18th March 22
English Schools Swimming Association Qualifiers
Over the past fortnight BCS Swimmers have attended two qualifying events at Bromsgrove and Warwick Junior School for the English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) Qualifiers. Both our boys and girls teams competed at their respective galas in freestyle and medley relays against a plethora of other competitors across the West Midlands. On Wednesday we were fortunate to receive the final results…
Our Freestyle and Medley Boys Team was composed of: Arjun (Breaststroke), Remy (Backstroke), Ethan (Freestyle) and Vivek (Butterfly). The boys travelled to Bromsgrove on the 11th March to compete for their chance at qualifying for the national finals in June. Despite competing in a foreign pool environment in which the boys had to adapt to the higher blocks for their opening leg of the freestyle and backstroke starts, the boys were successful in making the A team final for the best schools competing on the day. Once all qualifying galas had taken place just a few days later, the boys had placed 1st in the entire West Midlands region in both the freestyle and medley relays and will be competing in the ESSA National Finals on June 18th. The boys won by 2 seconds in the freestyle and by 4 seconds in the medley – beating their freestyle record achieved at the IAPS qualifiers earlier in the year.
Our Freestyle and Medley Girls Team was composed of: Rosie (Breaststroke), Aaria (Backstroke), Lydia (Freestyle) and Anna (Butterfly). The girls travelled to Warwick Junior School on the 16th March to represent BCS at Under 11 level despite being U10 in age group. The girls adapted to the pool with ease, utilising the extra height from the diving blocks for their entries. The girls were successful in placing in the A Team final for the best schools competing on the day and swam personal best performances in the freestyle relay; just over 1 second faster than their competition time for IAPS earlier in the year. The girls placed 5th overall in the West Midlands, narrowly missing out on a place in the national finals, which is a fantastic achievement given they were also swimming up an age group.
Well done to all swimmers, roll on the national finals in the summer!
U10A Football v Warwick (H)
Results – BCS 2 – 2 Warwick
Player of the Match – William Almond
After the first 10 minutes of the game, BCS were 2-0 down and being played off the park by what looked like a very strong Warwick side. BCS had forgotten all their tactics and positional play while Warwick were playing fast and accurate football. Thankfully, the boys regained some structure into their play and managed to reach half time without conceding another goal. In the second half they were a brand new team who applied pressure quickly and retained procession through long and short passing. Noah put BCS on the scoresheet with a superb header that nearly broke the net. Shortly after, Ahryan was on the receiving end of a lovely through ball and kept his composure to put it in the back of the net. Hopefully the pupils learn from this in preparation for competitions next year where they can’t afford to start so slowly. Despite the start, the boys showed terrific perseverance and resilience to keep going to get the score the finally deserved.
U10B & Foxes Football v Warwick (H)
Result – BCS 7 – 4 Warwick
Player of the Match – James Armstrong/Leon Seymour
A fantastic performance against Warwick saw the B team reverse their early season defeat with some sublime football. The first half was a very even affair with BCS taking a 2 goal lead before Warwick went 3-2 in front. However the 2nd half saw a much more tenacious performance from the boys as they pressed Warwick high up the pitch and created plenty of chances which James “Van Basten” Armstrong kept burying in the back of the net. Other notable performances came from Leon Seymour and Taran Bahia, Leon for his excellent movement and control and Taran for his workrate without the ball. The C team under the guidance of Mr Hulbert performed admirably against strong opposition and eventually succumbed 4-1 however the boys apparently showed real promise for the future.
U10D&E Football v Warwick (H)
BCS 2 – 3 Warwick; BCS 2-2 Warwick
Player of the match – Kabir Tajuria and Hasan Riaz
In very competitive fixtures versus Warwick the Devils and Gunners teams for BCS conjured up a couple of entertaining fixtures. The Devils’ fixture was a narrow 3-2 defeat to Warwick. Hasan impressively scored some vital goals with assured finishes, and Yang was his usual menace closing down the opponents. Unfortunately the BCS team could not achieve the equaliser towards the end of the game, but they showed a spirited effort and great improvements on their last fixture. In the Gunners’ fixture, BCS dominated possession with Kabir being a constant thorn to the opposition, making some smart passes and driving runs into space. Bertie made some charging runs but could not quite get his shot off at the goal and Kingsley worked tirelessly and was rewarded with two goals. Warwick scored a cracking goal in the last few minutes to equalise, which goalkeeper Oliver had no chance of stopping. His performance in goal was impressive, effectively using his penalty box to claim the ball.
