SGC Hockey enjoys unprecedented success

(Under 16 South Indoor Champions 2017)

Hockey at St George's College has truly flourished over the past term, with both indoor and outdoor hockey teams enjoying unprecedented success.

Indoor Hockey 2017/18

Head of Boys' Hockey at the College, Mr Hughes, has written a report on the indoor success.

"There are strong arguments to suggest that this term of indoor hockey has been the most successful in the school’s history… and it’s not even finished yet!

Regardless, one can definitely say that the future of indoor hockey at the College is bright and in very safe hands as we move closer to getting our new activity centre.

Under 16 Boys

The Under 16 boys' team topped their south preliminary group down at Portsmouth Grammar School, after drawing 1-1 with Portsmouth and Hurstpierpoint, beating Ardingly 3-2 and beating Lingfield 1-0. In their south pools, Mr Field took the team to Magdalene College School in Oxford, where once again they topped their pool with dominant displays and 3-1, 3-0 and 4-2 victories against Wellington, Eltham College and MCS. The South Finals proved a tougher test as they started off with a 3-3 draw against St Lawrence, lost 5-3 to King Edward School before beating local rivals Cranleigh 1-0. Sadly, this meant they finished 3rd in their group and narrowly missed out on making the semi final. Huge congratulations must go out to all the boys though, especially Josh Grigg, James Furness, Ollie Eatock and Isaac Rodrigues-Mendes.

Under 18 Boys

The Under 18 team also topped their south preliminary pool by beating John Hampden 4-2, Bradfield 3-0 and RGS High Wickham 3-0. This set up a mouth-watering South Pool of KCS, PGS, MCS and ourselves. Elliot Sanderson, Harry Wells and Matt Dowthwaite were in suitable dominant form as they drew 2-2, won 3-2 and a 6-1 win against MCS meant they topped the group. As they headed to the south finals, news came in that it would be a pool of 3 as the snow had put pay to JHGS’ journey.

Although the boys played superbly throughout, they were beaten by 2 clinical sides and went down 5-0 and 5-1 to strong Borlaise and St Lawrence sides. With 90% of the boys in Lower Sixth, the future bodes well for the next 2 years of Under 18 indoor hockey. On the day, special mention must go to Goalkeeper Lyle Reynolds who made some unbelievable saves, as time and time again he came off his line to smother the opposition's attacks.

Under 14 Boys

This super talented Under 14 group came back from an outdoor tour to Holland and were raring to see what they could learn and achieve on the indoor court. A 9-0 win against local rivals Kingston Grammar School started the season off in fine fettle, before 7-5 and 3-0 wins over Trinity and Eltham College meant the boys had some great prep before the Under 14 South Divisional tournament. The tournament is split between Trinity and Whitgift before the 2 semi finals and final is played at Whitgift.

The boys started off with great 3-0 and 3-0 wins against Borlaise and Reeds, before being taught a stern lesson by a strong Trinity side. After drawing 1-1 against Eltham College, the Under 14s had finally qualified for the semi finals at the 5th time of asking.

Although the game could have gone either way, a tremendous solo run by Whitgift meant the game finished 1-0 and Whitgift progressed to the final.

For the Under 14s, this was bitter sweet, with Colwell and Burnley injured the day before the tournament. Nevertheless, with 7 out of the 10 players at Under 13 level, 2018 should be another strong season for this group. Dylan Parry calmly marshalled the troops from right back, with Sam Bodoano adding the flair in midfield and James Cake tackling everything that moved at left back.

Under 18 Girls

Not wanting to be outdone and desperate to gain on the momentum of their National semi final appearance in January, Mr Shingles took his Under 18 girls to King Edward School for their south preliminary. After drawing with KES 2-2, the girls showed huge improvement as they dispatched a tired PGS side 4-0. The tension grew in the south pools and they lost their 1st game to a well drilled Borlaise side 2-1. A 4-0 win against Latymer meant they would need to beat Peter Symonds to qualify for the South Finals. At 2-2, the stage was set for Sasha Reed to set off on yet another mazy run and score the match winning goal.

As the snow fell, the girls headed to Trinity for the south finals. A 4-1 win against Reed's in the first game was followed by 4-1 and 4-2 losses to eventual finalists Beaconsfield and Cranleigh.

This is the first time indoor hockey had been taken seriously with this age group for several years and a massive congratulations must go out to everyone who took part. Captain Ellie Shahbo can be proud of the way the girls took on new ideas and adopted the true SGC Hockey indoor style.

Under 16 Girls 

This time last year, the Under 16 girls' team headed to Hurstpierpoint after a tough loss on penalties in the national knockout to eventual winners Wellington.

What a difference a year makes!

They started their indoor season off with a battling 2-2 draw against a very talented Beaconsfield Under 18 side. Further preparation was undertaken after losing a great game (4-3) against another Under 18 side, Ardingly. 12-0 and 3-0 wins against CLFS and St Theresa’s meant they topped their south pools and headed to the south finals.

The emotion of 12 months ago took over as the Under 16s were drawn against National Champions and arch rivals Wellington in their pool. A 2-0 loss against them in the first group match meant only 3 wins from 3 would result in the group heading back to the National finals. With Ella Burnley on fine form, the girls promptly won their final two pool matches 6-0 and 6-0. A win over KES would mean they were going to the National Finals… and then the fireworks started!! I doubt I will ever see such a fine individual and team performance as I did in the classification stages of this event.

Issy Carey scored 5 goals in the semi final as the side romped to a 6-2 win against KES.

With National Qualification assured the question remained, could they beat Wellington in the final and gain their first ever South Under 16 Indoor title?

A change in tactics thwarted the Wellington threats and with calmness and clinical cohesion, the girls kept scoring at the other end. Issy Carey scored all 4 in a 4-0 win which took her tally to over 20 for the day!

As the clock ticked down, the girls had finally done it and celebrated an amazing South Final victory.

Although every cog in the machine is equally as important as the next, a special mention must go out to all of the players that competed so intelligently in the final. Ella Burnley, Tessa Shahbo, Ella Chattock, Emily Powdrell, Ella Macdonnell, Rosie Martieau and Issy Carey, we salute you!

Onto the National Finals on the 12 and 13 January, where the girls will aim to make history and win their first ever Under 16 National title.  

(All 7 sides that reached the South Finals this term)

Outdoor Hockey

Not only did students at St George's have huge success in the indoor hockey competitions, but they also had great success in the outdoor tournaments too.

Under 14 Girls

The Under 14 team went into the South Pools group stage with a lot of confidence and positivity, which was reflected in their results.

They started off the Pools' matches with a dominant performance to win 5-0 against Notting Hill & Dulwich, before drawing 1-1 against Eastbourne and then finishing with a 3-0 victory over Headington. These results meant that the girls comfortably topped the group stages and progressed to the quarter finals.

In the quarter finals they came up against St Edward's School Oxford, where once again the girls performed brilliantly as a team to chase down every loose ball, hurry their opponents and attack in numbers. In the end they won 5-0 and progressed to the South Finals.

Under 16 Girls

Again the Under 16 girls' squad proved to be the team to beat in the Pools stage, topping the group with two 6-0 wins against Eastbourne and KES, and a 3-0 victory over KGS.

In the quarter finals, the girls came up against Wycombe, but St George's put in an unbelievable performance to win 14-2, with Issy Carey in unstoppable form, as they progressed to the South Finals! The future looks very bright indeed for this group.

15 December 2017

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