AFTER A SUCCESSFUL PRE-SEASON EVENT LAST YEAR, CARDIFF METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY HOSTED THE FIRST ANNUAL SCHOOLS’ INVITATIONAL HOCKEY COMPETITION LAST WEEKEND, WHICH WAS ATTENDED BY CHRIST COLLEGE, STAMFORD, STOWE AND PANGBOURNE COLLEGE.
The Boys’ 1st XI travelled down to Cardiff on Saturday morning and after a short introductory lecture found themselves quickly in the thick of a high intensity game against Stamford. During the match, Christ College twice came from behind thanks to effective penalty corners converted by drag-flicker extraordinaire Ben Cuthbertson-Smith, finally drawing a match of the highest quality 2-2.
After lunch and an additional training session, the boys’ next match was against Pangbourne College, a game that saw some good hockey but a few questionable umpiring decisions. Thankfully this seemed to have little impact on the team early on, who pulled ahead through an impressive Will Bush goal. Despite dominating possession, Christ College could not extend their lead and soon found themselves dramatically down to 10 men after goalkeeper Jack Christian was controversially sin-binned at the start of the second half. With a penalty flick awarded, captain Tom Wood stepped up to ‘take one for the team’ on the line, only for the Pangbourne player to produce one of the weakest strokes in living memory. Whilst this disaster may have been avoided, the absence of a goalkeeper was ultimately exploited by the English team minutes later. With good endeavour and a great finish, Christ College won the match thanks to a second Will Bush goal. This meant they topped the table overnight.
On Day 2, Christ College started with a very tough match against Stowe. After some impressive play in the first few minutes, the boys took the lead after a carefully finished goal from Tom Wood. In the second half, however, Stowe returned the stronger scoring an equalizer and then another in quick succession to take the lead. In a very tight finish, Christ College striker Will Bush was denied by the crossbar, leaving the score at 2-1 – a result that saw Brecon demoted to the 3rd and 4th place play- off. This took place after lunch and saw Christ College play Pangbourne College once again. In another exciting match, they pulled ahead after a Ben Cuthbertson-Smith penalty flick, only for Pangbourne to score an equalizer against the run of play at the start of the second half. It was the green and gold of Christ College that finished the more dominant, with another Ben Cuthbertson-Smith goal leaving the final score as 2-1.
In a highly competitive and intense tournament, Christ College finished third with two wins, a draw and a loss. Our thanks to Cardiff & Met University for organizing the tournament and giving all the competitors such a wonderful experience. Many thanks to Irfon Bennett for the photography during the tournament.
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