Guernsey Hockey Club U-14 success in England
The Guernsey Hockey Club Under 14 team enjoyed success in their first two games of the Tier 2 Under 14 England Hockey Junior Championships. The south of England regional league sees six teams compete, with the league winners progressing to an area final.
Drawn against UK teams with strong youth development squads and adult teams playing in the top English hockey leagues, these Junior Championships were always going to be an exciting challenge for the Guernsey side.
The squad, sponsored by Ravenscroft started their campaign in the UK with two back to back matches. The young Sarninans showed tremendous energy and determination, returning home with a draw and a victory to start their campaign.
The first match resulted in a well-deserved 2-2 draw against a strong Surbiton side. Despite an early goal by the opposition, Guernsey grew in confidence and were soon on equal terms with a well-placed strike by the skilful Cameron Rivers-Moore. Both teams took turns to dominate passages of play, with Surbiton testing the Green’s tenacious defence on several occasions. However, it was Guernsey who looked the most dangerous in the second half with some swift passing through the midfield resulting in a sublime flick over an out-rushing goalkeeper by Joseph Marshall. Unfortunately, in the closing minute of the game, Guernsey conceded a penalty flick goal, ending the game 2-2.
With only a 30-minute break, Guernsey’s U14s started their second game against Teddington, another talented side. The efforts of their first match began to take their toll, but Guernsey did well to soak up a lot of pressure in the first half, with some excellent saves from Tristan Pleasant. This continued into the second half, resulting in a determined goal-line clearance from Toby Smith, rushing back to block a shot that had been neatly pushed past the goalkeeper. This seemed to give Guernsey the lift they needed as they started to feel their way back into the game with re-found energy. With less than five minutes to go, George Le Roux settled the match with a fine solo effort, bursting past several Teddington players to slot the ball into the corner of the goal out of reach of the diving goalkeeper.1-0 to Guernsey.
The next three league games are scheduled for January and February 2020, with two in the UK and one against Jersey, with the U14s hoping they can build on their early success.