County Hockey U18 Tournament
On Thursday 31st January, 14 boys ranging from Year 10 to Year 13 travelled to Cheltenham College to play in the U18 County Hockey tournament.
It was the first time that STRS have entered a team in the competition, and the squad were looking forward to the challenge of playing some of the best teams in the county. It was a big ask for what is quite a young squad, with 6 matches in one day. In total 2 hours 40 minutes of hockey was played in only five and a half hours.
Captained by Charlie Webster the squad faced the hosts, and one of the best teams in England in the first fixture, going down 6-0 after a spirited battle. The next fixture was against fellow newbie Katherine Lady Berkeley. KLB actually turned out to be the surprise package of the tournament and were too strong for Tommies, gaining a 3-0 victory.
The third match was one the boys were certainly looking forward to as they felt confident the first victory would be achieved. And so it transpired as they recorded a 2-0 victory over King’s Gloucester. Benji Grew got the first goal and Andy Gaylor got the second to give them a comfortable victory. Looking to build on this, the next match were against 2011’s National Champions Dean Close. The Cheltenham based team, as expected were too strong, but a great second half defensive performance limited them to a 5-0 winning margin.
Tired legs were starting to set in, and against Pates Grammar not quite enough was found in the attacking part of the pitch to get on the scoresheet, while at the other end one slip in concentration enabled Pates to win 1-0. Going into the final match against St Edwards the team were set up to go out to win by as many as they could so that a fourth placed finish could be achieved. And so it panned out with probably the best passing display of the day. Dan Ladd ran riot getting on the scoresheet an impressive 5 times, while Benji Grew and Will Byrd also one a piece, finishing the game 7-1. That was the biggest win of the day by any team, and a great way to finish the tournament for STRS.
Special mention goes to Richard Bray (Year 10) who made his debut for the school, Chris Tarling who put in six great defensive performances and the STRS player of the tournament Dan Ladd. Hopefully this gives the squad lots of confidence to take into the remainder of the season.
Squad: R Bray, C Tarling, T Muriftt, E Quinn-Savory, B Smith, C Webster (Capt), D Ladd, W Byrd, A Gaylor, M Lee, O Ganniclifft, E Jones, B Grew, B Andre.