U10A Netball v Bromsgrove (A)
BCS 17- 2 Bromsgrove
Player of the match – Sophie Longworth
After a later than usual start, the U10s remained focused and composed as they started their warm-up created by Mrs Somerville. Although Mia and Rosie had the sun in their eyes from the very start their movement and shooting accuracy was excellent. With well-practised tactical feeds to the D that were executed with confidence, Sophie and Anna looked dominant in attack. The defence at this point had little to do but Lydia, Tabitha and Aaria were ready to defend when needed. The dominance of our team was evident and at half time the Bromsgrove teacher asked if I could move some BCS players out of position. Mia reluctantly took the centre role and I asked the team for a volunteer who could not shoot (in their opinion) to move to the shooting positions. Even with these modifications to give Bromsgrove a chance, the BCS team quickly adapted to their new positions and again started scoring. The match ended 17-2 and whilst winning is good, it was fantastic to see how the team had developed in their netball knowledge. Even more pleasing was how the girls, even when playing out of position, showed how to ‘Grow in Grace’.
U10 B Netball v Bromsgrove (A)
BCS 10-1 Bromsgrove
Player of the match – Serena Wadhwa
On a lovely Spring-like afternoon, the B team played against Bromsgrove Prep School. Bromsgrove used their first centre pass to good effect, scoring in the first minute. BCS responded with some fast accurate passing, which gave Tarini the opportunity to level the score. The ball then continuously flowed up and down the court until the final minute of the first quarter, Serena scoring the second goal, 2-1. The second quarter was very much like the first, both teams had opportunities to score but unable to capitalise. However Zoe’s defensive interception and some good movement by Shreya and Sabreena enabled the team to take a 3-1 lead. After a half time chat the girls stepped up their performance, resulting in some great driving runs by Sinai and Serena, and the team pulled ahead to a 6-1 lead. The final quarter witnessed some fantastic attacking play with some excellent shooting. The final score was 10-1, well played girls it was a pleasure to umpire this match.
U8 and U9 A & B Swimming Gala v Solihull Prep (H)
Swimmer of the Gala – Annabel Miller
After last week’s success in the gala against Warwick, our U8/U9s were up for another challenging afternoon in the pool. With some further gala experience under their belts, our BCS swimmers were excited for another competition. Spurred on by Freddie and Jasper’s 1st and 2nd place results in the opening heats, our BCS swimmers followed suit throughout the opening individual races. Our Year 3 swimmers have been working hard in squad sessions with our Year 4 swimmers, which has enabled them to develop fantastic speed in the water, particularly across 25 metres; this was evident not only from the individual successes but also the relays! A special mention to Flo who won her first race representing BCS in the individual 25 meters freestyle for the U8s in a new personal best time. Annabel was chosen as swimmer of the gala and was highly commended by the opposition for her superb 25m butterfly individual placing 1st in the heat. Well done to all swimmers, another fantastic showcase of your talent in the pool!
U9 Development Netball Squad v Norfolk House(H)
BCS 10-1 Norfolk House
Player of the match – Ines Kachloul
This Tuesday the U9 girls played against Norfolk House. With lots of parents supporting, it was a fantastic afternoon of Netball. Playing the Bee Netball version of the game, all girls played in a variety of different positions, which really showed their versatility as players. BCS demonstrated some excellent passing and moving during the match, as well as fantastic progress with their footwork. Coupled together, the girls played some very tidy Netball and worked well as a team. Dominating from the first whistle BCS were scoring goal after goal. Norfolk house continued to give it their all and fought for every ball, but their lack of space made the ball easy to intercept and from that intercept BCS were able to bring the ball up the court at speed and have lots of shots at goal. The final score was 10-1; a very well deserved win as the girls worked hard. Well done girls, keep it up!
