombe 1sts whilst beating Teddington 2nds in their final match of the year.

A member of Henley Squash Club came away with honours from the Welsh Open Masters tournament. David Wright ran out the winner at the Over 60s competition played out at the Welsh National Sports Centre in Cardiff.

Wright had a close match in the semi-final against Welshman Paul Mills before eventually winning 9-6 in the fifth game. In the final Wright defeated Alan James in four games, 3-9, 9-5, 9-3, 9-3.

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