The U18 girls have had a very good run indoors over the last few years, regularly reaching regional finals. With the game being so fast and end to end it has improved the basic skills of all our players immensely. This year, the girls qualified top in the regional qualifications, hosted at Hurst, to go through to the regional pools. The regional pools competition was held at St George’s Weybridge, where our girls took on the hosts, James Allen’s Girls’ and Reading Blue Coat. In a really close game against St George’s our girls were ahead for the majority of the game, but three very well-worked short corners gave St George’s a 3-1 win. Next up was Reading, and a 5-1 win for our girls put them in a good position to qualify for the next round if they could beat James Allen’s Girls’. Sadly, the game did not go our way and a goal from the opposition left us just short. However, the girls improved hugely during the course of the tournament.
Our U16 team played some superb hockey in the preliminary round at Portsmouth to progress as the top seeds from the pool, defeating Portsmouth Grammar and Ardingly convincingly. Sadly, the girls did not progress from the next stage of qualification to make it through to the finals after a last gasp defeat in their final game, having beaten Claires Court School and lost to Cranleigh heading into that final fixture. Considering that the squad of 11 had no fewer than seven Remove girls, the future looks particularly bright for this group, as the structure they are playing with is fantastic. This was a wonderful development opportunity, which was seized by all the girls.
The U18 boys also travelled to Portsmouth for the regional round, taking on Ardingly in their first match. Ardingly were dispatched 4-3 with Alex S scoring a couple of great goals and Dan C showing his penalty corner skills. With Ardingly losing their first game this result meant that we qualified for the semi-finals with a game to spare. Next up was a very good Peter Symonds side who were matched by the skills and pace of our boys until in the last few minutes when the Hampshire side pulled away. In the semi-final the boys faced St John’s in what was to be a great game, however it was to be St John’s day as they converted an opportunity and our boys were unable to do the same. Overall Hurst equipped themselves well and will look forward to the outdoor season.
Hurst hosted the regional round of the U16 boys’ tournament. Our boys had trained hard for the indoor season in what was a new variation of the game for most. First up was Portsmouth Grammar who cruelly scored the winning goal with just a minute to spare, but the performance showed how much the boys had learned. Unfortunately, a similar result and ending also occured in the next pool game against Ardingly, but again the performance was impressive. The final game was against St George’s, who were the stand out side of the competition, and when they scored three early goals it knocked our teams’ confidence a little. Although the U16s did not to progress to the next round they equipped themselves well and will also look forward to the outdoor season.