6 February 2018
Boys' Hockey - 1st VII v Essex Championship at Redbridge
Wow what an exciting day! Our first match against Felsted went better than anticipated with a very defensive formation managing really well to keep them from scoring for most of the 12 minutes. Unfortunately their six foot centre half managed to score twice towards the end. Next against Chigwell (who had just beaten Felsted 1-0) we again adopted our strategic play but a rogue forward run from Charlie A surprised us all with a well slotted goal. With some super human defending we then managed to hold them off and come out on top. Finally we had a game to relax a little in and enjoy. Against Forest B Hamish managed two excellent goals and Cedd one. Our final group game against Newhall was a little disappointing with James N taking the lead early on and then Newhall scoring in the last few seconds.
This meant that our progression into the semi finals was still dubious. We equalled Chigwell's 7 points, had the same 2 goal goal difference but on goals scored we had one goal more! This was it , we were now to face the Section B winners Bancroft School. Feeling slightly the under dogs we were pleasantly surprised, if not stunned to see Oscar D's shot go in and us take the lead. We held on until right at the end when they managed to score. After consulting with the umpires it was revealed that we would have to have a 3 striker penalty stroke competition to decide who would make the finals.
Three brave boys put their hands up straight away and so into battle we went. Bancroft won the toss to go first. AJ stood quivering in the goal - and saved it! Charlie A strode confidently to the spot and scored. AJ saved another one! Daniel R-P missed by a fraction and Bancroft scored their next one. It was 1-1 and all down to Hamish who nonchalantly placed it between the keepers legs - we were in the final!
Having already realised that we had qualified to represent Essex at the East of England Finals we were quite relaxed in the final game against Felsted (again!) and those who had selflessly been substituted in other games were given more playing time. We lost 2-0 again but the smiles never left our faces.
What a wonderful day of superb team work from a group of boys who are really beginning to gel on the pitch. I was so pleased that 5 different players were able to score goals and AJ was an absolute hero in goal. From singing in the bus, through shivering on the sidelines, to collecting our silver medals, these boys were a credit to themselves and the school.