Cracking Hockey in the Sun
Two fantastically close matches, with 1 Draw and 1 (very close) Defeat
Sunday 16th October saw the Sils host Bromsgrove and Cov & NW in the U14 Development Leagues at Solihull School, with both the visiting teams playing in the competition for the first time.
However, Sils have played Cov in the badgers recently, and hence know that they have a very strong U14 team, and this was their first opponent.
Coventry started the stronger of the two teams, and John Abram was in fine form in goal, supported by Matthew Bell and Ed Stanhope in defence to keep the two star Cov players at bay. Somewhat against the run of play, Sils took the lead, with guest player (but Solihull School lad) Sam Cossey scoring a reverse stick strike from an almost impossible angle on the left. Sils continued to defend resolutely, and it took a moment of individual brilliance by Ollie Pemble (the Cov Captain) to beat 3 players and flick the ball home from close range, right on the blow of half-time to even the scores.
Pemble got on the score sheet again shortly into the second half with a fierce reverse stick shot into the roof the net, giving Abram no chance, but not to be outdone, Sils responded, and a through ball from Maxim Edger found Daniel Bridges, who calmly slotted home. With minutes ticking down, it looked like the solid Sils defence would hold out under the threat posed by Pemble and Cov's other star, Marcus Tombs, but with just 2 minutes to go, Tombs powered into the D on the right, and his exocet of a shot smashed home into the bottom corner.
A bitter pill to swallow, but probably a fair final score, 3-2 to Cov, based on the balance of play.
Sils then had a break, where Cov fought out a similarly close game with Bromsgrove, with the lead passing one way and then the other to finally finish with Bromsgrove winning 5-4, as Cov tired in the last few minutes having played consecutive matches.
The final game saw Sils play Bromsgrove, looking to make the most of their fresher legs. This seemed to pay dividends with Abram again making some important saves before Daniel Bridges opened the scoring for Sils after some good work by Cossey. Bromsgrove equalised with a straight strike from a PC and then scored a second after a fine save from Abram was cleverly diverted home by Bromsgrove's nimble forward. However, just before half-time Sils equalised, this time Edger smashing into the bottom corner off his reverse.
Sils came out strongly in the second half, taking a 4-2 lead, with Cossey scoring a fine second and Edger his second. However, with Stanhope having to leave early to head off to JDC, the slightly make shift re-arranged defence came under real pressure from Bromsgrove and they pushed forward. They scored a second PC with a straight strike (note to defenders, if you are the "left post" player, you need to stay inside the post, not step outside it) and as the Sils continued to turn the ball over and not track their runners it was only a matter of time before Bromsgrove scored their equaliser.
Both teams had good chances to win it, but with both keepers in fine form, the game ended 4-4.
A cracking morning of hockey by all involved - something that the parents watching all remarked upon. A thoroughly enjoyable morning all round for everyone.