This year's In2Hockey tournament saw the return of many of the team from last year; a year stronger, more skilful, and more prepared mean that things took a positive start from the off. We won all three of our pool games - Yateley, Gosport and Haslemere. Sam Putt up front brought speed and the hunger for goals. Felix Jellard was fighting some cracking battles in the centre to feed through, with Douglas Taylor and George Cansdale keeping the flanks occupied - and the latter slotting home a cool Penalty Stroke! Oscar Thompson, 5 weeks into his new found passion between the posts, made some amazing saves and began to get the hang of bossing the defence around. The alternating duo of Edward Plank and James Harris-Mallett kept the circle pretty much unimpeded (less one lucky breakaway) with Edward Whitehouse sweeping all-comers away from in front, and really developing as a 'pivot' at the back. Our confidence was up as we eased through to the Quarter Finals.
New Forest were next, and were swiftly dispatched 3-0 to move up to the semi-finals in style; even the parents were getting swept away with it all by now, and belief was running high.
Sadly, Trojans were the foe in the Semis - and were just too good on the day. The boys found it hard to be playing from behind against a bigger and faster team (someone get the stewards to check those passports...!) and managed the disappointment of a loss so near to the end bravely.
A draw against Petersfield took us to the Penalty Spot - and Oscar's courage was tested after a shaking in the semi finals. George and Edward W stepped up to the challenge and slotted their strokes home. A miss and a stunning save took us to the third place spot in a truly well-deserved achievement, in which our only defeat of the day came to the final victors. Some cracking promise for the U12s next year - thanks to all the boys, and to their families for their support.