The 38th Anniversary Mercian Home Counties Colts Hockey League Finals Day was held at Surbiton Hockey Club on a sunny (can spring actually be coming?) May 1st. Guildford U14 were in a final four semi final v Sevenoaks, while Surbiton played Spencer in the other matchup. We fielded a sizeable 16 man squad which was helpful as all players saw action across two fast paced, tough games...
The first match against Sevenoaks saw us dominate from the off. Strong transfer play, good movement off the ball, finding simple passes - just about everything Coaches Relphy and Sampson have been drilling all year came to pass. After controlling play, we had three short corners in swift succession, Harry, Mark and Oscar all moving the ball well in and around the D. A good strike from Fergie on the right brought us a deserved 1-0 lead. Our fourth short corner saw Toby hammer one, the power forcing the ball practically through their keeper and Joel tucked the ball into an open goal. 2-0 at half time.
The second half saw more balance to the play, but we kept our shape well, and after two good saves from Connor, Ben T drove down the right wing and created another short. Charlie struck it well and Johnny was well positioned for a tip in and 3-0. Our defence - led by Toby and Jake, plus Ben T, Ben F, Jasper and Johnny - all provided great protection around Connor, and moved the ball quickly out of danger. Kudos to Joel for two great line clearances at the death, even if the second just glanced off his foot creating a penalty flick that Sevenoaks converted. But that still left time for a final short corner that Charlie blasted home for 4-1.
Our final match of the season was for the Mercian Cup against the auld enemy. We played a far stronger game than three weeks ago; we defended exceptionally well, giving up nothing from 5 Surbiton short corners with Connor producing several exceptional saves. We found ourselves pressed high up the pitch by the oppo, which gave us less time on the ball and forced a number of turnovers. A little bit unlucky, they scored a strange goal from a bouncing ball early on, and then a long strike from near the 25 took a deflection and we found ourselves 2-0 down. We had a good chance through clever passing from Charlie to Mark to Will who blazed one over the bar. The second half saw a lot of midfield exchanges before a long corner saw vintage Will S stick work create an opening for a strike that got us to 2-1. We pressed more, and gave as good as we got for most of the second half before a late strike deflected in low from the left gave them a 3-1 win. Well played boys. A strong finish... let's smash them next year!
Journo - Pete Wilson (Toronto Post)
Well done Ben T for being awarded man of the Match in the final and Connor for a mention in the awards. Thanks to Mercian and Amanda/Jeremy for running a great event.
Squad - Connor (GK), Ben T, Jonny, Jake, Will, Ben F, Marc, Harry, Joel, Ben B, Fergie, Oscar, Jasper, Charlie V, Toby, Lucas
Coaches - James & Martin
Manager - Zoe T