30 Jan 2023
Walhampton U13A Boys Hockey
Group 1 saw Walhampton drawn against Embly, Port Regis, Sandroyd, Hazel Grove and All Hallows. In our first match we played Embly. Walhampton started strong, scoring two goals in the first half. The team then played solidly in the second half to win comfortably 2 - nil. Next we played Port Regis in a very tight match that finished 1-1. Credit for the scoreline should go to Sam HB and the Walhampton defence. Sam produced a string of outstanding saves and the defence stood firm. After the draw the boys were raring to go and wanted a win. All Hallows had a number of good players but a well taken goal from Ollie Cullum set the tone and the game finished 2-0 to Walhampton. Sandroyd was next. Unfortunately, we were unable to test their goalkeeper and the game finished 0-1 to Sandroyd. Perhaps a bit down after our loss against Sandroyd, Hazlegrove proved to be a tough opponent with three quick goals from their gun player and the game was over before we knew it. Fortunately, other results went in our favour and we made it through to the knockouts knowing that we needed to improve our performance if we wanted to make the IAPS National finals in March.
We played Salisbury in the first round of the knockout stages. For these games we made a tactical change. Instead of playing 3-1-2 we moved to a 3-2-1 formation with Ivo as our fox in the box. The changes worked. The game finished 3-0 Walhampton with goals from Ollie and two from Toby. In the next round we played Hazel Grove (the team who had beaten us 3-0 in the Group stages). Our new formation was working well. Krishna and Felix covered the ground to snuff out Hazel Grove’s attacks. In a tight first half, we thought that Ivo’s goal would see us reach half time ahead only for Hazel Grove to equalise from a short corner on the stroke of half time. In the second half a goal went in from each side and the referee’s whistle told us that the game would be decided on penalty flicks. Hazel Grove won but there was a final chance to go to the Nationals. We had to beat Dumpton in a winner takes all match. Dumpton took an early lead. In a tight match, Alex King was outstanding. Gradually, our attack minded approach saw us equalise and then move into an unstoppable position with goals from Ollie and Ivo making it 3-1 and securing Walhampton’s place in the Nationals! Well done to the whole team and a huge thank you to Miss Messenger and our supporters.