U18 Boys National Indoor Results

Harleston travelled down to Kidderminster to take part in the under 18 boys indoor National Tournament. The boys had been drawn in a tough group with Millfield School, Sevenoaks Hockey Club, Sheffield and Wolverhampton.

The boys first game saw them face tough opposition from Millfield School. Harleston started slowly with a few nerves showing and soon found themselves two goals down. Despite this set back Harleston rallied and manager to pull a goal back from Chris Barber before Will Harrison slotted home at a short corner. With the scores level at half time it was all to play for in the second half, Harleston this time coming out the strongest of the two sides and managed to take the lead through Mike Warlow after a great ball from Will Harrison which was dummied by Carl Sitch leaving Mike in space to slot home. This goal made Millfield step their games up and they started to apply more pressure on Harleston, they eventually equalised after sloppy play from Harleston gifted the opposition a goal. Things could have got a lot worse for Harleston as Millfield pressed but a superb double save from Julian Waelzholz ensured Harleston hung on for a point.

Harleston’s second game of the day saw them face a fresh Sheffield side yet to play a game. Harleston started better this game but soon took their foot off the gas before finding an opener through Chris Barber. With the first goal Harleston could relax and start playing their general flowing hockey. Harleston increased their lead through James Wheeler slotting home before half time. The second half saw a more even affair, Fred Merrett pushing forward well from defence creating problems for the Sheffield defence, Harleston soon sealed victory when Chris Barber helped himself to another goal. Despite a barrage of short corners resloute defending from Harleston saw them keep a clean sheet.

After an excellent days work Harleston sat top of the group on goal difference having to play the team second early Saturday morning. The only set back of the day was an arm injury to Mike Warlow which required a hospital visit which would rule him out of the important match.

Harleston faced Sevenoaks and again in customary fashion started the slower of the two teams and found them selves again two goals down at the break. Despite this the team rallied and managed to pull them selves level just after half time following goals form James Wheeler and Chris Barber. Harleston then took the lead through Carl Sitch after an excellent passing move. As the game became more open Harleston hit the post with the scores at 3-2, a pivotal moment in the game as Sevenoaks responded with a goal of their own. With time running out both teams went in search of the important winning goal. Harleston conceded a short corner in the dying seconds of the game and with the ball goal bound Will Johnson shouldered the ball off the line to deny a certain goal and keep Harleston in the game despite conceding a flick. The flick was dispatched by Sevenoaks and with no time to restart the game Harleston suffered their first defeat.

The last game saw Harleston play Wolverhampton, with second place up for grabs in the group goal difference was important at this stage of the tournament. Harleston started better knowing only a win would do. The team soon took the lead when Richard Larkin wriggled through the Wolverhampton defence to slot home. Harleston then doubled their lead as Mike Warlow back from injury came on and scored. Harleston were then dealt a blow as Wolverhampton scored, this made the team determined to score more goals but despite all the hard work they could only manage to convert one more time. The final score 3-1.

Harleston now had to wait and hope that Millfield would slip up or not score enough goals to guarantee Harleston’s passage to the semi finals. Millfield were in dominant form though and Harleston missed out on goal difference finishing third in their group. The squad would like to thank all of the parents who travelled down to support us at the tournament.

Squad – Julian Waelzholz, Will Harrison, Will Johnson, Fred Merrett, Carl Sitch, Mike Warlow, Chris Barber, James Wheeler, Richard Larkin