Two sailing boats in the sea on a sunny day

  • 02 December 2019
  • 6 min read

'Winter is Coming. We know what's coming with it. We can learn to live with the stories our ancestors shall tell of our defeats or we can add those who should oppose us to the numbers we have already dispatched!' – Jon Snow.

Now you are ready, I shall begin...with a fact, not altogether linked with sport. In fact, not at all, but it's very interesting, so here it is – Did you know that the holiday of Thanksgiving in America and the famous nursery rhyme – 'Mary had a Little Lamb' are intrinsically linked?

Neither did I... Want to know how?

Well then, read on...and I'll tell you.

But first, we start with some superb news from the world of Equestrian –


In the most recent round of competition in the Championship F20 Mini-League, Captain, Sorcha White's Portsmouth 1st team put in a superb display to record a Team Win over hosts, Solent 1sts, Southampton 1sts and Chichester 1sts. Not only did the team triumph but there was success in the Individual competition also with a brilliant performance from Emily Weeks, which saw her come 1st in the standings and claim 12 points. Ellie Double came 3rd, receiving 8 points and Maxine Antaki 8th, getting one point. A superb performance from the 1sts which leaves them in great shape for the next round of competition. Magnificent achievement and we will look to update you with more from Equestrian and their BUCS campaign in the coming weeks.

We continue the Wash Up in Bristol, where Rowing were involved in their first Head race of the year. Here's President, Andrew Lorton with his report of the weekend's action...


'This weekend the rowing club travelled up to Bristol to compete at the UBBC Head race, where it was a very early and cold start to the day. In division 1 – 3.2 km course – the racing kicked off with the Men's Intermediate 8+ achieving 11th place beating the likes of Southampton and Hartpury University. The Senior Men performed well despite a few boat breakages and not having a lot of water time together as a crew. The Women's Championship 4x, were next where the Senior Women put in a very good performance achieving 7th place, with just 4 seconds between us, Worcester and the West of England University.

Division 2 – 1.2km course – started off with the small boats, where the Men's Championship 2x rowed a very clean and composed race, achieving an impressive 4th place, finishing a second quicker than Bristol University. Next was the Women's Championship 2x where they were rewarded with 6th place, finishing above Bournemouth University and the West of England University which again was a great achievement for the crew.

Finally it was time for the Beginner (Fresher) races, which started with the Men's 4+ where the boys looked technically very good and remained composed throughout, seeing them register a 3rd place podium finish. A fantastic result, especially for their first race of the year.

This success continued into the Women's Beginner 4+ where the girls achieved a 2nd place podium finish. Again we were very impressed with how technically proficient and composed they looked throughout the race, despite having to wait to race in the cold for nearly over 3 hours, so another superb result for them and the club.

It was another very successful day for UPRC and the club will be looking to build on these results at future competitions. Well done to everyone who competed and thank you to everyone who came and showed their support and helped out.'


Division 1 - 3.2km course

  • Men's Intermediate 8+ = 11th (Time – 0:11:27.746) Ed Wilkinson, Alistair Bolton, Andrew Lorton, Luke Sullivan, Lewis Ramsden, Olly Rimell, Tosin Edun and Ed Rook
  • Women's Championship 4x- = 7th (Time – 0:12:32.614) Imogen Hafford Tear, Antonia Painter, Sorcha Maddison and Issy Fowles

Division 2 - 1.2km course

  • Men's Beginner 4+ = 3rd (Time – 0:05:07.966) Will Tuppen, Luke Butterfill, Ben Swain and Tom Wells
  • Women's Beginner 4+ = 2nd (Time – 0:05:44.307) Charlotte O'Leary, Molly Pender, Dionne Hodges and Emily Baigent
  • Men's Championship 2x = 4th (Time – 0:04:37.438) Ed Wilkinson and Ed Rook
  • Women's Championship 2x = 6th (Time – 0:05:01.443) Antonia Painter and Issy Fowles

American Football:

It's 3 from 3 for The Destroyers as they made it a third shut out of the season away at Surrey on Sunday as they ran out 43-0 winners. This keeps them top of the Tier 1 standings on points difference ahead of Holloway, who are also 3 from 3 as we approach the halfway stage of the season.

There were 2 Touchdowns for the impressive Benny Debrah, a Pick 6 for Eddie Koppoe and further scores from Ash Martin, Conor 'Dre' Walton and the prolific Sam Hassan, as the Destroyers continued their impressive start to the season on the road. Bradley Whiteman continued his fine form with 4 from 6 extra point attempts and added a field goal to complete the scoring on the day.

Here's how the MVP awards were allocated –

  • Team MVP – Eddie Koppoe for a dominating display that included a Pick 6, a fumble recovery and multiple big hits.
  • Offensive MVP – Benny Debrah for his key receptions that included 2 touchdowns.
  • Defensive MVP – A.J Lucas for another dominant performance that saw him consistently in the backfield causing disruption and pressure.
  • Special Teams MVP – Dan Abiodun for his aggressive performance all over the field.
  • Rookie MVP – Harrison Jones, first time starter, for his consistent solid tackling and coverage.
  • The Hammer Award – Eddie Koppoe for his massive hit on the quarterback.
  • Play of the Game – Alex Shellard and Benny Debrah for executing a pinpoint play late in the game for Alex's first touchdown pass.

Next up, the Destroyers host Surrey at Langstone on Sunday the 8th, before they welcome Holloway for a top of the table showdown at Langstone.

*All games are at Langstone – 12:00 start, so if you can get along, I know the team will appreciate the collective support.

*A.F photographs credited to @Francesco-fotography


Despite a slow start to their 3rd round tie with St. Mary's 2nds, Men's 1sts continued their quest for Conference Cup glory with a comprehensive 10-3 victory at Spinnaker to take them into the Quarters. Marwan Kisserwan grabbed a hat-trick as he continued his fine recent form. Argemiro Sassa and Lopen Louis grabbed 2 apiece with top scorer, Tonye Sotonye, Alex Mills and Andrea Xuereb grabbing the other goals. Sassa also recorded an excellent trio of assists with 2 apiece from Josh Barrett and Patryk Cekus, and one assist each from Mills, Louis and James Douglas. Kisserwan and Sassa shared the Man of the Match award for their fine displays, which went a long way to setting up an all-Pompey Quarter Final, should the 2nds win their rearranged 3rd round tie with Kingston. We will bring you news of that one in the New Year.

So, as we give thanks for another weekend and another wash up, I am reminded that I promised you some factual closure on the link between Thanksgiving and the nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb – well, I am nothing but a man of my word, so here it is –

Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who wrote the immortal classic ditty – Mary Had a Little Lamb, was actually the very same Sarah Hale who finally twisted the Presidential arm of Abraham Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, after 17 years of writing letters and campaigning.

Although rightfully proud of her own tenacity and sheer bloody mindedness, this did in fact cost Hale a fortune as she was forced to scrap the follow-up to her famous nursery rhyme, which wore the working title of – Mary Had a Large Turkey...

Though she campaigned hungrily for the holiday of Thanksgiving to be recognised she was not to know that Turkeys would play such a central role, and it was considered in bad taste that she should refer to the Snood of Mary's newest playmate, as being as red as Cranberries...

Honestly, you couldn't make it up!?

Play Up!

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