Sunday 10th March was a very long day for hockey, with the Girls U10 team playing from 10 am to 1 pm and the Boys U10 team playing from 1 pm to about 3:30 pm! This was the first time we’ve played the specific In2Hockey rules which threw up some new experiences: half pitch games with 4v2 power-plays for penalty corners and 1v1 shots for penalty strokes.
The girls played outstandingly well as a team, each playing their own positions well and demonstrating a great awareness of how they fit into the team as a whole. They started very strong, winning their first two games 1 – 0 (against Aldershot & Farnham in the 1st game and Alton in the 2nd game) with outstanding goals from Emily and Harriet respectively. Lily, Grace T, Grace L and Georgie dominated midfield, driving the ball forward to Emily and Harriet while still having the energy and commitment to pull back and support our defence. Claudia and Tara were a fantastic team in defence, covering each other well and handling the 4v2 power-plays smoothly. The girls made it through to their semi-finals but unfortunately lost to Salisbury. Lily picked up my player of the tournament award for her unflagging energy, constantly chasing the ball down, tackling hard and making sure she was in the right place at the right time to capitalise on any breaks.
The boys also played very well as a team with the right balance of playing their designated positions while staying flexible and adapting to the needs of the game. Max and Jevon defended well, moving the ball out to the wings and protecting the D (Max playing his first festival!). Nick, Ben D, Ben B and Tom put in 110% effort in midfield, challenging hard, positioning themselves well on the pitch and driving the ball forwards. Ed and Harry played well together up-front, moving into space to support each other and create opportunities, with Harry scoring a goal against Aldershot & Farnham in our first match. My player of the tournament award goes to Harry for his enthusiasm and great awareness of position.
All of the players showed that they are making significant improvements in their teamwork and understanding of hockey. Their enthusiasm, energy and enjoyment made the day fly past and provided some very enjoyable matches. Well done to all!