U9 Boys’ Harborne District Cup
BCS A team came second place. BCS B team drew 2 and lost 2
Player of the match – Rayan Chauhan and Siyuan Le
The U9 A and B Football teams both played in the Harborne District Cup which was hosted by BCS on a brilliant day of football, with over 160 pupils enjoying the amazing facilities here. Both teams were in a pool where they had to play 4 games in an attempt to qualify for the semi-finals. The first fixture for the A Team was a 1-0 defeat to Hallfield who scored an incredible goal in an otherwise competitive and even fixture. The second game was a 4-0 victory versus Woodview with some smart finishes from Loic, Umar, Noah, and Freddie. Into the third game versus Green Meadow, BCS won 3-0 with some smart finishes from Noah, Loic, and Freddie. Into the final fixture versus Chad Vale, a win for both teams would ensure they qualified for the semi-finals. BCS performed brilliantly, gaining a 3-0 victory with some excellent possession and passing football supported by some great goals scored. The BCS B Team progressed brilliantly as the day went on, losing a couple of fixtures and learning from these occasions followed by two draws. Unfortunately they did not finish in the top 2 of their group so they did not qualify for the semi-finals. Siyuan worked exceptionally hard running up and down the pitch to support defence and attack, and Finn was solid in defence making some strong tackles. The BCS A team qualified in second place which meant they were through to the semi-finals versus St Michaels. The performance in the semi-final was a brilliant, ending in a 4-0 victory. The pressure on the opposition when the team did not have the ball was effective with some big tackles winning the ball back. The goals in this game were fantastic with Umar volleying from a corner into the top corner of the goal, Noah scored a couple of great goals through relentless hard work and Loic scored in bottom corner. The final versus Hallfield was tense and nervous, with teams lacking possession and controlling the ball. One bit of smart football from Hallfield with a powerful finish meant a 1-0 victory to the opposition. The BCS team showed great progress as the tournament went on with the players learning to pressurise and tackle opponents to win possession of the ball back. Player of the day was Rayan who, when he came up against a good player, was able to force them to make mistakes and win possession back of the ball to start attacks for the team.
U11A, B, C & D Football v Warwick (H)
BCS 3-2 Warwick
Player of the match – Jonty Scurlock
What a difference a week can make! After suffering semi final agony at the hands of Warwick last week the U11As battled bravely in horrendous conditons for a hard fought 3-2 victory. In truth the first half performance wasn’t great as both teams struggled with the conditions as rainfall ravaged the pitch. The fact we went in at half time 2-0 to the good owed much to the goalkeeping of Harry and some excellent clearances from James. The team played much better in the 2nd half and deservedly went 3-0 up after a fine strike from Jonty. The game seemed to be cruising to a comprehensive victory before the ball stuck in a puddle and the Warwick forward capitalised to make it 3-1. Two minutes later, after some good build-up play, Warwick made it 3-2 and the last 5 minutes was a fraught affair with both sides going close. I very rarely like to single players out because any sport such as football or rugby requires great teamwork but the performance of Jonty in midfield was simply outstanding. Playing against a much bigger opponent who had run rings around our midfield at ISFSA, Jonty put him in his pocket early and never let him out until the final whistle had gone. It was one of the most complete midfield displays I’ve seen at BCS and he added 2 goals as well which wasn’t bad for a player who had said he couldn’t finish before the game! The outstanding qualities that Jonty brings are his tireless work ethic, superb game understanding and selflessness in putting the team first. I hope others learn from his example.
U11 B Football vs Warwick (H)
BCS 2 – 3 Warwick
Player of the match – Vivek Ratti
The U11 B Football team played their Warwick counterparts in the most horrendous weather conditions that felt like Football back in the days of the 1970s/80s where muddy pitches and horrible conditions were the norm. Even before the match, the team showed resilience and determination to strive on through the bleakest of weather. BCS made a sharp start going 2 goals up in the first half with Karam scoring with smart finishes. The defence of Jack, Wilf, and Krish were solid in keeping out any attacks and they distributed the ball to the pacy wingers Jia, Sam and Nihal up front. Sadly, the team talk at half time did not work, with the BCS team having a defeat snatched from the grasp of victory and conceding three goals during the second half in very quick succession. A lesson to be learned in how to manage a game of football when you are leading and how to keep your shape and discipline once you concede goals. Player of the Match was Vivek for his constant work up and down the pitch supporting the attack and defence and his dangerous set piece deliveries.
U11 C Football vs Warwick (H)
BCS 0 – 4 Warwick
Player of the match – Tom Cowley
In horrendous weather conditions, this felt like a football game played back in the 1980s with muddy pitches and some slipping and sliding around. Despite the scoreline this was an even game with Warwick’s more clinical finishing and composure around the penalty box making the vital difference. BCS started slowly, struggling to adapt to the conditions and Warwick managed to sneak a couple of early goals, followed up by a third. Despite that when BCS looked to pass the ball they played some brilliant football with Tom being the instigator and starting the attack, and Eisah and Arjun providing width on the flanks. After the half time team talk the BCS boys showed a reponse looking to work hard to win possession of the ball back with Jacob closing down the opposition quickly. Arjun had a curling shot that just went wide of the post and Eisah continued to find good positions on the right wing. However, story of the game was just not enough shots on target with BCS not testing the opposition goalkeeper to make saves.
