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Sports Review 2016 : part 2
Published 09/01/17

A LEANDER Club men’s eight faced a tense two-hour wait after appealing their defeat in the final of the Ladies’ Challenge Plate at the 177th Henley Royal Regatta. The crew were beaten to the finish by three feet but objected because their rivals, Holland’s ASR Nereus, had been repeatedly cautioned for their steering. After lengthy deliberation by the umpire Nereus were disqualified and Leander declared the winners. It was one of the most talked-about moments on a finals day which saw Leander win four of its seven races. It also triumphed in the Queen Mother and Double Sculls Challenge Cups and in the Princess Grace Challenge Cup as a composite with Reading Rowing Club but lost in the Grand, Remenham and Prince of Wales Challenge Cups. Upper lost out in the final of the Wyfold Challenge Cup, which the club had previously won in 2014, where they were beaten by a length to Grasshopper-Club of Zurich.

Upper Thames crews secured seven trophies at the Henley Masters Regatta while Henley Rowing Club also came away with a win. The two-day regatta saw the Upper Thames women’s crew of Naomi Ashcroft, Judith Burne, Mandy Calvert, Miriam Luke, Juliet Machan, Helen Mangan, Rebecca Sadler, Jo Willey and cox Di Yarrow win both the masters C and D eights. Sally Pollock-Morris won the C singles by four lengths while Tim Lincoln won the I singles (age 75 to 80). The G coxless four of Willy Almand, Lee Brown, Walter Scott and Paul Stuart Bennett won their event as did the H coxed four composite crew with Minerva Bath of Arnold Clark, Klaus Riekemann, Tim Lincoln, Steven Denley Hill and cox Catherine Jones. Another Upper Thames composite crew with Strathclyde triumphed in the women’s masters C quads. The crew was made up of Gillian Connal, Amanda Hynes, Ailie Ord and Sally Pollock-Morris. Henley Rowing Club picked up a win the masters E single sculls event. Sean Collinson defeated a Stourport sculler in the final to win by three feet.

Henley Rowing Club confirmed itself as the top junior club in the country winning the Victor Ludorum at the British Junior Rowing Championships with almost twice as many points as its nearest rivals. The Henley juniors secured four gold, three silver and three bronze medals with all bar two of their boats making the A finals of the three-day event. Elsewhere both Leander and Shiplake Vikings also came away from the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham with a gold medal each.

Four Leander athletes and three Shiplake Vikings junior girls helped England to victory at the Home International Regatta in Cardiff. Seb Devereux was Leander’s sole representative at senior level where he raced all three sculling events on the card. A narrow defeat in the single at the hands of Josh Bugajski of Wales was followed by gold in the double where he partnered Dave Bell of Molesey. At junior level Leander’s Tom Mortimer, Tom Placidi and Piotr Golawski joined forces with Matt Day of Broxbourne to form the England quad which led their race from start to finish and crossed the line with clear water ahead of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Elsewhere Shiplake Vikings junior girls came away with two medals for their country.

Upper Thames Rowing Club narrowly missed out on retaining the Victor Ludorum at this year’s Henley Town and Visitors’ Regatta. The club took seven victories in total, but it was not enough to hold off Wallingford Rowing Cub, which claimed the Peter Sutherland Challenge Cup.

In cricket Henley ended the month in second place in the Home Counties Premier League. The Brakspear Ground side drew with Tring Park and Great and Little Tew, beat Burnham and Reading before being held to a draw against Slough in their Division 1 matches.

In the Morrant Thames Valley League, Kidmore End beat Marlow Park and Maidenhead and Bray, drew with Harefield and lost to Finchampstead and North Maidenhead to finish the month in sixth place in Division 2A.

Harpsden remained unbeaten in Division 2 of the Morrant Chilterns League as they ended the month 10 points clear at the top of the table.

In football Henley Town appointed Gerry McGinty as their new first team manager. McGinty took over from Craig Sumner who stepped down from the post due to his work commitments.

