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The Harrogate boys did the club proud as they faced the competition at the u12 National finals.

Thursday 17th May 2018

The Harrogate boys did the club proud as they faced the competition at the u12 National finals.

Harrogate vs Guildford was the first game of their pool of 5 teams.  Harrogate boys started a little hesitant as they took in the in enormity of being one of the top 10 teams in England. Having never played in front of such large crowds, with music pumping in the stadium and dramatic countdowns prior to the game is was a lot to take in.

They ended the first game 1-1 with the goal coming from a short corner thumped into the bottom corner by Harry Montague.

The second game faced Rugby & East Warwickshire who went onto win the overall tournament.  In the first half Harrogate struggled to get the ball out of the defensive which meant Rugby continued to attack time and time again. Everything Harrogate seemed to do just increased the pressure on themselves, not a situation the boys have found themselves in before. This combined with a couple of tough umpiring decisions was a real test for Harrogate’s resolve.  They finished the first half with their heads down and the score line 3-0 against them. They walked out for the second half a different team kicking proceedings off  with the goal of the tournament from Harry Montague, an amazing lifted shoot from just inside the D into the top right corner.  They ended up losing 1-4 but with confidence restored. 

The boys really started firing in the third game vs Old Loughtonians. They took control from the start and did what they do well attacking down both the wings.  Eddie Crossley worked tirelessly in the centre midfield.  Harry Montague and the Murray brothers created some great chances for Harry Crichton and Jacob Slater who took it in turns to play up front.  Harry Montague managed to find Harry Crichton in front of goal with a great cross from the right allowing Crichton a first time strike to claim a goal.  Charlie Wright and Sean Kempston-Parke excelled at breaking down the opposition attacking play. When Old Loughts did manage to break through Henry Straker was waiting  in goal expertly saving everything they threw at him. This was Harrogate playing to their potential and two more goals followed from Harry Montague, A well-earned 3-0 win.

The 4th game was the one they needed to win for a chance to finish top half of the table.  Clifton Robinson’s where a tough team and Harrogate went one nil down in the first few minutes. With the days hockey starting to take its toll Harrogate lost both Captain Eddie Crossley and defence stalwart Sean Kempston-Parkes to injury. The boys created chances though were a little unlucky; Crichton smashed a ball at goal though hit the post, Leo Murry created a great chance with some individual skill working the ball into the D and having a reverse shot and Montague firing a shot over the top of the cross bar.  Oscar Murry and Charlie Wright played excellent together in defence.  They managed to keep the score respectable but sadly lost to go into the 7th and 8th place play-off.

Their final game saw the boy’s face Bromsgrove Hockey Club. With the Harrogate team now depleted and tired it was always going to be a tough end to a great day for the club. It was time for the team to step up. Any less would have resulted in a runaway victory but the boys battled to an eventual 2-0 loss. A very respectable score considering the tough circumstances.

In summary it was a great days hockey and an amazing learning experience which will only feed the boys hunger to get back to nationals next year. Thanks to all the supporters who travelled down and a special mention to Henry Woollven. Henry had played in the earlier rounds but due to injury had to rule himself out of the finals. Despite this he still travelled with the team and sat on the bench to offer his support a true Harrogatonian.


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