Havant Tournament Report

What a FAB tournament on Sunday……Thank you to everyone that helped out and a massive thank you for all the donations of cakes.

Under 8’s 

Sunday saw Havant under 8s field two strong teams for the Havant mini hockey festival a more experienced A team and a much younger B team, for many of whom it was their first tournament and a useful learning experience. .

In the B team all of the squad of 10 played in several different positions during the morning and it was great to see them all thinking about how to attack and defend. Flora, in her first tournament, grew in confidence throughout the games and it was great to see growing positional awareness and real energy from Maisie. Noah saved several goals by blocking superbly on the line and Finn, who even played for another team for one game, never seemed to run out of energy as he covered every inch of the pitch. Iris got better and better as she tried several positions, including sweeper and Georgie played bravely after coming back from a recent injury. Kate, one of the more experienced members of the team, made life very difficult for many of the opposition as she fought hard to win the ball and Lauren tried again and again to move the team up the pitch with some strong through balls. Rocco, an excellent addition to the team dribbled the ball well and is an excellent prospect for the future. Josh was then voted player of the tournament for his determination in blocking attacking plays again and again and clearing our lines brilliantly. A massive thank you to Chad for running the team.

The A team played some excellent hockey and it was a real pleasure to see how much this group of young players has improved from last season. The team lost one game against the run of play to Petersfield and won games against strong Fareham, City of Portsmouth and Gosport teams. The game of the tournament was an exciting and very quality 2-2 draw with another of City of Portsmouth’s teams. Highlights were the excellent passing and the number of goals scored. Special mention to Millie for her first ever goals, Pippa for more goals to add to her tally for the season, Toby for his excellent passing in midfield and Toby Letchford for brave running with the ball. Beatrix did well playing with much older players and Amy and Sia defended excellently. Players of the tournament were Rebecca, Theo and Millie jointly.

Well done to the whole squad and we look forward to seeing you all again next time. Thank you to everyone who organised the day, especially Sally. The young umpires were the best we’ve had all year and the cakes were delicious!

Under 10’s 

Without exception, the Bs played the best hockey we have seen them play this season, and it showed in the results: over six games the team won 3 and lost 3, but each game very tightly contested. The scores were (with Havant’s score first) 1-2, 1-0, 0-1, 1-2, 2-1, and 2-1.

Our defence was the strongest I’ve seen, centred around Thomas who at times forgot he was in defence and had to charge back from the opposition’s D to protect our goal – which he did with some great running, sometimes picking the ball off the attackers on his way back. Darcy, Martha, and others when substitutions demanded, worked together to ensure we covered our D.

Our mid-fielders ran so much their faces were bright red after every game. The core in mid were Jennifer, Olivia, and Ella, and they covered their ground with strength, speed, and courage, rotating between each other left, centre and right.

And up front we had some great skill with Frankie, Evie, Megan and Esme – some tense tussles with our oppositions’ defenders, and some great goals made the efforts worthwhile.

It is always difficult to pick out individuals, but for me my three players of the match were Frankie, Olivia, and Thomas. All three persisted in their positions, working hard, and making it really difficult for the opposition. They created some nail-biting moments (my heart took ages to slow down) and were awesome.

I would also like to pick out some who I think improved the most through the 6 matches:

· Megan, who immediately out into practice the coach’s instruction to make the slap-passes count (no more feeble taps);
· Martha, who went from a more timid defence to a thoroughly tenacious mid-fielder;
· Jennifer, whose confidence in picking up the ball off attackers and moving it on with strength and speed increased with each game.

But more important, hockey is a team game, and we only ever succeed when we work as a team – and that’s why Sunday was so good. All the players worked together, communicating as they played, and even the subs were shouting encouragement. There were no moans when substitutions were made, even when people were sub’d into a different position to their preferred one (sometimes we simply have to play where the team needs us).

And finally, a massive thanks to the parents – their cheering, shouting, and encouragement really made the difference for the team.

The A team remained unbeaten through all their games, winning five games and drawing one without conceding a goal.
In defence and midfield Wilf, Hannah, Peter Aaron, George and Lucia all defended brilliantly and worked the ball forward quickly to the forwards where Charlie, Holly, Theo and Charlotte passed unselfishly to each other scoring regularly throughout the festival.

An excellent team performance on the day putting into practice the passing and movement off the ball we work on at training every Sunday morning.

Well done team!!!!! 



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