Barrow Hills' Under 13 Boys Hockey Team Earns Place in National Final
Hot on the heels of the success of its Under 11 team reaching the national finals of the IAPS (The Independent Association of Prep Schools) U11 hockey tournament, the Barrow Hills’ Under 13 boys’ hockey team, has qualified to compete in the National Championship finals of the In2Hockey U13 tournament. The ultimate conclusion to the competition will see Barrow Hills – the only school representing Surrey - pitched against the top 10 (independent and state) schools in the country.
The team travelled to Woking Hockey Club last week to compete in the Regional In2Hockey U13 Championship against the top twenty schools from the southern counties.
There were four pools of five and Barrow Hills was drawn in Pool A. The first game of the day was against a very strong Bedes team who had won the Sussex section of the tournament previously. Barrow Hills, wearing their new playing shirts, produced an excellent performance winning 2-0. This proved to be the catalyst for the day’s events and set the tone for an exciting day of hockey. The second game in the pool was against Marylebone. For the first five minutes Barrow Hills was shaken by the size and physicality of the opposing team, however the squad soon settled down and used their attractive passing game and skills to break down Marylebone's defence, resulting in a comfortable 4-0 victory. Next up was a match against Dr Challoner, winners of the Buckinghamshire section of the competition, resulting in another easy 4-0 win. Going into their final pool game against St Andrew’s Prep, Barrow Hills was sitting top of the group. With a change in pitch from a water-based to a sand-based astro the boys had to adapt quickly. After a tentative start the Barrow Hills players soon found their stride with the game finishing 4-1, putting Barrow Hills top of the group and securing a commanding goal difference of plus thirteen.
After lunch Barrow Hills played the runners up of Pool B, Simon Langton in the cup quarter final. After a ferocious first five minutes of hockey from both teams Barrow Hills took the lead, however Simon Langton instantly caught up to level the match. The game finished 1-1 resulting in penalty flicks. After the first round of flicks it was 2-2. Following the second round there was still nothing separating the teams. This led to a third round of sudden death penalty flicks. Barrow Hills held their nerve and with some great maturity and expert goalkeeping they managed to win the round two goals to one, taking them through to the semi-finals.
The semi-final game was against Trinity who had finished first in the London section of the competition. Barrow Hills showed no fear and quickly took possession of the game, 2-0 to Barrow Hills. The team topped off its fine performance by firing another fantastic team goal past the Trinity keeper. Trinity scored a late consolation goal to end the game 3-1, with Barrow Hills through to the final of the competition and earning the team a place in the National Championship finals. With no time to dwell on this significant achievement, Barrow Hills had a game to play against St Lawrence. St Lawrence scored within thirty seconds which immediately took the wind out of Barrow Hills. The team needed a quick response which they found after a few minutes, summing up the fantastic team ethic that had been with them throughout the day. After ten minutes of hockey the score was still locked at 1-1, St Lawrence then took the initiative and scored a very well worked goal to put them 2-1 ahead. This then forced Barrow Hills to commit more men forward to get that elusive equaliser which resulted in St Lawrence catching them on the counter attack in the dying seconds to finish the game 3-1, resulting in Barrow Hills’ only defeat of the day.
Coach Mr Conway said, “I am so proud of the whole squad and in particular their maturity and sportsmanship on and off pitch. The teamwork and passion witnessed throughout the day reflects the phenomenal achievement of this extremely talented group of boys. We now look forward to travelling to Nottingham to compete in the National Championship on the 12th May 2017.”Published: March 30 2017