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Strong performances in U13 Boys’ Hockey Tournament

Posted: 4th April 2014 | Category: Sports, Year 8

On Friday 21st March, Skippers entered a team into the newly instituted East Grinstead Hockey Academy's U13 Boys Schools Tournament.

16 Preparatory Schools and Junior Dept of Senior Schools entered from across the Southeast; Kent, Surrey and Sussex. All of them were considerably larger than Skippers, in numbers.

We were drawn in Pool A with Dulwich College Prep, Skinners 'A' and Copthorne.

The objective was to get out of your Pool matches into either the Cup competition (top 8) or the Plate competition (bottom 8).

1st Pool match: v Copthorne
We have not played this school before and they looked a fit unit. We traded attacks and kept up with the flow. Olli D had several near misses and our defence held out well against their attack. Chances came at both ends but a fair result was a 0-0 draw. This gave us two points.

2nd Pool match: v Skinners 'A'
Skinners is a big school with plenty to choose from; we encountered Ethan K who was now playing for Skinners. We dominated the play and Neill di Lucia shot a couple of hard flicks whilst the midfield maintained control of the field. End result 2-0 to us and five points.

3rd Pool match: v DCPS
This was a very tough match. We had watched them play the others and they were a very good outfit. We held them for most of the opening spell but they were too strong and we let three goals in. We nearly scored ourselves, but their keeper was very good and foiled Mert and Neill several times.

End result: 2nd in group and through to the last 8 of the Cup.

Excellent progress!

The redraw for the Cup put us in against Holmewood House and Reigate Grammar, both very large schools with lots of pupils to call on.

Cup match 1: v Holmewood House
Holmewood House were eventual finalists and they drubbed us 0-5 in our first Pool match. We had no answer to their speed and power; they were big lads and knew how to shoot from the edge of the circle. We did mount several attacks but could not score. Tom D kept the scoreline down to a reasonable level.

Cup match 2: v Reigate Grammar
Reigate have a three form entry at Years 7 & 8 and they were also big in size and choice. Undaunted, we took the field and began to put pressure on their midfield. We forced a penalty corner and Mert was able to score high into the goal past their keeper's head.

Reigate came back at us and scored from a superb low shot at close range. Back we surged, and Neill whacked the ball back virtually through their keeper, to regain the lead 2-1. Back Reigate came, and levelled the score once again.

The thrills of the game are evident when the spectators were like the crowd at Wimbledon, heads flying first one way and then the other, as the action raced back and forth.

Fortunately with time running out in the dying seconds, we managed to squeeze the ball between the keeper's body and flailing arm to set the final score of 3-2 to us.

Despite the win, our tournament was over. Holmewood House met Rose Hill in the final and we were officially placed equal third, with DCPS and Ardingly.

This is a tremendous result for a small school with no Astroturf to practise upon.


Tom D (Goalkeeper), Ben P, Max R, Olli D, Neill dL, Callum H, Tom P, Archie G, Sam W, Mert G (Captain)

Ian Ritchie

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