The U16 Boys team qualified for the playoffs with two wins on Sunday.
Slazenger 6 – 0 Bridlington
In Slazenger’s first game of the day against Bridlington, a hatrick from Aidan Hopkinson and goals from Robert Cann, Peter Gunning and Luke Gueli (Pen) ensured a positive start. The team moved the ball around well, though sometimes tried to find the long ‘killer pass’ when short safe passes would have been a better option.
Slazenger 2 – 0 Sheffield
Against Sheffield, the team took time to settle with Luke Gueli finding the net for the second time of the day. Although the teams were more evenly matched than the first game, Sheffield rarely looked like scoring except for the occasional breakaway. The midfield passed the ball much better and we found space on both wings but the game was not made safe until the 24th minute when Isaac Fisher converted a short corner.
Slazenger 0 – 4 Ben Rhydding
The final game of the day was a clash with a very large Ben Rhydding squad. In the first few minutes, Slazenger looked unsure of their capability and consequently found themselves 2 goal down within 8 minutes. However, as the game went on, the team settled and began to string together passes again, causing the Ben Rhydding defence more problems than they had faced all day. Although we conceded two more goals, both from short corners, there was much to be positive about. In fact the game ended with a final whistle being blown as a shot from Isaac Fisher was travelling towards the top corner of the Ben Rhydding net.
With Ben Rhydding beating both Bridlington (7 – 0) and Sheffield (5 – 0) and Sheffield just edging out Bridlington (1 – 0) in a very close contest, Slazenger finished second in the middle league so qualify for the playoffs as the eighth team.
With Ralph Toon away and Bridlington arriving without a keeper, both Dan Alderson and Dan Cass got their first taste of U16 hockey. Despite conceding a few goals both performed well and will have gain a lot from the experience.
Man of the tournament was James Higgins for his solid defensive work and constant encouragement to his team mates.