Yesterday the U18s claimed the South Indoor Hockey championship and so qualified for the National Finals in January. Cranleigh’s U18 are also South Regional Outdoor Champions.
The first pool game was against a strong Beaconsfield side playing a very high press extremely well. It was always going to be a tight match and although we took the lead, Beaconsfield levelled. The second half was equally close but we managed to start to break their press down and worked a great short corner in the last minute to secure the winner.
A comfortable 4-0 win over Reeds followed by a good 3-1 win over St George’s left us top of the group and a semi-final against a talented Ardingly side. We had the vast majority of possession but they defended well. A slight change of emphasis at half-time started to yield a few more chances and Izzy Petter finished off two identical moves in the last five minutes of the game to give us a 2-0 win and qualification for the National Finals.
Beaconsfield had edged a 7-goal thriller against Sir William Borlase in the other semi, so it was a rematch against them to determine the champions. We tried a completely new defensive system and also some changes in how we were going to attack them with the result that we created many more chances that resulted in a 3-1 victory.
Reflecting on the final, Richard Organ, Director of Hockey, commented: “Beaconsfield are a really good side and I’m sure they will be in the shake-up at the National Finals, so it was extremely pleasing that we were able to execute some new ways of playing in order to counteract certain systems of play.”