Week commencing 25 March 2019
"After the U16 success on the Thursday, the baton was handed to the U19s to see what form they could produce," said Mr Jones.
"After a long six-hour drive to Nottingham, they arrived at the courts to whet the appetite for the next day’s competition. Sprits were high at the evening team meal and a plan was out into place – play hard for every point and fight to stay in the match.
"Matches were decided on overall points scored across 5 matches (3 games per match – up to 11 points). The first match saw Exeter play Leeds Grammar school. 5th and 4th string (Charlie Hill and Sam Read) set the ball rolling with comprehensive victories. Tom Peters dispatched his opposition number are 3rd string before James Horler and Max Cockram (1st and 2nd string respectively) finished the rout. Leeds were no slouches and it was only down to Exeter’s calm and composed play that help them to cruise through.
"A two break allowed the team to recharge before taking on Sevenoaks in the semi-final. A change at 5th string with Bobby Heard coming in, started the game. Every point counts and Bobby ensured he scraped for everything. After four matches , Exeter had let their own performance levels drop and had suffered as a result, Exeter were a total of 19 points behind – a task that seemed to be impossible to claw back. Max Cockram went onto court full of confidence that he was the man that could drag Exeter into the final – he won 11-2, 11-3 and 11-1 – a incredible turnaround and a complete demolition at this level.
"The final set Exeter against Abingdon, a side that easily won their two previous fixtures to get there. Things started well with Hill and Read winning their matches. The 1st string for Abingdon had a good reputation but Horler fought hard in a war of attrition lasting a full 45 minutes to win 11-9, 11-9, 11-9. Peters stepped up and ran hard seemingly flying around the court to get the ball back into play. He won enough points to ensure Exeter were up 125-113 overall after 4. Cockram again looked to go onto court to be the hero. He played with his usual swagger, drop shots flying from seemingly impossible angles in the knowledge that he had 12 points to play with. Exeter finished 155-135 to be crowned National Plate Champions."
Squash coach, George Aplin, said: “The boys were a real credit to the school. They played with professionalism, composure and heart in every game. This competition was a great illustration of effort and desire. Great lessons have be learnt for the future. I hope the boys enjoy this moment.”
Saturday 23 March
2nd VII v Queens Taunton - won 18-16
2nd VII v Mount Kelly – won 21-10
3rd VII v Queen's Taunton – won 23-22
U15A VII v Queen's Taunton – won 29-15
U15B VII v Queen's Taunton – lost 6-20
U14A VII v Queen's Taunton – lost 13-22
U14B VII v Queen's Taunton – won 24-7
U13A VII v Queen's Taunton – won 23-20
U13B VII v Queen's Taunton – won 12-11
U12A VII v Queen's Taunton – won 24-11
U12B VII v Queen's Taunton – won 19-13
Tuesday 26 March
U15B VII v Bramdean - cancelled
Thursday 28 March
1st VII v Queen's Taunton - won 29 - 11
Saturday 23 March
U12 A v Taunton Prep - won 4 - 1
U12 B v Taunton Prep - lost 0 - 2
Thursday 28 March
U18 XI v Invitational XI - drew 2 - 2
"In the penultimate game of the season, the older players in the 1st and 2nd XI (Senior Team) played in a competitive fixture against an ‘Invitational’ XI made up of younger promising talent from the lower years," said Mr Jones.
"The idea of the fixture is to give the departing Upper Sixth the chance to play together (with some assistance from one or two younger sets of legs!) and give the coaching staff the opportunity to have a glimpse at who might push for a position in the 1st XI next season.
"The game started at a frenetic pace with youngsters Harry Williams (Fourth Form), Ed Ahmad (L5th), Ben Sims and Toby Richards (M5th) all proving they were capable of making the step up into senior level hockey. The Invitational side were on top for the majority of the first quarter, winning several corners after free flowing attacking play. Some stout defensive performances helped to keep the scores level with goalkeeper Paddy Gray putting in one of his finest performances of the year.
"After some tasty battles in the midfield, the Senior side broke the deadlock from a penalty corner to go 1-0 up with a cheeky finish from Head Boy, Ben Harvey, but were soon pegged back after a slick breakaway goal from Joe Sampson to level the game at 1-1 at half time.
"Captain of the invitational side, Guy Roche fought hard and was rewarded with his goal to put them 2-1 up from another penalty corner late in second half to leave the older boys feeling under pressure. Upper Sixth player and 1st XI captain, Sam Sims stepped up to the mark and went on a wonder run, entering the D with seconds left to slot the ball past the superb Calvin Clifford to restore order and finish the game 2-2."
1st XI coach Graham Skinner said: “This has been a wonderful chance to say thank you to the 11 boys in the Upper Sixth that have given many years of service to Exeter School hockey.
"This was a real showcase event and they now hand over the baton to the younger years to continue the good work they have started. It has been especially pleasing to see boys in the lower years have the chance to put themselves against some quality players. The future looks to be quite exciting!”
Monday 25 March
Rugby Sevens: U18 Rosslyn Park Tournament
The 1st VII headed off to London for the school’s first appearance at the Rosslyn Park National Sevens Vase competition starting the following day.
"Luckily the weather meant that fast running rugby would be involved and this certainly suited the Exeter style of play," said Mr Ross.
"With a tough group of four unknown opponents, the players started nervously but quickly grew into the day, developing their skills and understanding of the game over the first three games setting up a deciding game against Reading Bluecoat School to go through to the second day of the competition.
"After a strong start going 10 – 0 up at half time it was a cagey second half camped in our own half that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Luckily the players held on and headed into a playoff game as undefeated group winners against Downside School that evening. Unfortunately, this was a game too far on the day meaning we dropped into the Bowl competition.
"First up was the quarter final pool against local rivals Taunton School and Wallington County Grammar School. The performance of the tournament set up the day with outstanding defence and clinical attack giving a 41 – 0 win over Taunton. It was a nervy second game but ultimately the players did enough to progress to the semi-final group where the matches would be live streamed on the main two pitches.
"The nerves finally maybe took hold in the first of the two games against Ysgol Y Preseli, but it was a strong performance against a very strong Felsted side in the second game showing the dangers we possessed in attack and courage in defence.
"Overall it was a brilliant experience for all involved, putting Exeter on the Rugby Sevens map and a suitable finale for several players from the Upper Sixth."
Thursday 28 March
Exeter School pool acted as a venue for a national swimathon which was raising funds for Cancer Research and Marie Curie. Over the three-hour window, 23 members of the competitive and development swim squads swam distances of 1.5, 2.5 or 5 km (200 lengths).
"The pupils all persevered on this long distance event with some swimming continually for almost two hours to complete their distance," said Dr Robb.
"Currently the pupils have raised £1300 through online just giving pages with more expected before the end of term.
"I would like to thank all the staff and pupils who gave up their time to count lanes on poolside."