On a cold but sunny Sunday, we took a club record 31 boys across 4 teams to Guildford for the Surrey cup/plate tournaments this year. Only Surbiton fielded more teams than us!
The three Plate teams played a round robin of 4 matches of 7 a-side hockey each and every team performed well in their group. The goal count was low across the competition; the Pirates qualified for the quarter-finals with 2 wins against Spencer B and Woking B (both 1-0) and 2 goalless draws against Wimbledon C and Dragons B . The B team also qualified for the last 8 with 2 wins (3-1 and 2-0 versus Surbiton D and Cheam A ) and 2 draws (0-0 and 1-1 versus Spencer C and Old Cranleighans A) that meant they won their group . Sadly, the Sharks had two 1-1 draws versus Barnes A and Reigate B and two 1-0 losses versus Surbiton C and TMW (despite dominating that game) and so didn’t qualify. Due to illness and injury we were playing with no subs but energy levels were kept up (despite the cold) and there were a couple of crazy goal-mouth scrambles which should have resulted in more goals for LW. In the Quarterfinals, the B team lost to a strong Old Kingstonians A team 3-1 (who went on to the Final) and the Pirates lost a frustrating game to Surbiton C team 1-0.
Our Cup team were also decimated by illness and injury and all credit to them for having to be flexible in playing in new positions. Of the 5 games played, they had two 1-1 draws against Spencer A and Epsom A, one win (goal by Charlie Threshie) against Reigate A and two losses of 1-0 to Surbiton B (who later made the final) and 3-0 to Wimbledon A, so sadly didnt make the knock-out stages. Given the injuries, finishing 4th in the group of 6 felt like a great result . Man of the match to Max Bavinton for a tremendous work rate playing in a defensive mid position.
All the boys will have learnt a lot from today’s experience that will help them with match preparation in the future . A decent breakfast and sleep beforehand, plenty of water during the tournament and total concentration is key to performing at the higher levels we and they are now aiming for. All of us will have noticed how lapses in concentration or careless passes and lazy tackles were the difference between winning and losing . We will continue to develop the boys’ skills in training but these other factors all come down to attitude which was generally very good today and that’s the key point the coaches would like the boys to come away with from today. With another U12 festival next weekend many of the boys will have the opportunity to build on today’s achievements.
Thanks to all who came to coach, umpire and support and well done to all the boys for their efforts on a very long, cold day —hopefully they all found the experience inspirational as the Year7s now look forward to moving up to U14 hockey next year and the Year 6s get another crack at this tournament in 12 months time.