Match Report
Radley College Colts 1 vs  Wellington College
On: Saturday, 09 Mar 2024
Venue: Away

After a tense 3-3 draw against Radley’s equivalent of Slytherin (Abingdon), the mighty reds were back in action hoping to ‘conjure’ up a victory away at Wellington.

As might be expected at this point in the season, Colts 1 came into the game ravaged by injuries (as though they had encountered Grawp in a dark woodland). But showing a resilience and team unity that would have put the members of Dumbledore's Army to shame, Radley came out on top in this closely fought encounter.

On a pitch that could have been squeezed into a House Elf’s sock, Radley emerged eager for an early goal and pressed high up the pitch from the start. The constant pressure from the midfield and attack eventually paid off after a well-earned corner was headed in by Dougie Du Plessis, with all the force and precision of a rogue Bludger to the back of the head.

An early injury in the first half to Radley’s own Victor Krum (Joe Hathaway) had the significant travelling away fans concerned that Radley could fall back into bad habits, with memories of lost leads against Oratory and Abingdon floating to the surface like nightmares from a Pensieve. However, after some tactical wizardry by the coach (who resembled a young Voldemort in his prime), Radley made some changes in midfield and Max De Morgan, Will Barnes and George Hartley rose admirably to the challenge, spending the rest of the game chasing down loose balls like a group of Seekers eager to catch the Golden Snitch.

Wellington started to come back late in the first half and had a few chances to level the score (hitting the post!) but the back five of Sholto, Mulvaney, C-P, Jimmy and Braybrook proved to be a formidable barrier, blocking opponents like an excellent Protego charm.

After a half time Gillyweed (it was actually Harbio), Colts 1 came out determined to finish the duel in clinical fashion – with all the vengeance of an Unforgiveable curse. However, Wellington had not given up and fought back with the determination of a Triwizard Tournament champion. They struck the bar halfway through the second half, rattling both the woodwork and the confidence of the Colt’s defence. At times in the second half the match had more twists and turns than the shifting staircases of Hogwarts but eventually Tony Lu flew down the field like Buckbeak on a daring escape from Hogwarts and finished the game with a lovely left footed finish. 2-0 and a hard fought victory for the Colts.

Radley’s resilience against the sustained pressure of the Wellington attack was as courageous as Neville Longbottom confronting the slippery serpent Nagini. A truly magical performance in a well matched encounter.

Onwards to Teddies!

MOTM: William Barnes (aka King Weasley) for his constant hounding of the opposition midfield

Honourable mention: Dougie Du Plessis (7 games and 7 goals this season)