Sporting – and ballet – success for Wellington College pupils

Posted on 22nd Dec 2016 in School News

Wellington College has enjoyed success on the rugby field and the rackets court, and is celebrating a prestigious prize in the world of ballet.

A superb season from the rugby 1st XV has ensured that the Daily Mail Schools Trophy – the premier schoolboy rugby competition in the UK – has been claimed by Wellington College for the third year in a row. Played over the entire Michaelmas Term in league format, the Daily Mail Schools Trophy features the very best rugby schools in the UK with Wellington’s fixture list arguably as tough as, or tougher than any other school in the country. 

This was a fitting end not just to an outstanding season for the boys but also for 1st XV coach, Kevin Brennan, who now emigrates to Australia to become Housemaster at Scotch College. Kevin has been instrumental in the team’s success and has produced arguably some of the best back-lines ever seen on the UK school-boy circuit. He will be sorely missed.

The College’s only loss in early October – an agonizing 14-15 defeat away at Whitgift – served to galvanize the spirit of the side who then went on to win nine games in a row, including victories over Millfield (35-17), Sherborne (53-7), Dulwich (32-0), Cranleigh (31-8) and St Paul’s (30-13). The match against Harrow – a 19-20 away win – has been described by many who saw it as the best schoolboy game of the 2016 season. The final tally of 12 wins from 13 matches is made even more remarkable by the fact that two-thirds of this year’s fixtures were played away from home.

Wales U18 winger, Dylan Moss, had a superb season and was the side’s top scorer, but captain Josh Basham and vice-captain Ben Loader were also singled out by Kevin Brennan for particular praise. Fresh from his interview at Oxford University, Ben has also recently learned that he has been selected as a replacement for the London Irish 1st XV for their Championship game against the Cornish Pirates. Second-Row Charlie Jupp, who broke his ankle in the final game of the season against St Paul’s, was voted players’ player of the season.

* Huge congratulations are also due to Fourth Formers Lauren Gooding and Issie Thorneycroft who have re-written the record books by becoming the first ever girls in the history of Wellington College to win a national Rackets title at Queen’s in London claiming the U16 doubles crown despite both being U15 players.

Not to be outdone, Freddie Bristowe took top spot in the U15 singles competition winning 15/7, 15/5 in the final against Eton. Losing finalist last year, Freddie became US Junior Real Tennis Champion back in the summer and now has a National Rackets title to add to his trophy cabinet.

* Wellington also wishes to congratulate to Belle Banwell (Fourth Form) who has been awarded the Senior Ballet Prize at the English Youth Ballet.

With tough competition from across the region Belle auditioned for the English Youth Ballet’s Swan Lake production in the summer and was not only successful, but was offered the exciting role of soloist on pointe. After many rehearsals and half-term events she performed beautifully in November’s performances of the Swan Lake production. The icing on the cake was then being offered the prestigious Overall Senior Ballet Prize.

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