Annual 11-a-side in-school tournament 2015
This was our fourth year of playing – a celebration of the opening of the Astro in 2011 – with the Alumni winners in 2012 and then the Staff in 2013 and 2014. This year the staff, bruised and battered from a very busy final few weeks of term, joined forces with the pupils to be ‘the School’. It was once again played in brilliant sunshine and cold, crisp, conditions with a partisan crowd enjoying the ‘dives’, jinks and silky skills. (Two teams even tried to get away with 12 players on the pitch – shocking!)
Mixed hockey was at its finest throughout the morning. Two teams had outstanding ladies in goal - Maria (School) and Macadie (Alumni) - with parent Huw on superb form for the Parents. All three matches were closely contested with great hockey play in evidence. The first match, between the Alumni and the Parents, was perhaps the best. Played at a furious pace the Alumni seemed unassailable with a 2-0 half-time lead. Coach Mike Clifford kept up strong vocal support and with a squad of 15 there were plenty of players to go round. The bulk of the Alumni team were from the leavers of 2014 and 2015 but it was super to see Richard Bellars from Edinburgh House days and Oli Tabard (of rugby fame) in the squad. Jay Harris had helped to recruit the Alumni team and he led a fine blend of men and women. The Parents, also with a large squad, ran their hearts out in the second half and scored two cracking solo goals through Sean (who bundled over daughter Libby in the process) and Will and thus gained an excellent 2-2 draw.
The second match saw the Alumni begin to tire and also witnessed cunning play in midfield from the Clark boys, Nick and Todd, who could equally have played for the Alumni as former pupils! They sneaked a 2-1 win to set up a grandstand final match. Although the School ran out 3-1 winners in this (the Parents scoring a magnificent overhead strike through Will) it could have been a different story if the Parents had taken a couple of close chances in the ‘D’. The School side fielded three staff members – Messrs Gwilliam, Simon and Maskell – who last played when they were at school and they deserve a special mention for their resilience and exuberance on the field. Mr Argyle was, as ever, a stalwart in defence
Well done to all – and many thanks to Mrs Jenni Shaw for her organisation and to Mrs Katherine Belbin and her parents for generously looking after the refreshments.
Alumni 2 (Will, Felix) v Parents 2 (Sean, Will)
Alumni 1 (Felix) v School 2 (Nick N 2)
School 3 (Sam 2, Nick) v Parents 1 (Will)