ANOTHER successful regatta saw the GB rowing team top the medal table at the Lagoa Stadium in Rio, where 12 Leander athletes won medals, including a first-ever Olympic medal for the GB women’s eight. The Leander haul saw the club’s tally rise to 123 medals since 1908, and a banner on the clubhouse once again kept Henley residents up-to-date with the ever-increasing total. In all the GB rowers came away from Rio with three gold medals and two silvers.

Britain’s first rowing medal came in the women’s double scull, where Katherine Grainger and Vicky Thornley confounded their critics with a crew-best performance that earned them the silver medal behind Poland. The next Leander medal came with Alex Gregory, who took his third successive Olympic gold partnering Moe Sbihi, George Nash and Constantine Louloudis in the men’s four.

After winning the European gold in May the GB women’s eight demonstrated their medal-winning potential with an impressive victory in their heat, and lined up for the final alongside the USA, bidding for their third successive Olympic title. With Canada making the early running the GB eight were at the back of the field after 500m, and remained in sixth place at the halfway stage. But with total belief in themselves the eight began to cut through the field and, following a good third 500m, they had surged up to second place and were closing on the all-conquering United States at the front. The men’s eight brought the regatta to its conclusion by winning GB’s first Olympic gold medal in this boat class since the Sydney Games 16 years earlier.

Elsewhere in Rio hurdler Lawrence Clarke narrowly failed to make it through to the 110m final by just 0.05 of a second. Christmas Common’s Clarke qualified from his finishing third with a time of 13.55 seconds. Clarke finished his semi-final in sixth place with a time of 13.46 seconds, just 0.05 seconds off the time needed for a place in the final.

In the Home Counties Premier League Division 1 Henley began the month with a comfortable home win against Harefield. This was followed up with defeat against Finchampstead and wins against Banbury and High Wycombe as they finished the month second place and out of the running for the title.

In Division 2A of the Thames Valley League, Kidmore End beat Chesham 2nds, Tring 2nds and Eversley to end the month in fourth place.

In the Morrant Chilterns League Harpsden wrapped up the Division 2 title as they remained unbeaten during their campaign with a game in hand. Harpsden 2nds were also undefeated during their campaign as they ended the season champions of Division 4.

In football Reading got their Championship campaign off to a winning start as they beat Preston North End 1-0 at Madejski Stadium. The Royals followed this up with away defeats against Wolves and Newcastle United, a draw with Brighton and Hove Albion and victory at Cardiff. Elsewhere in the month Reading progressed to the third round of the EFL Cup with wins against Plymouth and Milton Keynes Dons.

Newly-promoted Henley Town got their Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division campaign off to a losing start as they went down 2-1 at home to Binfield. Elsewhere in the month the Red Kites lost 3-1 at home to Royal Wootton Bassett, 3-2 at Oxford City Nomads, drew 2-2 with Flackwell Heath before registering their first win of the campaign with a 4-2 home win against Burnham.

In the FA Cup Henley Town crashed out at the preliminary round stage of the competition as they went down 3-1 away to Brimscombe and Thrupp.

GREAT BRITAIN’S rowers made history in Rio when they took three golds and a bronze at the Paralympic Games regatta – their best-ever medal haul. Leander’s Pam Relph and cox Oli James along with Grace Clough from Nottingham, Upper Thames’s Dan Brown and James Fox of University of London secured gold in the LTA mixed coxed four event.

Two Upper Thames rowers have returned from the World Masters Championships held on Copenhagen’s Lake Bagsvaerd in Denmark with two gold medals each. Racing in the masters G category for athletes aged 65 to 69, Jeremy Dobbin and Clive Cooper triumphed in the pairs event where they defeated their opponents by four lengths. Dobbin and Cooper, who is also a coach at Leander, then teamed up with rowers from Bedford Rowing Club to win the Masters G eights event by four lengths ahead of Japan, Norway, Holland and Denmark.

Henley Hawks began life in Division 2 South with a 23-18 opening day defeat at Redruth. The newly-relegated Dry Leas side then lost their first home match of the season 22-13 to local rivals Chinnor before recording their first win of the season, 26-22 at Redingensians. The Hawks ended the month with a 43-38 home win against Exmouth.

Newly-promoted Abbey started their South West League Division 1 East campaign with defeats against Newbury, Old Centralians and Old Patesians before ending the month their first win against Oxford Harlequins.

