Hockey (Yr10/11) v Luffa
Having taken on Bishop Luffa's year 10 hockey team and triumphed last week, our newly formed year 10 squad took on the year 11 side this week. Our team was bolstered by the inclusion of Alex Pendle, Alex Halfacre, Jenny Horton, Molly Fulcher and Rachel Trent, giving them a final chance to represent CHS before their exams start.
The decision had been made before the game to give everyone as much pitch time as possible, regardless of experience or ability. This is a team with lots of potential and a passion to play a sport they hadn't played much two months ago.
Bishop Luffa arrived with only nine players, so in the interest of fair play, we gave them two of our squad. Our team dominated from the opening whistle and some first class hockey was being displayed. With County and National players combining well, we were soon creating scoring chances. Bishop Luffa had an experienced sixth former in goal and he kept them in the game for much of the first quarter. The deadlock was broken about ten minutes in when Jenny Horton found the back of the net, with a clean strike just inside the post. CHS took a well deserved lead and continued to dominate. Tom Seve came close on a couple of occasions as his speed and dogged determination got him into striking positions. Callum Peyman and Alex Halfacre combined well in the centre and were controlling the game. Chances kept coming, but we were unable to extend our lead.
With a slightly less experienced team in the second quarter, we were still competing and creating scoring chances. Josh Parker has been going from strength to strength in defence and made some great interceptions to deny Luffa any meaningful attacks. Despite his and Freddie White's efforts, a couple of Luffa breaks made it through and Luke Denyer was called upon to make some solid saves. Parker made a cracking save on the line from a Luffa strike at a short corner and we managed to maintain our lead.
In the third quarter we put out a slightly more experienced side and Rachel Trent and Molly Fulcher showed good skills to create scoring opportunities. Charlie Simmons had worked himself into the game and was making solid tackles, turning defence into attack. He was supported well by Jack Angel and Jack Jones who worked hard to dispose the opposition of the ball. The whole team worked well together as a unit (as they did last week) and supported each other both on and off the ball. Theo Batchelor made some good runs off the ball, but was unable to get the ball. Despite the pressure and hard work, we were unable to add to our lead and went into the final quarter with a slim lead.
In the final quarter we had decided to play a year 10 side and with Luffa reduced to 10 players, we gave them Alex Pendle to bolster their number and give our side a challenge. The boys rose to the challenge, despite being placed under relentless pressure. Cameron Smith and Callum Ayling made some good interceptions in defence, with White making some solid drives through the midfield to create attacking opportunities. Josh Farrier made some good tackles, despite injury, but the pressure mounted and Denyer was called upon to make some fine one on one saves, keeping us in the game. In the final minute, a hit out of defence was intercepted and Alex Pendle found himself at the top of the D with the ball. His instinct to attack was too strong and he equalised for Luffa.
The game was a great display of hockey, with approximately 30 students from both schools taking to the field of play. It was great to see this group of young people enjoying the game and playing so well. They were a credit to both schools.
Final score: 1 - 1
CHS squad: Callum Peyman (c), Freddie White, Josh Parker, Tom Seve, Charlie Simmons, Josh Farrier, Callum Ayling, Theo Batchelor, Luke Denyer, Cameron Smith, Jack Angel, Jack Jones, Alex Pendle, Alex Halfacre, Jenny Horton, Rachel Trent,