National Finals Here We Come
The boys arrived early at Colchester ready for a good day of hockey with Coach and Manager, Martin and Larkin in charge. The warm up looked strong with the boys fine tuning their skills ready for the games ahead.
The game against Peterborough got off to a fast start with balls flying left, right and centre, a few good runs from Milky and Rodders but no delivery. We seemed a bit shaky at the back but soon George and Blythy found their stride. We had some short corners but we could not get the ball in the back of the net. But after a few unstable minutes, Rhodri dribbled round a few men and with only one player to beat his shot was stopped by a player‘s leg leading to a well deserved p flick! Will Blyth fashionably slipped it top left giving the Magpies the lead. 1-0 up, the Pies looked stable but struggling to hold possession, a break for Peterborough gave them a short corner, which escaped James’s grasp, levelling the score. The second half contained strong tackles from both sides, and resulted in Tommy G being awarded the first yellow card of the tournament, swiftly followed by Dominic A. A last minute short corner was conceded, and then dispatched leaving the team in low spirits (2-1 loss).
The game against Saffron Walden began with a much more positive attitude. The game flowed well and two straightforward goals were created by Rhodri. The defence got their act together, helping keep the opposition attackers at bay. The rest of the game was well played leading to another three goals, but once again the boys became too relaxed and conceded in the last few minutes. With the full time whistle gone, there was hope in those young boys‘ eyes! (5-1 win).
The game against Old Loughtonians developed into a game of cat and mouse, but it was not long until a quick ball diagonal across the pitch from Will Blyth was stylishly lifted into the net by Rhodri. A great ball from the back (George), was again tapped in by Rhodri, which some may say to be a bit lucky. Old Loughts had a couple of short corners which were cleanly whisked away by keeper James. Goals were then scored by both teams leaving the score 3-3 at half time. From the balcony spectators were hoping the team could keep it together in the second half. In the end hat trick hero Rhodri gave Magpies the 5th goal, the game ending with a narrow win over the rivals leaving us only one more game away from the nationals. (5-4 win).
The last game against Sudbury was waited for with anticipation. The boys knew they needed a win and produced the best indoor hockey of the day beating Sudbury (7-2 win)!
The boys were ecstatic to have come second in the tournament and now look forward to the national finals. Well Done.
Reporter: Andrew Johnson