In football Reading had a good month in the Championship with wins against Ipswich, Barnsley and Huddersfield. The Royals also drew with Birmingham and lost away to Brentford. In the EFL Cup Reading made progress to the fourth round after winning 2-1 away to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Henley Town were without a fixture for the first Saturday of the month after Carterton pulled out of the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division. The following week Henley drew at Bracknell Town 1-1. This was followed with a 3-3 draw at home to Tuffley Rovers and a 5-2 defeat at home to Ascot United as the Red Kites ended the month fourth from bottom in the league. In the FA Vase Henley Town crashed out at the second qualifying round stage as they went down 4-2 at Alton.

In cricket rain affected the final matches of the season. Of the matches played Henley beat Tring Park in the Home Counties Premier League, a result that secured runners-up spot for the Brakspear Ground side.

In the Thames Valley Premier League, Kidmore End ended their season in fourth place in Division 2A while in Division 2B Henley 2nds were crowned champions while Wargrave were relegated. Elsewhere Henley 3rds were relegated from Division 4B, Wargrave 2nds won Division 6B and Henley 4ths were relegated from Division 7A.

In the Wintech Berkshire League Peppard Stoke Row’s first, second and third sides finished as runners-up in the Premier Division, Division 2 and Division 4 respectively.

In hockey Henley Ladies 1sts got their league campaign to a flying start as they defeated Southcote 5-0. However, in the England Hockey Cup the amber and blues crashed out at the first hurdle as they went down 4-0 at home to Tulse Hill and Dulwich.

HENLEY TOWN FC were seeking a new manager after Gerry McGinty left the club just two months into the season. McGinty left to become youth team manager at League Two club Barnet after overseeing just two wins in 15 games as Red Kites boss. McGinty’s assistant and former Woodley United manager Jock Mowat will take charge of the side until a permanent replacement is found.

On the pitch Henley Town started the month by being knocked out of the Bluefin Sports Hellenic Challenge Cup at the first round stage as they went down 5-0 at Oxford City Development. In the league Henley beat Oxford City Nomads 2-1, while suffering a 5-0 defeat at home to Thatcham Town, 4-1 defeat at Highmoor/Ibis, 3-1 defeat at home to Longlevens AFC, 2-0 at Thame United.

Reading recorded Championship wins against Rotherham United and Nottingham Forest, draws against Derby and QPR while losing just once in the month at home to Aston Villa. In the EFL Cup the Royals crashed out of the tournament at the fourth round stage was they went down 2-0 away to Arsenal.

Henley Hawks had a disappointing month. The month started with a 36-14 defeat away at Barnes before recording a 41-36 home win against. Following this success the Hawks went on to lose the rest of their matches with a 30-23 defeat at Cinderford, 30-20 defeat at home to Old Elthamians and 51-17 loss at Canterbury.

Abbey had a good month in Division 1 East of the South West League as they defeated local rivals Reading, Witney, and Swindon whilst suffering just one defeat against Royal Wootton Bassett.

Henley Rowing Club’s 18 wins at the Upper Thames Autumn Head were enough to earn them the Victor Ludorum trophy for the best performing club. Host club Upper Thames also picked up two wins in the event that attracted 275 entries from across the south of England.

In hockey Henley 1sts started their new league season in style with a 4-1 win at home to Guildford. Elsewhere in the month the amber and blues drew with Old Cranleighans and suffered defeats against Banbury and London Edwardians before ending the month with victory at home to Milton Keynes. Henley Ladies 1sts recorded wins against Oxford Hawks and Marlow drew with High Wycombe and lost to PHC Chiswick.

HENLEY TOWN Football Club appointed former player Robbie Creech as their new manager. Creech, who played as a fullback for the Red Kites in the Nineties and again in 2005, replaced Gerry McGinty, who left the club last month to become youth team manager at Football League club Barnet. The 45-year old from Reading holds a UEFA B licence and was formerly first team coach at Hungerford Town. He has also had playing spells with Peppard, Thatcham and Reading Town. Jock Mowat continued as Creech’s assistant manager.

