(07.02.18) Craigclowan Hockey Boys travelled to Fettes to play in the IAPS Scottish Qualifiers tournament on a sunny, but cold, Wednesday in February, with places at stake for the top two teams in the National Qualifiers at Millfield in March.
This was to be a full day of hockey, with six matches to be played against Ardvreck, Casterton (Sedbergh’s prep school), Cargilfield, Fettes, Loretto and Belhaven.
The team started well and comfortably took a win against Ardvreck in the opening game. The second game against Casterton was an unknown, having never played them before. A very tense closing moment when Casterton were awarded a short corner after the final whistle could have resulted in a draw, but they just missed their opportunity and the result was another win to Craigclowan.
The third game against Loretto was a tighter affair and was a well-executed end to end match which could have gone either way. A draw was a fair result in this match. Next up was Cargilfield and, despite a mid-way drama when Archie S got hit in the face with a stick and lost a tooth, the boys managed another comfortable win.
Game five was against Fettes and a draw at the end of this match put us in a comfortable position going into the last game vs Belhaven. We needed a win or a draw to put us through and there was a fair bit of tension around this last game as a result. Despite inevitable tiredness, there was some superb hockey from the boys, using the entire width of pitch and very effectively switching play round the back from left to right. This allowed us to dominate and the final outcome was another comfortable win.
Every boy gave 100% effort throughout the day but more than that, they played with focus and purpose. The improvement from the beginning of the season has been significant and the most encouraging aspect has been the manner in which they have taken on board the coaching advice, and put it into practise.
Angus was outstanding in goal throughout this tournament, and gave the spectators several thrilling moments with spectacular saves. Ross was superb in managing the defence, holding fort at the back and ably supported by Max and Harry with very few goals being conceded throughout the day. The midfield of Archie, Theo and Ferdi did an excellent job in working the ball up the wings and onto the forwards, where Teo and Adam very effectively secured the goals. Top goal scorer Adam notched up 10 throughout the day!
Craigclowan came first spot in the tournament, and was awarded first place medals and a team trophy. Brilliant hockey boys, and very best of luck in the finals at Millfield in March.
Goalscorers: Adam A, Teo T, Ferdi Q, Archie S
Craigclowan 3 Adrvreck 1
Craigclowan 1 Casterton 0
Craigclowan 1 Loretto 1
Craigclowan 3 Cargilfield 0
Craigclowan 2 Fettes 2
Craigclowan 3 Belhaven 1
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