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U12s boys and girls at the Rover Tournament

Thanks for all the players and parents for attending the Rover Tournament this weekend.

This rounds off the hockey season for most of you now.  It has been great fun coaching such an enthusiastic bunch of players and parents and it has been great to see you all develop so much throughout the season. I hope you have all enjoyed it as much as me.   Lisa, I and all the Hawks coaching team look forward to seeing you all in September again……….

A short summary of the Rover Tournament for the records….....

The Girls A and B teams played on a lovely sunny afternoon in the shelter of the Witney ATP on Saturday.  The A’s faced tough competition from Eastcote A, Cheltenham, Cirencester, Aylesbury and Oxford B.  Goals were in short supply in all the games but the girls battled hard. Ellie Millington dashed back from her skiing holiday and had a great game in midfield.  Grace Guthrie-Jones played really well in attack making great runs into space and scoring a super goal in the last game.  Chloe North also had a great game in goal making some excellent saved.  Maddie Garrett, Molly Cooke, Rosie Hunt and Danielle Benger all showed great determination and ever improving hockey skills with Rosie making some great runs down the right wing.  Chloe Scragg showed great control and strong hits which her mother should be proud of!

The B team faced Wallingford, Witney, Oxford A and Oxford C.  Wallingford proved strong as ever but the B’s improved with every game, drawing 0-0 against Witney and then winning 1-0 against Oxford C’s with Maddie Pound scoring from a short corner.  Fraya Griffiths made some great saves in her debut tournament appearance in goal.  Player of the Tournament has to go to Zoya Taylor who was imperious in defence.  Her commitment showed by the end with grazes on both knees.  Great reading of the game, well timed tackling and even dribbling the ball out of the D on several occasions.  Lily Sharp and Pippa Grainge played with enthusiasm in midfield.  Alice Vine worked on her peripheral vision as games progressed to keep track of advancing attackers and Alek Auton did well in attack nearly scoring a great reverse stick goal just kicked away by the keeper. The Auton family provided animated support from the side lines much to their daughters embarrassment and everyone else’s delight!

Neither girl’s side made it through beyond the pool stages but this should not detract from the effort that they put in and the skills they have developed over the season.

The Boys A’s and B’s played on Sunday afternoon.  The sun shone occasionally but there was a biting wind over the Cokethorpe playing fields.  The coach was a bit stretched at times finding it a challenge to umpire and manage both teams at the same time.  Thanks first of all to Mark Stoker who looked after the B’s and Tim Spittles who took on some umpiring duties.

The Rover Tournament attracts strong teams from a wide area and the B team faced Irish Tourists Banbridge A and North London side Eastcote A in their pool games.  I am not going to dwell on the scores….Banbridge were competitive and the damp Irish climate obviously makes them grow quicker as they had some giants amongst them.  Eastcote were well drilled with some skilful players.  Both sides also went on to reach the semi finals……So let’s treat this tournament as experience we can take forward to next season and not be too down heartened.  Harley Weekes had plenty to do in goal and made numerous good saves in every game. The defence were under constant pressure but Tom Murray, Harry Astles-Rollins battled hard getting some good tackling practice. Ollie Webb and Brad Fogden were called back into support defence and both made good contributions.  Ed Wilkinson had a tough job running centre midfield and covered lots of ground with good skills being shown to break forward at times.  Charlie Colebrooke, despite being an attacker came back in support and suffered two nasty knocks to prove his commitment.  Jay Woodford sometimes had a lonely job up front and also came back to help shore up defence. Next season we will develop our skills further and learn from these experiences and I know results will start to come in our favour.

The A Team continued their winning streak and came out winners of the Rover Boys U12’s Tournament.

Equally tough pool games saw them face Cheltenham and Milton Keynes. We played each team twice starting slowly with 1-0 wins against both teams and then a slightly nervy 0-0 against Cheltenham followed by a more emphatic 3-0 against Milton Keynes as we started to get things working, using the width of the pitch, passing accurately and making the most of every opportunity.  In the quarter finals we faced home side Oxford A’s.  A defensive lapse saw Oxford capitalise with an early goal (even Archie concedes occasionally when faced with 3 on 1!) But we re-grouped  and took the game straight back with 4 quick goals.  A great brace from Kiran Patel including a lovely reverse stick effort, a short corner from Ned Gordon and a good passing move resulting in Jake Taylor scoring despite having been moved to left back for that game. In the semi finals we came across Eastcote who we had beaten in the South Regionals.  We took the game to them with Harry Venables persevering to get a scrappy goal mouth finish and Ned Gordon sealing things with another to finish 2-0.  The Finals saw us meet Cheltenham again following their sudden death finish against Banbridge A which no doubt drained them emotionally. Again we took the game to them driving down both wings with well worked balls into the D including some beautifully weighted balls from John Black at left half. Charlie Stoker dominated the defence and ensured the ball hardly got into our D.  The final score 4-0 with two goals from Harry Venables and one each for Ned Gordon and Jake Taylor.  Everyone played well…Archie Spittles dominated his goal; Freddie Sunderland was our utility player adapting to left back, left half and right half when called upon; Kiran, Jake and Ned linking together in every game; John Black and Harry Venables industrious up front seeking out well threaded passes. So the U12 Boys A now continue to the National Finals in the 12th May at Cannock…Played 20/ Won 18/ Drawn 2/ Lost 0/ Goals For 42/ Goals Against 2………….

Under 12 boys A team
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