1 February 2018
Another busy week for Abingdon Hockey Club, with fixtures for the Lower School against New College plus the U12 and U13 County Championships and the Senior School playing Marlborough in a block fixture on Saturday.
The U13A VII put in a great performance against a strong New College side, linking up well down the right hand side to score two well worked goals. With some strong defending and excellent team work they managed to withhold a late surge from New College to win 2-1. The U12 A VII performed to a very high level, working hard for each other both on and off the ball, with some excellent play from all, they won the game comfortably 10-1.
U13 County Cup – WINNERS
We played poorly in the 1st game against New College and to be honest we didn't deserve anything from the game – Barnaby Hindley made a couple of good saves, one outstanding one with his stick, to keep us in contention and then Luke Hooper produced a good finish to nick it at the death completely against the run of play.
Next up were MCS – we started strongly, took the lead with a very composed finish by Ollie Northwood as he lifted it over the advancing keeper. We continued to dominate but unfortunately didn't convert our pressure into the vital 2nd goal. MCS started to create a few opportunities of their own but when they did get through Barnaby made a couple of good saves to deny them. Then with 5 minutes to go they got the equilaiser after we gave the ball away cheaply at the back. Matters got worse shortly afterwards when we gave away a soft short corner which they scored from. The final result was a 2 – 1 defeat but a much better performance as we deserved at least a draw if not better from the game.
Next up was St Hugh's, fresh from their 5 – 3 victory over MCS. The boys knew they had to win to have any hope of progressing and stepped up really well, producing a solid and organised display at the back. Max Siriwardene was outstanding both in his positional play and his distribution and was ably supported by Thomas Wilson and Tom Robson who marked their strikers out of the game to the extent where I don't think they had a single shot on target. Josh Mensah carried well from right back and was a constant threat, whilst the movement and inter-play up front from Luke Hooper, Ollie Northwood, Sam Inskip and Stefano Rajasundaram was excellent, carving numerous opportunities. The result was a comprehensive 3 – 0 win.
That meant it was all to play for going in the final match against Bloxham, with MCS playing New College on the other pitch and all four sides in contention to win the competition.
We started strongly and dominated the game from start to finish. You could see the confidence growing and everyone started to look increasingly comfortable and composed on the ball enabling us to switch the point of attack nicely, even starting to drop the ball back and transfer it from side to side to maintain possession and open up gaps in their defence. The result was another awesome display with some well worked attacks and 4 clinically taken goals.
Abingdon was crowned as champions ahead of MCS courtesy of their far superior goal difference of plus 7.
Abingdon once again fielded 12 teams against a strong opposition this week, with places to play for in the ISHL league, the Abingdon boys were up for what was going to be a fantastic set of fixtures.
The U14 As were at the fortress, Tilsley Park, with a good crowd in cold conditions, the boys showed what they had put into training on the field. The match was a seriously tight encounter which could have gone either way, unfortunately Marlborough came out on top 3-2, however a much improved performance. The U14Bs continued their good form, with an emphatic 2-0 win. The U14Cs had a fantastic match, with many boys playing hockey who have never played before, with great enthusiasm they battled hard throughout. The U13As, played some wonderful hockey and were again locked in a gem of a game, with play going both ways at pace, they were unfortunate to come undone 3-2 in a very close encounter.
The U15As reported their first loss of their campaign, with chances missed and some great goalkeeping, Marlborough hit Abingdon on the break. A steep learning curve for a talented bunch of boys, we look forward to seeing how they respond next week! The U15Bs battled hard to a 1-0 win against a very strong Marlborough side, pure hard work and grit saw them get through a fantastic game of hockey. The U15Cs, performed brilliantly, but just couldn't finish the game off against a good Marlborough side. With lots of work being put in throughout this week, we look forward to them finishing teams off in the future.
The U16As put together a very mature performance, winning 2-0, with some great play all around the pitch and good structure they limited Marlborough to very few chances. The U16Bs are closing in on a top performance, with some direct running and strength within the team, chances are being created, they now need to work hard on their finishing.
The Seniors had three fantastic fixtures. The 1st XI continue their run of good form, in a heated match which was played at a frantic pace, the boys managed to play some of the best hockey they have this term, a very strong performance against a physical Marlborough side, winning 2-1. The 2nds recorded a 0-0 draw, having much of the possession they struggled to break down the Marlborough defence and score. The 3rds lost, however the score line did not reflect the game, with some great play and a huge effort the boys performed brilliantly against a very direct Marlborough side.
Overall another fantastic block fixture, with over 140 boys playing hockey for the school. With Bloxham and the U14 county tournament up this week we look forward to another busy week for the Hockey Club.
U12 County Cup
On Monday the U12s entered their first ever County Tournament, with good recent results the boys started the tournament in great style beating New College 1-0 and Bloxham 3-0. Some play in the Bloxham game is some of the best I have seen from an U12 side, with fantastic work rate, team-work and technical ability, the boys played some scintillating hockey. Unfortunately, the boys went out due to goals scored after being level with MCS on points and goal difference. It really was a fantastic effort from a bunch of very talented individuals, we really look forward to seeing them develop as a group over the next few years at Abingdon.
Again, a huge thank you to all that come out and support each week, please keep yourselves updated with the ISHL leagues through this link.