Boys U10’s – England Hockey Cup
Slazengers under-tens are through to the North of England Finals of the England Hockey Cup after an impressive performance in the penultimate stage of the competition at Weetwood in Leeds. Ben Rhydding also progressed as one of the top two sides in the tournament and it was they who claimed the honours on the day after winning a tense penalty showdown to decide the top team.
Slazengers won all three of their round-robin matches in Pool A, scoring eight goals while conceding only one. They opened with their best result, a 4-0 win against York courtesy of goals by Tommy Randle (2), Luke Swallow and Will Gascoigne.
Next came a 1-0 victory over Wakefield, who frustrated Slazengers until Frazer Cass turned in a Gascoigne shot at a short corner with what proved to be the last hit of the game. It was much more straightforward in the last pool match as Randle, Alex Stacey and James Sanderson scored before opponents Sheffield claimed a last gasp-consolation.
The semi-final against Pool B runners-up Brigg did not start well for Slazengers as they conceded an early goal and it was not until the closing stages that they turned things around. Gascoigne followed up a block by the Brigg keeper to equalise and then claimed a last-hit winner with a long-range reverse-stick shot.
Ben Rhydding were Slazengers’ opponents in the final – as they have been in the majority of previous competitions this season – and an early short-corner goal left Slaz on the back foot. But they hit back to enjoy the better of the remainder of the match and it finished 1-1 thanks to Stacey as he dummied the Rhydding keeper to equalise.
The outcome was therefore decided on a penalty shot-out and, after Ben Rhydding missed the first of their three, Slazengers had a chance to win but had their final attempt well saved. Sudden death then saw Rhydding score twice more before their keeper saved again to seal the victory which will earn them a better seeding in the finals.