By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey
On Wednesday the Boys’ 1st XI travelled to Southampton Sports Centre to take part in the Hampshire Hockey U18 Trophy Competition. In their first game the Bedales side got off to a good start, threatening with the pace and power of Loet Brouwer down the right hand side and deservedly went 1-0 up. Unfortunately, they then took their foot off the gas a little which allowed their opponents, HCS, to come back in to the game and earn a draw.
In the second match, Bedales once again took the lead but a freak deflected goal gave Peter Symonds College renewed hope, and as the game was nearing the final whistle, Peter Symonds scored a well worked short corner to take the game 2-1. This game appeared to knock the Bedales side, and in their third game against Ryde, they produced a rather lacklustre performance, deservedly losing 2-0.
The Bedales side used the break between games to revisit how they were trying to play hockey, and focused on more ‘stick to stick’ passing and better decision-making in the final third. This paid dividends, as in their fourth game they produced a hugely improved team performance that included some standout defending from Ollie van Hoeken and Finn Wilkins, which gave the team a platform to attack from. Two excellent individual goals from Jack Cecil and Loet Brouwer saw the Bedales side take the game 2-0.
The final game of the tournament came against a high scoring Barton Peveril side who had already won the competition. It was perhaps a bit of a surprise to the tournament winners that Bedales nearly took the lead, with the industrious Jack Cecil carving out another opportunity for himself. He was unlucky not to score as he calmly lifted the ball over the advancing keeper at the top of the circle only to see his effort roll agonisingly past the post.
As Barton Peveril moved through the gears, they were met with strong resistance from right half Carter Clothier and goalkeeper Anthony White. After a long period of resolute defending from the team, Loet Brouwer was ‘released’ at the other end of the pitch and left the Peveril defenders for dead, but having done the bulk of the hard work – beating three defenders and the keeper – he couldn’t quite add the finish. In the end, though, the Barton Peveril side were too strong and two superb finishes saw them win their final game 2-0.
On the whole, it was an excellent tournament for the Bedales side; the boys who took part were an absolute credit to the school and should be proud of their efforts – however, they may end up ruing some missed chances in the earlier games.