Semi Final Penalty Success
By Andre Tchakhotine
Sils beat a determined Norwich on penalties to reach the England Hockey Mixed Plate final.
The Old Sils mixed XI travelled to Sheffield this weekend to compete in the National Mixed finals weekend. As all three of the other teams had been there before the Sils knew it would be a tough ask. The semi-final found the Sils drawn against Norwich City in what can only be described as monsoon conditions.
The Sils started the match flying out of the blocks and inside the first five minutes Kat Berns had capitalised on a loose ball in the ‘D’ to fire the Sils into the lead. The Sils pushed on from there looking for more goals and came very close firstly through Tom Mallett and then Samantha Copper both narrowly missing. Norwich seemed to have no answer and when Dan Sulway found Mallet in the circle his composure shone through and he found Holly Percival on the back post for a tap in doubling the Sils lead. The Sils continued to apply pressure and dominate the first half with both Jamie Glynn and Jamie Clapham coming close to adding to the Sils tally. Unfortunately just before the break Norwich managed to pull one back with a breakaway goal which man of the match Patrick O’Malley could do nothing about.
The second half started very poorly for the Sils and in the first couple of minutes Norwich had equalised through a well worked penalty corner. The game then became very end-to-end with both sides looking for a winner. Emma Rosser’s marauding right back play creating chances for the Sils whilst Becky Bakewell was a rock in the heart of the Sils defence preventing Norwich from scoring. It looked like the game would go to a penalty shootout, but this almost wasn’t the case as Patrick O’Malley made a last ditch save with 4 seconds left on the clock to keep the Sils in the tournament. The match was going to flicks!
The Sils started well with Jamie Glynn, Dan Sulway and Tom Mallett all scoring, whilst O’Malley continued his heroics in goal saving two of Norwich’s three, the Sils only had to score one of their last two to progress. Unfortunately they couldn’t manage this and it went to sudden death. Glynn, Sulway and Mallett all scored again putting the pressure onto Norwich who missed the last flick meaning Sils progressed to the final for the first time in their history.