BCS 4 – 1 Warwick
Felix x 1, Kevin x 1, Adam AG x 1, Jodh x 1
Player of the match – Jodh Singh
The awful weather conditions made this fixture feel like an FA Cup 3rd round tie in early January. However, the boys showed great determination in not letting this affect their game. It was evident from the first tackle how hungry the boys were for the ball, and a focus on closing down the opposition continued from the first to the last minute. The strength of our defensive game, including some ferocious tackles from Moritz and Hari, allowed for lots of breakaway attempts on goal and our attackers were always clinical in front of goal. Felix, in particular, put the ball over the top of the defenders regularly and we always looked threatening as a result, with the likes of Adam B and Kevin running onto the ball. Jodh and Pranav looked especially composed on the ball and knew when to make a pass, while Adam AG and Lucius held their position well up front. The opposition threatened at times but Stefan always looked secure in goal and dealt with some difficult bounces successfully. A team photo was not possible after the game because of such torrential weather but I am sure the game will live in the memory of the children for years to come … well perhaps at least until the end of the week! Well done to all the boys.
U8 Boys’ House Football Devils Match
St George’s 2 – 2 St Philip’s
Player of the match – Samson Isola and Kavidh Biswas
In an entertaining and end to end battle between the red of St Philip’s and the Green of St George’s the result finished a 2-2 draw that provided its fair share of entertainment and drama for the crowd with a fair result at the end of a great spectacle. St Philip’s started out the blocks quick with an early goal from Monty who jinked onto his left foot and placed the ball calmly into the bottom corner. There was an immediate response from St George’s with Samson powerfully dribbling through the St George’s defence and strongly finishing when one on one with Raj the Philip’s goalkeeper. However, there was an immediate response from Philip’s to regain the lead with a deflected shot from Kavidh going out of reach of Noah in the George’s goal. After a tense first quarter the game started to settle down with players looking to control the ball and pass and distribute the ball into wide areas and players in space. St George’s got their equaliser when a superb first time pass from Jovan gave Samson a through ball and again he finished with aplomb past the Philip’s goalkeeper. After half time the drama continued with George’s missing a couple of chances when the goal was wide open, Samson striking the bar from distance, Kavidh forcing an excellent save out of Goalkeeper Raj, and at times both teams defences attacking and numerous counter attacks from both sides. The game continued with the entertainment but no further goals and a fair 2-2 draw with some great running and dribbling from Samson, some lovely crosses and crossfield passes from Kavidh and Zayaan, strong tackling from Roman, and both goalkeepers Tom and Raj making some key saves for their house team. A great spectacle for supporting parents!
U8 Boys’ House Football Matches – Hammers
St Philip’s 4-1 St George’s
Player of the match – Raju Sethi and Roux Masters
This was a gritty, end to end style of game filled with counterattack after counterattack – perfect for the parents all on the side-line. At times, this was a mob style game however there was moments of individual skill where pupils looked to dribble or pass the ball into space. Notably Kunal, Alexander and Finley looked to control the ball, dribble, and move into space. Additionally, Roux, Raju and Emmanuel were never too far away from the ball, running their socks off in both attack and defence. However, on the day St Philip’s applied the most pressure and were rewarded with some great individual and team goals to take the win.
U9 and U10 Development Squad Swimming Gala v Norfolk House (H)
Swimmer of the Gala – Sophie Longworth and Ihra Karkhanis
For our final gala of the term, we welcomed Norfolk House back to the BCS poolside along with parents and spectators who were thrilled to be able to share in the event! The development gala provided an opportunity for our squad swimmers, but also swimmers who expressed an interest in participating in galas, the opportunity to have some friendly competition and experience in racing. A superb opening heat from our Year 5 girls Tabitha and Sophie set the tone for the sunny afternoon! Personal bests were achieved throughout the afternoon in both the individual and relay splits, a clear accolade of the children’s continuous hard work and progression in the pool. Swimmer of the gala was awarded to Sophie Longworth and Ihra Karkhanis for some fantastic competitive perseverance in their Individual Freestyle/Breaststroke events and the Freestyle relay and cannon. Well done to all swimmers!