Posted on: February 6th 2018

U18 hockey Tournament – Ardingly College

U18 hockey Tournament – Ardingly College
6th February 2018

The CHS boys travelled to Ardingly to play in the U18 Sussex tournament in very cold conditions. As this was U18, there was a slight change in personnel with Alex Pendle and Alex Halfacree joining the team and Oscar Pacey from the Chichester Free school testing out the team he will be joining next year. The standard of play was a real step up from anything they have played before, especially as they found themselves in a pool with lancing College, Bedes, Eastbourne College and Bishop Luffa.

We looked great in our hockey shirts, kindly sponsored by BS Steels

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The first game was against Bedes (a team that later went on to make the final). The team started well and Bedes were not expecting the wave of attack that came from Chichester. Alex Pendle tore through the defence and scored a well driven goal between the post and the Bedes keeper. The boys were buoyed on by this and went looking for more goals, but Bedes settled into the game and got an equaliser from a well worked short corner. This unsettled the Chichester team and their heads went down. This resulted in a poor passage of play, where Bedes found themselves tapping in three quick goals from short range. The boys picked themselves up at half time and made a couple of alterations in their formation. This resulted in a much more evenly balanced second half, with Alex Halfacree and Oscar Pacey taking control in midfield. Callum Peyman and Alex Pendle were solid in defence and the boys held the Bedes team, preventing them from scoring any more goals and playing a very respectable second half of hockey.

DSC00026The second game saw a familiar foe in Bishop Luffa. The boys went into the game in a more positive mindset and worked the ball well, attacking in threes and working together to frustrate Luffa across the park. Again, it was Alex Pendle who opened the scoring and found the back of the net. Luffa played some good defensive hockey and Chichester were denied more opportunities. Callum Ayling and Jack Angell combined well on the right and Alex Halfacree worked hard in midfield to keep the momentum up. This hard work was repaid when Pendle drove the ball into the roof of the net, giving Chichester a 2-0 lead. Pendle suffered a slight injury at the start of the second half and had to come off, but the rest of the team combined well in his absence. Freddie White demonstrated further how he is developing as a player, distributing the ball well in midfield to give Tom Seve and Ollie Summerill scoring chances. The game was more finely balanced in the second half and both teams had chances to add to the score line, but it finished up at a 2-0 win for Chichester.

The third game saw the boy’s face Eastbourne College, but having had an hour off between games, they looked a bit jaded. However, it was Chichester who drew first blood and opened the scoring and again it was from the stick of Alex Pendle. Unfortunately, the lead didn’t last long and Eastbourne soon scored an equaliser from a short corner. From this point Eastbourne found their feet and started to string waves of attack together. They worked the ball around and their patient build up resulted in yet more goals, one of which was probably one of the best goals we have ever seen scored. The first half finished with Eastbourne 3-1 up and the second half started where they had left off. Chichester played defensively and absorbed waves of attack. Luke Denyer made some fine saves and without him the score line could have been double figures. The game ended with a 6-1 loss for the boys, but they were not down hearted and dusted themselves off for their last game against Lancing College.

DSC09745The final game saw Lancing seeking a draw or a win to make it through to the semi-finals. Chichester had nothing to lose and this was reflected in their play. They played some flowing hockey and looked confident from the outset. Theo Batchelor was solid on the left and made some intelligent runs to build the play. Jack Jones and Josh Parker were solid in defence and denied the Lancing team when they tried to penetrate the ‘D’. A slight miscommunication in defence though resulted in the boys conceding a goal towards the end of the first half and Lancing held a slender lead as they went into the second half. They were worried about Alex Pendle (as well they should be) and had commented earlier that he was ‘a different class’. Every time he had the ball, Lancing had two or three players drawn to him. This gave the rest of the team space to play. Callum Peyman and Alex Halfacree exploited this space and built the play. Again, the Chichester defence was solid and Lancing were unable to test Luke Denyer in the second half. This hard work was rewarded with a well worked goal, as the ball was passed upfield and Ollie Summerill found himself in front of goal to tap in from close range. The game played out for a very well deserved 1-1 draw.

There were loads of positives to take from the tournament and seeing these boys compete at such a high standard and being competitive has been a real pleasure. Not bad for a group, where the majority of the team only started playing a year ago! Who knows next year we could make the semi-finals…

Miss Eames

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Team: Alex Pendle (capt), Luke Denyer, Callum Peyman, Alex Halfacree, Josh Parker, Jack Angell, Jack Jones, Theo Batchelor, Freddie White, Tom Seve, Ollie Summerill, Callum Ayling and Oscar Pacey

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