Oakham’s 1st XI hockey squad reach national U18 finals
Oakham School’s 1st XI boys’ hockey squad have rounded off an extraordinary season that has led them all the way to the England Hockey U18 Schools Cup final, placing them second in the country.
The semi-final and final were both held at the Olympic Park in London on consecutive days – a suitably inspiring location for both the players and the numerous parents, pupils and Old Oakhamians that came to support them.
The semi-final against Dean Close was action-packed from the starting whistle, with Oakham conceding a penalty stroke in the very first minute to go 1-0 down. They fought hard, under a lot of pressure from their opponents, to go into half time 3-2 to Oakham. While they had several chances in the second half, they just could not convert. Meanwhile, Dean Close were piling on the pressure and threw everything at Oakham. The boys defended superbly, however, resulting in a final score of 3-2 to Oakham.
“The boys gave everything and played some excellent hockey during this semi-final match,” said James Bateman, Assistant Director of Hockey. “It was a very even game which could have gone either way, but credit has to go to the Oakham boys, who worked hard and made the most of every single opportunity.”
Oakham then went through to the final against Repton the next day. Oakham got off to a flying start and put Repton under a lot of pressure, resulting in a penalty corner and an early lead. The boys continued to pressurise Repton, and were on top for the majority of the game. However, just before half time Repton moved up a gear, and scored 2 quick goals in succession to take a 2-1 lead. In the second half, Oakham continued to work hard, but Repton turned up the heat even more, to result in a final score of 5-2 to Repton.
“I could not be any more proud of what the 1st XI have achieved this season,” said Director of Hockey Ashley Denman. “This success is the culmination of many years of hard work within the Hockey department, and I am delighted with how it has paid off. It is fantastic to see just how much the players have developed and improved during their time at Oakham. After success at U18, U14 and U11 level this year, this really is an exciting time for Oakham School hockey.”Published: April 27 2016