On the pitch it was a familiar story for the struggling Red Kites in the league as they went down 3-1 at home to Highworth Town, 5-0 at home to Bracknell Town and 2-0 at Tuffley Rovers. There was better fortune for the Red Kites in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup as they made progress thanks to a 3-2 victory at North Leigh United.

In the Championship Reading won all three of their matches played. The Royals won 3-0 at Wigan while defeating Burton Albion and Bristol City 3-0 and 2-1 respectively.

Leander crews dominated the Fours head on the four-and-a-quarter mile championship course with four crews in the top five on the river Thames from Mortlake to Putney. The club’s athletes won five class pennants as well as the overall title, with the leading Leander heavyweight quad crossing the line 12 seconds clear of second-placed Imperial College. Meanwhile Henley Rowing Club’s junior girls broke the course record in their category. The Henley crew of Ella Morgan, Georgia Edwards, Clare Pearson, Issy Jonsson and cox Freya Reid won their event by 17 seconds and set a new course record beating the previous record held by Henley since 2010 by 28 seconds. The Upper Thames G4- won their division of the veterans’ event over the same course, beating Reading Rowing Club by nearly a minute.

Henley Rowing Club continued their good run of form as they hosted the Henley Sculls where they walked away with 13 wins on a day that saw Upper Thames secure four victories. James Cracknell OBE made his first return to sculling since 2003 where he triumphed in the Masters C single sculls.

Henley Hawks brought a five-match losing run to an end as they defeated Worthing 30-22 at Dry Leas in Division 2 South. Earlier in the month the Hawks had lost 23-13 at home to Clifton and 27-17 at Bishop’s Stortford. The final match of the month saw the Hawks lose 38-27 at Taunton.

Abbey beat Windsor and Chippenham and lost to Banbury as they ended the month in seventh place in Division 1 East of the South West League.

Henley Cricket Club players made it a clean sweep when Berkshire handed out their awards. The Palmer Cup for the player of the year was shared by wicket-keeper Stewart Davison and pace bowler Tom Nugent. All-rounder Euan Woods took the most improved player category, earning him the Eddie Pickford Cup, while batsman Jack Davies secured the young player of the year prize.

In hockey Henley 1sts started the month with a draw with Bromley and Beckenham before going down to defeats to Havant, Oxford Hawks and London Wayfarers. Henley Ladies 1sts had a disappointing month as they lost to West Hampstead, Eastcote, Milton Keynes and Witney.

LEANDER coach Jürgen Gröbler was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award at the UK Coaching Awards. During that time Great Britain’s most successful Olympic coach has presided over at least one gold medal winning crew with Rio 2016 producing titles in the men’s coxless four and eight.

Leander athletes topped the table at last weekend’s British Rowing Indoor Championships, held at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark, where Adam Neill and Emily Carmichael won gold in the men’s and women’s open events. There was also success for Henley Rowing Club’s J16 Sophia Hahn who won gold in the girls’ six-minute event.

Henley Hawks moved out of the National Division 2 South relegation zone after beating London Irish Wild Geese 25-24. The Hawks followed the win up with a 31-24 defeat at Barnstaple before ending the month with a 29-29 draw away to high-flying Chinnor. The Hawks went into the New Year in 11th place in the table.

Abbey beat Grove, lost to Maidenhead and drew with Old Centralians as they ended the year in ninth place in Division 1 East of the South West League.

Henley Town went into the New Year second from bottom in the Premier Division of the Uhlsport Hellenic League. During December the Red Kites lost all of their league matches to Ardley United (9-2), Royal Wootton Bassett (4-0) and Flackwell Heath (7-1). The Red Kites also lost out in the quarter finals of the Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup after going down 2-1 at Fairford Town. The only bright note for Henley came in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup where they made it through to the next round after winning 1-0 at Adderbury Park.

Reading went into the New Year in third place in the Championship after recording wins against Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn Rovers and Norwich City. Elsewhere in the month the Royals went down to defeats at Fulham and Leeds United.

In hockey Henley 1sts had mixed fortunes as they lost at Spencer before ending the month with a victory at Horsham. Henley Ladies 1sts beat Reading 2nds before ending the year with defeat at Southgate 2nds.

Published 09/01/17

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