HBU U15 team continues their fine form
HBU U15 team continues their fine form with four victories in their Eastern Counties ‘home’ tournament in Soham on Sunday.
Needing 4 wins to cement their place at the top of the table and to stretch their unbeaten run to 13 games, UTD went into the tournament with high expectations.
In the first game HBU were strong favourites against an inexperienced Colchester side and despite a sluggish start HBU were HBU 8-1 winners with goals from Jamie, David, Josh Butcher and Captain Josh Branchett, with keepers Rhys and Ishen sharing the goalkeeping responsibilities. This game showed all the players trying to play the ‘right way’ but lacking sharpness.
The next game against Walpole at times looked a mismatch with some of the HBU players much smaller than their opponents. HBU added the sharpness missing from the first game and scored frequently throughout the match with both keepers playing and keeping a clean sheet. All the out-players scored as a result of strong team play creating chances for the entire team. The final score in this match was 13-0.
Next up for HBU were 2nd placed Norwich. On paper this was the toughest game of the day. HBU started well going ahead and looking comfortable, this quickly changed to complacency allowing Norwich to reel UTD in and HBU had a slender one goal lead at half time.
The 2nd half saw the same pattern of play as the first with HBU applying most of the pressure taking them to a 4-1 lead but some sloppy defensive play and over-commitment in attack allowed Norwich back to 4-3 before HBU closed the match at 5-3.
The last game of the day was against Letchworth. The clubs had played against each other in the Senior Premier League the previous day and the U15s were looking to emulate the Seniors win. HBU were 4 – 0 up at half-time but Letchworth got back to their team game after the interval and once again sloppy defending gave Letchworth the chance to pick up a loose ball in the area to make it 4-1. HBU put the pressure back on but stalwart defending by Letchworth and their goal keeper kept the shots out and put HBU out of position allowing Letchworth to grab a late goal. The final score was 4-2 to HBU with a hat-trick from David and a goal from Josh Branchett.
The tournament showed good team play, the creation of many chances with a few lapses into solo play, especially when games were tight. A good day was had by all. It was commented that the entire team played their part in the victories with all players sharing the time on the rink, collectively they looked a good strong unit, happy to create chances for others as well as score themselves. The HBU goal-keepers are U13s playing up a category and they are responding to the challenge, gaining experience and improving with each tournament.
Squad (goals): Rhys Young (GK), Ishen Kiff (GK), Josh Branchett (captain) (5), David Martindale (8), Josh Butcher (5), Katie McVey (1), Will Parkinson-Wellard (1), Jamie McVey(10)
Man of the match(tournament) for his consistently unselfish play and leadership on the rink. Josh Branchett.