Slazengers’ under-ten boys A team made a great start to the season by finishing the opening Yorkshire Youth Hockey League tournament with an unbeaten record. Half the squad were playing in Division D last season, so the step up to Division A was a big one – but they took it in their stride to win three and draw two of their matches at the Weetwood venue in Leeds.
A goal by Alex Stacey was enough to seal a 1-0 victory against Leeds in the first game, before Will Gascoigne’s strike earned a similar outcome against Harrogate. Keeper Aidan Coughtrey was untroubled in both these matches as Slazengers dominated and although a strong Ben Rhydding side then gave them a little more trouble, a 0-0 draw was a fair reflection of the play.
Slazengers’ best result came next as they beat York 3-0, with Luke Minchella adding to a double by speedy winger Stacey. And although Sheffield took a 2-0 lead in the final game as Slazengers gave every player equal time on the pitch, Stacey and Gascoigne returned to pull their side level.
A special mention must go to new recruit Matthew Royston, after he only picked up a hockey stick for the first time three weeks earlier, as the points earned by Slazengers proved plenty to keep them in the top division for the next tournament.
The remaining members of the successful squad were Tommy Randle, Fraser Cass and Charlie Bland.