U14 Boys - Developing Well!
Fighting to the Bitter End
On Friday 5th November, Old Sils combined with Stratford in the first of six tournaments in the U14 EHL Development League. The Old Sils players - Josh Atwal, Kheya Ballentine-Brain, Jonnie Carter, Matthew Hulbert, Fergus Montgomery, Sam Reid and Charlie Russell (captain) - and Stratford players - Daniel Newman, Jamie Smith and Ben Stockhill - represented their respective clubs with distinction. Many were 'playing up' and are eligible to play at U12 level!
In their first match, against Banbury, they started to gel effectively - particularly in the second half - against a well drilled team that had the obvious benefit of playing together on a regular basis. In the second match - which followed straight after this energy-sapping 40 minute match - the combined team fought back from being 4-3 down at half -time to 5-5 with eight minutes to go. Having played flat out for over an hour, they were eventually defeated - but they should be proud of their immense efforts.
All of the boys benefitted from playing at this level - against well drilled, skilful opposition - and (like the team that competed at this level last year) will find that it grows their levels of capability and match-craft going forwards. This group certainly does not lack mental toughness.
Many thanks to all of the parents that made the long journey to Northampton. The time and effort you invest in your boys' hockey pursuits is much appreciated! Particular thanks to Darren Hulbert who brought along the shirts, first aid kit and short-corner masks and Mr Carter who ensured his son was suitably attired to operate (very effectively) in goal!