The Worthing College Basketball Performance Programme started their competitive season with an extremely impressive win against Bexhill College in the British Colleges’ South East League.
Performance Coach James Brame demanded a powerful performance after hard work in pre season. This was definitely the case as Worthing took the game to their opponents with Julian Stanley and Elliott Winfield the main instigators in providing a 28-7 lead by the end of the first quarter.
This dominant lead allowed Brame to rotate the starting five and the replacements did themselves proud by continuing the positive work from the first quarter. Joe Hammond and Sam Gulla took over the shooting responsibilities to give Worthing a 58-23 lead going into the half. The starting 5 began the third quarter and made it tough for the visitors in both attack and defence, which stretched Worthing’s lead to almost 50 points with still a quarter of the game remaining.
Worthing never let up throughout this opening fixture with the 4th quarter seeing some impressive shooting from down town by Gulla, Hammond and Ben Evans, which saw Worthing close out the game 112-37. Top scorer was Gulla with 24 points and Winfield contributed 16. Coach Brame was happy with the team ethic and the fact that the whole team were used and did themselves justice across all four quarters and this is the standard they will need to take into their next set of fixtures.
The Worthing College Women’s Football Performance Programme were in England Schools FA National Cup action and a place in the last 16 was beckoning. However in their way was Queen Mary’s College of Basingstoke. An early pitch inspection at Wick FC deemed the pitch to be fit and Worthing were in no mood to wait around. Becky Simmonds latched onto a long ball over the top and cooly finished after only 15 seconds. This set the tone for the contest and Paige Adams scored an impressive second after cutting in from the left and striking the ball into the far right hand corner of the net. Simmonds was soon back in the scoring mood, adding her second and the third to Worthing before the end of the half.
Performance Coach Mike Bridges felt that Worthing were not at their best and with this message ringing in their ears Worthing took the game to their opponents again with Charlotte Owen scoring from long range. Despite Worthing adding a fifth through a Darcey James 25 yarder, Queen Mary’s scored two goals on the break, which showed that Worthing’s opponents were never going to give up. This seemed to spur Worthing back into action and both Adams and James got their second goals of the afternoon to complete a 7-2 victory. This win sets up a last 16 tie away to Strodes of Egham, Surrey.
The Men’s Football Performance Programme were also in ESFA National Cup action and had an extremely competitive tie at home to a very strong Kingston College. The match was played at Worthing College after six alternative venues were deemed unfit to play. Kingston are a powerful, physical side and Worthing needed to match them in all departments, especially work rate and game understanding to make sure that the result could go their way.
The match started at a frenetic pace with both teams trying to stamp their authority on the game. However it was the visitors that did this. A trademark long throw was knocked down to the Kingston number 10, who fired the ball into the top corner from 20 yards. This set back didn’t deter Worthing and they began to play the more effective football, which meant that chances were beginning to be created. Ryan Fergany cut inside and shot well wide and his brother James went even closer with his effort, which hit the outside of the post. At the other end the strong, powerful Kingston number 9 was being marshaled extremely well by centre half pairing of Rob Haggart and Greg Gander, which kept visitor chances to a minimum. As the half wore on it seemed only a matter of time before Worthing would equalise and this was the case with about ten minutes to go before the break. Jack Barnes collected an overhit cross, who then delightfully turned his full back and crossed for Josh Marshall to convert.
At the half the focus was to maintain work rate and continue to pressurise the Kingston backline, whilst at the sametime continue to be focused at the back. Worthing again started on the front foot with a number of set pieces resulting in Worthing shots on goal. Gander and Barnes both had sliced efforts. Ryan Fergany and Marshall had more clearer chances, but both were saved well by the Kingston stopper. This game was still in the balance and it would take something special to break the deadlock. With set pieces practiced and refreshed the day before Worthing put this into practice to take the lead. A Harvey Sparks free kick found Gander, whose pinpoint header was met by the impressive Barnes for Worthing to take the lead.
Worthing still wanted to press and were indebted to keeper and captain James Binfield on more than one occasion to ensure Worthing’s lead was kept intact. The game needed a third goal to ensure Worthing’s passage into the last 32. This came after a wonderful piece of brave defending by substitute Charlie Northeast, whose block was picked up by second sub Harry Smith who ran the length of the pitch to cooly finish under the Kingston goalkeeper. Worthing then saw the game out and this performance was one that coach Dave Hall was extremely proud of “this was close to a near perfect performance for the pitch size, opponents and conditions. Each to a man those players worked as a team to ensure that a powerful side were not allowed to play their game and at the same time showed the ability and technique to play their effective passing game. I can’t pick anyone out for special praise as they were all outstanding, however they have now set the bar extremely high and if they continue like this then they can only enhance their own player development during their time with us.”
The Netball Performance Programme took two teams to play Brockenhurst College in the Hampshire League and both sides came away with positives despite the scorelines. The first team went down by 40-27 and the second team were defeated 53-14. Performance Coach Tina Price felt that both sides competed at certain points during their matches, however the physical nature of their opponents, plus psychologically at times Worthing will develop more as the season progresses. Lana Brynes and Amelia Smith impressed in the first and second team respectively according to Price.
The Rugby Performance Programme were knocked out of the County Cup by Sussex Downs on Wednesday. Downs were the better team on the day and were dominant in terms of size and power. However Worthing stepped up in the second half with captain Angus Hodges leading by example to hold their opponents to only conceding 14 points. The match itself ended up 57-0 to Sussex Downs and coach Ben Coulson knows that there is a lot for these players to learn, which will develop them as players and will ensure that wins are only just around the corner.
Onwards & Upwards,