Boys Hockey Tournament
On a bitterly cold Thursday in late January, the Senior Boys U14 7-a-side hockey team ventured down to Ballard School in New Milton to take part in the annual ISA tournament. The draw meant that group matches were against St Edward’s, Cheltenham and Ballard ‘B’.
Mr Mark Turner, Director of PE and Team Coach said in his report:
The first match was against a very strong St Edward’s team, who played well, putting Claires Court under pressure from the start. Their passing and close skills meant that the boys were often defending desperately. The team worked hard defensively, but there were many goal scoring opportunities, and it was only thanks to Tom Wakely in goal that Claires Court only lost 2-0.
The second group match against Ballard ‘B’ saw Claires Court step up a level and dominate possession. The passing was much more accurate and crisp, while decision making improved dramatically, albeit against much weaker opposition. The final score of 7-0 with goals from Oliver Cadinouche (3), Seb Webster (3) and Josh Bull, gave the team a great deal of confidence for the latter stages of the competition.
The semi-final against Ballard ‘A’, saw Claires Court up against a strong hockey team and against a school who regularly win this tournament and who also provide Hampshire with county players on a regular basis. While Ballard were on top for parts of the match, chances were kept to a minimum in a hard fought game. However, Ballard eventually turned their possession into a two goal lead. With three minutes to go Josh Bull pounced on a through ball to bring the score back to 2-1. Oliver Cadinouche calmly slotted the ball past the Ballard keeper to level the score at 2-2. The score remained level after extra time and this took the semi-final into a penalty shootout. Five players on each team took it in turns to run from 23 metres with the ball into the ‘D’ with the aim of scoring past the keeper. Tom Wakely was outstanding in goal and saved the first three Ballard penalties. Claires Court also had their first two penalties saved, but on the third penalty, Oliver Cadinouche calmly took the ball round the keeper to put Claires Court ahead 1-0. Tom Wakely then saved the fourth Ballard penalty and it was left to Ben Tapner-Evans to hold his nerve and score the decisive penalty, meaning Claires Court won the semi-final 4-2 after penalties.
The final found the team playing against St Edward’s School again, but this time the team played with confidence gained from beating Ballard and showed much better understanding of how to defend individually and as a team. The game remained tight throughout, but in the end St Edward’s edged it with a firmly struck shot from the top of the ‘D’. The final score of 1-0 was a fair result, but it also demonstrated how much the team had improved throughout the competition. To finish as runners-up meant a great deal to the squad and I am sure they were proud to be presented with their silver medals at the end of the competition.
SQUAD: Tom Wakley, Ewan Ballard, Byron Ewing, George Keylock, Ben Tapner-Evans, Oliver Cadinouche, Seb Webster, James Milligan, Josh Bull.