Slazenger Boys U10’s Tournament report
On an auspiciously clear sunday morning, Slazenger boys competed in Leeds at the U10’s Yorkshire round (Round 2) of the England Hockey U10’s competition. They finished 2nd place out of the top 6 teams in Yorkshire, earning them a place in the next round against the best the north of England has to offer. This is how they got on:
Slazenger (0) vs. (5) Harrogate
Slazenger’s first game was against tournament veterans; a well drilled and organised Harrogate team. Fielding a squad of full age players, the odds were stacked against Slaz who had a host of younger players. Harrogate controlled the play well and unfortunately Slaz were caught napping a couple of times. Keeper Niran Tejura pulled off a series of saves, however an impressive finish from the oppositions centre forward edged them ahead, and they didnt look back from then on. Slaz fought on, some impressive defensive work from Josh Green and the team, and hard work from midfield Will Gascoigne showed promise of what was to come. Unfortunately the greater age and experience were enough to show through.
Slazenger (1) vs. (0) Chapeltown
In the second game, slaz began to show what they were capable of. Gascoigne contined to make his presence known in midfield. Lucas Smith and Alex Stacey made some solid attacking effort from their wing positions, and man of the match Charlie Blande continued a strong run of form pressing the oppositions defence, keeping the ball hemmed in. The game was closely run, but an impressive team attack, combined with some flowing, passing hockey delivered the ball into the “D”, where Will Gascoigne thumped it into the net, for a resounding lead. The team held their nerve, defending well and denying Chapeltown the chance to score. As the time ticked out, Slaz put their first win on the board.
Semi final – Slazenger (2) vs. (0) Sheffield
With a win and loss, Slaz went through to the semi-final against Sheffield. With a victory on the board, their moods were lifted and the team continued to get into the swing with their most impressive performance so far. In and end to end game, both teams were looking to grapple control of the game; Slaz attacking and Sheffield trying to find gaps in the defence. Goalkeeper Niran Tejura made some impressive saves early on, steadying the teams nerves. The team pressed on, consolidating and taking control of the game.
Alex Stacey put the side ahead with an impressive solo run, rounding 2 opposition players and blasting the ball into the net. Solid work from Will Gascoigne and Charlie Blande in midfield maintained the pressure, with both players going close in quick succession. It was this pressure which secured the game; a deft interception, delivered the ball through to James Ambler scored the second, slotting the ball away under the keepers pads, giving Slaz the decisive victory.
Final – Slazenger (0) vs. (2) Harrogate
The final saw Slaz take on their first opposition – Harrogate for the second time. The team took to the field knowing they were already through to the next round, but looking for a final victory. Unfortunately the fairytale David vs. Goliath result wasnt to be. However the team aquited themselves admirably.
Slaz started well, fought hard and made some good progress against the oppositon. Impressive defence from Frazer Cass, Callum Carey and Josh Green made hard work for Harrogate, with Niran Tejura wowing the crowd with several great saves (the supporters were equal parts impressed and frustrated). The team continued their defiance, with several breakaway attacks putting the pressure on Harrogate. James Ambler, Lucas Smith and Charlie Bland all going close. However, Harrogate edged ahead in the closing minutes of the game and secured it minutes later.
The team did themselves proud, and continued to play on, even with the odds against them.