Champ Amelie breaks through pain barrier
Young gymnast takes top prize, weeks after breaking ribs
High Wycombe 31 Beaconsfield 20 A LATE comeback was not enough as Beaconsfield lost their derby two miles up the road at High Wycombe on Saturday.
The game began with Wycombe scoring three tries without much problem against a Beaconsfield team, who looked very ordinary in line outs, ball handling and scrums, giving the hosts time to move their ball out to their backs.
Their first try came from their number 10 Matt Wardle, the second a penalty try after a Beaconsfield forward failed to roll away from the ball, and the third came from second row Peter Partis on the right hand side, putting them 19-0 up at half time.
After the interval, Beaconsfield came out with more purpose,
DERBY DEFEAT: and within five minutes Andy Brodie ran under the posts, and while the conversion was missed, they slotted a penalty soon after. But the joy was short lived as a missed tackle let Wycombe in for a fourth try, quickly followed by another from full back Joe Openshaw.
Beaconsfield hit back when a strong drive from prop Stuart Robertson took the ball deep into Wycombe territory before Ken Kavanagh carried the ball under the posts.
Then a break out from their own 22 saw Brodie race down the left flank for his second try to make it 31-20.
In the same division, Brad Parker also bagged a trace of tries for Drifters, while Olly Ashton kicked 11 points, but it was not enough to prevent a narrow 26-21 defeat to Bicester for the Farnham Common side.
Up in National Three London & SE, Amersham & Chiltern went down to a sixth successive defeat when they lost 18-5 at East Grinstead, while down in the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Premier, Chesham were downed 29-8 at Hungerford. ‘NO pain, no gain’ could certainly be Amelie Morgan’s motto after she become British champion for the second year running at the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics National Finals.
The 11-year-old, from Farnham Common, scooped top prize in her category once more at Guildford Leisure Centre just five weeks after breaking three of her ribs.
But that kind of commitment to the cause should come as no surprise for a youngster who trains 24 hours every week with Slough Gymnastics.
The Beaconsfield High pupil, who also regularly trains with the GB squad at Lilleshall, was competing at Elite Level 2, meaning she was up against 32 of the best gymnasts in the country.
Proud mum Kate said: “The injury had put Amelie’s participation in the finals in jeopardy, but through sheer determination she was able to not only pull through and compete on the day, but also win once more.
“She joined the club when it first opened in the autumn of
Morgan 2010, before which she just did recreational gymnastics. It might seem like she has come a long way in a short space of time to become a double national champion since then, but it certainly feels like a long haul when she is training every day.
“Winning again is testament to how hard she works, but the injury has helped keep things in perspective as anything can put an end to it. She was lucky this time – other gymnasts get broken legs, and you lose so much fitness in a short space of time.
“It is such a tough sport that so many don’t make it for the long haul and so few make it to Olympic standard that the likelihood is really slim.
“We don’t talk about the future but take each day as it comes. Amelie is so level-headed anyway, and if she stopped tomorrow I would still be proud.
“I am in awe of what she has achieved already.”
Amelie’s Slough Gymnastics team-mate Ellie Botterill, also from Farnham Common, had cause to celebrate too.
Re-taking her compulsory grade, she landed gold after winning over the judges with an innovative floor routine performed to Sia’s ‘Chandelier’, which has already become a You Tube hit, attracting 6,000 hits.
There was further celebration for Amelie’s twin, Finlay, at the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics National Finals in Birmingham.
The Beaconsfield School pupil achieved two perfect 10s on his way to finishing fifth out of 48 of the UK’s best gymnasts.
His Slough Gymnastics teammate Musa Siddiqi, who attends Chalfont School, finished one place above in fourth – helping the South Team take overall silver – and both have now been selected for a four-day training camp at Lilleshall in December.
For more information on the club, visit www.sloughgymnastics. co.uk or call Amy Jones on 07961 178432.
SOUTHERN COUNTIES LEAGUE NORTH
James Watson breaks forward for Beaconsfield against High Wycombe
SUCCESS: (From left) Gymnasts Amelie Morgan, Musa Siddiqi and Finlay