Last Wednesday, the 1st hockey team capped off a strong season with a hard-fought, but deserved, 3-2 victory over Bradfield College to win the England Schools U18 National Plate competition.

Played at England Hockey’s international home at Lee Valley, Abingdon took an early lead when Oli scored from close range, following up on his own deflection after an excellent pass by Reuben.

Bradfield then equalised from a penalty corner only for Abingdon to take the lead again soon after through a thunderous reverse stick shot from Sam, after great work from Oli and captain, Luke who stole the ball in the midfield and set up the well-executed counter attack.

The half-time lead was brought level again as Bradfield converted another penalty corner to make the score 2-2. However, rather than conceding momentum, Abingdon rallied and went up a gear and after a sustained period of pressure, went 3-2 ahead with Matteo smartly converting a sharp chance from a penalty corner rebound.

With the clock ticking and tensions mounting, Abingdon continued to hold firm while Bradfield struggled to find momentum as two consecutive yellow cards reduced them to ten players for all but the last few minutes. Back to full strength, they threw everything at Abingdon, eventually winning a penalty corner right on full time, which Abingdon defended well only for the penalty corner to be re-awarded. With the crowd on the edge of their seats, Zander snuffed out the danger, deflecting the Bradfield shot over the backline and giving Abingdon it’s first ever national hockey title.

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