U16 Hockey success

Posted by NJS - Tuesday 3 April 2018

Hockey at Tommies has grown year on year and there were signs this year that it will strengthen at senior level in the years to come.

Without a facility to train on, and with many boys involved in others sports and activities at school such as Rugby, it can be hard to get used to playing in a structured way, finding the correct balance between attack and defence. However our Under 16 team this year proved that with intelligent boys and a bit of individual skill brings relative success.

Without the opportunity to have regular fixtures due to the involvement of many in the U18 squad, the U16 team entered the county cup as a way of competing against those geographically close to us. This was a great experience and we managed to finish in second place behind Dean Close school (who have 3 U16 English Internationals on their roll). In fact for over half the game against the Cheltenham based school we gave as good as we got and certainly gave them an early scare in the competition.

Having finished second we travelled to the South West preliminaries and faced two top Independent boarding schools. A narrow defeat against the hosts Prior Park and then an antagonising draw against Marlborough college, where we had plenty of opportunity to win it, resulted in us finishing joint second. Marlborough amazingly lost by the same score line to Prior Park as we did which forced us into a penalty shoot out. Unfortunately it didn’t go our way and we went home disappointed.

On reflection, it was an outstanding achievement to even compete at this stage. Both Prior Park and Marlborough couldn’t believe that we hadn’t trained and only came together for the tournament. I think that speaks volumes of the boys involved and their attitude and ability to influence the game. It was also nice to find out that the only teams that we lost to on our run ended up qualifying from the whole of the South West as the representatives in the final 8 in England.

Some excellent performances from Harry Elliot, Will Storey, Thaddeus Helsel, Owen Harrison and captain Matthew Luxton stood out along the way.

Garde ta foy