Launceston College National Final Runners-Up
Launceston College U13 boys hockey team made the long trip up to Beeston Hockey Club in Nottingham for the National hockey finals on the 11th of May.
The squad consisted of the following players: Oliver Rundle, Hamish Hudson, Ryan Downing, Ben Harrison, Caleb Brewer, Joe Stewart, James Adams, Riley Prynne and Keith Maynard.
The top 10 teams were placed into 2 pools of five teams. Our pool included Felsted Prep, Kingston Grammar, Altrincham Grammar and Warwick Prep. Launceston College was the only state school to qualify!
The first match against Kingston Grammar started well with great team cohesion enabling an early goal scored as a result of a cross from Hamish which enabled James to put it into the back of the net. Ollie managed to score a superb goal in the first half and cemented the win by scoring from a short corner in the second half, ending the game as a 3-0 victory to Launceston.
A positive first result gave confidence to the team during the match against a tough Felsted Prep team. Consequently, Ollie swiftly put one in the back of the net within the first 30 seconds of the whistle. However, Felsted were quick to react scoring 2 goals but Ollie picked up the momentum scoring another goal to equalise at half time. The second half required some great goal keeping skills from Ryan and good defending from Ben and Caleb keeping Felsted at bay. Ollie left us all hanging until the last minute of the game when he scored a hat trick by converting the short corner meaning Launceston secured another victory 3-2.
The third match against Altrincham Grammar was another nail biting match with Altrincham leading by 2 goals but Hamish manged to narrow their lead by putting one past the goalie in the first half. The team fought hard with great play from Ollie and Hamish enabling Hamish to score a hat trick in the second half putting a further 2 goals past the Altrincham keeper securing another 3-2 win and meaning that we were top of the table and based on the other teams’ performances Launceston had gained a place in the final.
An exhausted team had the final match against Warwick Prep to play in their pool before the final. The intensity of playing the first 3 matches and the players giving it their all took its toll and Launceston suffered their first defeat of the tournament losing 4-0.
Incredibly an unexpected and proud Launceston College team walked onto the pitch led by a focussed Captain Ollie Rundle for the last time in the final against winners of the other pool St Georges (Surrey). Launceston fought diligently but unfortunately were beaten by a strong St Georges team 5-0.
There were emotional players, teachers (Lindsay Trudgeon and Tom Lyle) and dedicated parents who came to support as the enormity of such an achievement sank in and the team were led by Ollie to be presented with their medals as a reminder of the blood, sweat and tears which has led to them to become County and Regional Champions and now achieving second in the country!
A huge thank you goes out to England Hockey, Beeston Hockey club for hosting such an amazing event and the parents for supporting such an amazing team.