U13s Reach National Finals for the First Time in 20 Years
The Stamford School U13 Hockey Team follows in the footsteps of the 1995/6 team, by reaching the National Finals, after the ‘In2 Hockey Championship’ regional finals on Thursday 5th March.
Drawn in a strong group, Stamford kicked off their pursuit against Ipswich School. Stamford asserted themselves right from the first whistle, with Joey Evison scoring twice in the first half. A perfect short corner saw Evison complete a hat-trick and secure a 3-1 win.
The next group game was against Bishops Stortford. Stamford hit the ground running with Evison lashing two goals in under three minutes. A second half saw pressure on the Stamford goal, but keeper Fergus Cato stood firm with help from skipper Caius Headley, to keep a 2-0 win.
The second half of the day saw Stamford struggling, with a game versus Taverham Hall Prep. Final score: 2-2 with goals from Eddie Harper and Joey Evison. The boys turned it around for the next game, Caius Headley dominating in midfield and deservedly bagging a hat-trick. Well worked goals came from Josh Heyworth, Connor Butterworth and Harry Tidswell to seal a 6-0 win versus Joyce Frankland Academy.
With 10pts from 4 games going into the final group game, a draw was enough to seal a place in the semi-final. Not to settle for just one point, the boys again pressed high and were rewarded with an early goal through Evison. Two further goals saw Stamford top Group A with 13pts from 5 games.
Topping Group B, Stamford moved positively into the semi-finals versus: Gresham’s Prep. Stamford started well, another strong hit from the top of the D saw Evison score his ninth of the tournament. However a powerful Greshams team were rewarded with an equaliser midway through the first half. Stamford pressed harder as a unit in the second half and the backline of Headley and Heyworth stood firm amidst pressure from Greshams. The sound of whistle came with Stamford securing their place in the Final.
Stamford were faced with Ipswich School in the final; a game that offered very few clear-cut chances, it was Stamford that created the first openings with Tidswell and Evison both shooting wide. It was soon after that Evison broke through the centre from a pinpoint ball from Harper, and Evison kept calm to slot home. Ipswich gradually worked their way into the game in the second half. The final two minutes saw Ipswich gain a number of short corners, but with the final score ending at 1-0, Stamford were crowned Champions of the East region.
Stamford School Hockey coach, Mr. Morris said: “This was a fantastic team performance coupled with moments of individual brilliance and the team really deserve this trophy - both in the way they have played today and their dedication to training and the improvement they have made during the term. They should be extremely proud of this achievement.”