More Hockey Success
Last week was another great week for hockey at Bancroft's.
Following their recent triumph at the Essex Tournament, the boys’ U14 hockey team travelled to Lincolnshire for the Eastern Regional Finals. During the Essex round the boys had looked most impressive managing to score over 40 goals without conceding a single one. However, they appreciated that they would be facing some stiffer competition on the 28 February from other county champions.
The Regional Finals proved to be a very exciting day of hockey. The Essex boys started with a 1-1 draw against The Perse, with a last minute equaliser from the Cambridgeshire side depriving Bancroft’s of maximum points. This was followed by a convincing 2-1 win against Suffolk’s Woodbridge. Their next game was against the local team – Stamford. Bancroft’s team Manager, Andy MacLeod, said that the first half saw lack lustre performances his boys which left them 0-1 down; however, a motivational half time team talk set them up for a 3-1 victory, with Dafydd Prole scoring two of the three goals. The Bancroft’s team then went into their final game against Hitchin (Herts) knowing that they had a mammoth task as they were lagging behind on goal difference by five goals and had to make up this difference in order to progress to the Regional Play-offs. The very last hit of the game from a short corner saw Bancroft’s take their total to 6: they had qualified partly thanks to a hat trick from Tom Mead. Andy MacLeod said, “This was a fantastic team effort, all boys, including the bench players, made a valuable contribution. However, our goalkeeper Ben Norris deserves to be singled out for his sterling work, especially in the final game when he made sure that Hitchin were kept off the score sheet. He has only seen three balls pass him in both the Essex and the Eastern Regional competitions.”
Bancroft’s are now just a small step away from the National Finals. They face Bishop’s Stortford and Ipswich School in a three-way play-off on 12 March at UEA in Norwich. Two teams will then qualify for the National Final.
The Prep teams have been very busy, with one Prep player describing a week of three tournaments as a "Hockey Fest". The undoubted highlight was on Monday 11 March when the year 6 hockey squad progressed through the London and Home Counties Regional Round of the IAPS (Independent Association of Preparatory Schools) National Tournament to qualify for the IAPS National Finals After finishing as runners-up in their group, the team made it through to the knock out round were they lost to eventual winners St George’s College, Weybridge in the semi-finals but as they finished third out of twenty teams from the region they still qualify for the national finals. Although this is predominantly a boys’ competition, the Bancroft’s team featured two talented girl players: Millie Woods and Claudia Joarder. During the day the team won 4, drew 2 and lost 2. The team will travel to Wellington School on 11 March for the Finals.
On Tuesday all year 6 pupils represented the School in some way in the Redbridge Mini Games. Bancroft’s Prep teams won the hockey competition and will go on to represent Redbridge in the London Mini Games at Crystal Palace later this year. The U11 girls played in the Essex Tournament held at Redbridge Sports Centre on Thursday 28 February. They had a fantastic day, with some very convincing wins losing only to the eventual winners Felsted. As runners up to Felsted, they will now go on to the Eastern Regional Finals, on 13 March at Redbridge Sports Centre.