U12 Hockey Tournament at Oakham:
BH V Oakham – Drew 0 – 0
BH V Trent College – Drew 1 – 1
BH V Aldwickbury – Drew 1 – 1
BH V Spratton Hall – Won 3 – 0
2nd in Group.
3rd/4th place play-off
BH V Perse – Drew 0 – 0
This tournament is always a tough one due to the strength of the opposition. This year the following teams took part: Oakham, Trent College, Aldwickbury, Spratton Hall, Oundle, Witham Hall, The Perse and Bilton Grange. However, knowing you are going to get good matches is well worth the 5 hours spent travelling. We have played in this tournament for many years as it is a good gauge of how the 1st team may do the following season, therefore to not lose any of our matches was pleasing.
The day got off to a difficult start with Willem F taking a ball to the head after just two minutes in the first match against Oakham and having to go to the Oakham medical centre. This just proved the worth of having a good squad as we had to re-shuffle things and move players into new positions. Although Oakham were probably the better side, we held out for a 0 – 0 draw.
In our second game (without Willem F) Ralf B stepped into centre-half and Felix B stepped into centre-forward with the rest of the team staying the same. A lovely ball from Harry P across the pitch to Finny S who then beat a defender and crossed for Ralf B to sweep in saw us take a 1-0 lead. However, Trent were a good side and had some skilful individual players and when one of them beat George M with a reverse stick strike into the far corner, the scores were level. Aubrey M came on for a run about at centre-forward in place of Felix B and Tom and Freddie L shared the right-half position. This meant two games, two draws and two points. We knew our third game against Aldwickbury (75 senior boys) was a must win.
The game started, firstly with the return of Willem F and secondly, with Ralf B taking on the GK, going round him and pushing it into the open goal. At 1 – 0 we looked comfortable and had several more chances to put the game to bed. Sadly, we didn’t take them and when Aldwickbury broke and left George M in a 1 on 1 situation, they scored and that’s how it finished. 3 matches, 3 draws, 3 points. Our final group game was against Spratton Hall and some pleasing team play and some good individual play saw us score 3 goals! Two from Ralf B and one from Finny S. After Finny S had scored his goal, Aubrey M came on for a stint and his first touch was to pass the ball to Ralf B to score. Felix B had a spell at right-half and at 3 – 0 up I was able to swap players on/off and rotate players around a little. Especially as Hector L had taken a blow to the fingers and Finny S was also struggling with a sore knee.
Those 3 goals and 3 points against Spratton Hall resulted in us finishing 2nd in the group and meant we were due to play a strong Perse side for 3rd/4th place. It would be fair to say that they had more of the possession however, our defence worked hard to keep them at bay and we had a couple of good chances ourselves to grab the win and 3rd place. However, it wasn’t to be and we finished 3rd =.
In a tournament such as this, I was very pleased with the whole squad and their effort and determination. They were good company and well-behaved throughout the course of the day.
Well done those who played; George M, Hector L, Harry P, Willem F, Tom L, Freddie L, Finnian S, Ralf B, Felix B and Aubrey M.