Eastern Counties Roller Hockey Association
Under 15s League Division 1
Tournament, Sudbury, Suffolk
Saturday 23 February 2013
HBU’s U15s and their parents made the journey to Sudbury to stage their “home” tournament. Going into the tournament HBU were 3rd in the table with Kings Lynn top and Cottenham in 2nd place.
HBU v Cottenham 4 – 3
In the first match with Cottenham, HBU started well but struggled to hang on to the lead. Despite having most of the possession HBU could not beat the goalkeeper and failure to score goals led to counter-attacks that made the score 3-3 at half time. In the 2nd half HBU played more cautiously, scored just once and allowed no reply from Cottenham. As it happened, Cottenham were fielding an over-age goalkeeper so the win would have been recorded to HBU in any event. This was thus a useful start to the day and demonstrated the need to convert possession in goals more effectively in the next three matches. HBU scorers – Martindale, Mount, Greenwood, Butcher.
HBU v Ely 16 – 0
In this match the team responded to the instructions not to waste their chances to score goals and ran up a tally of 5 goals in the first 5 minutes of the match. With a 5 goal cushion they took their foot off the gas and the score was 7 – 0 at half-time. There was a half-time reminder that this was an opportunity to practice to improve goal-scoring as it might be necessary in the next matches against teams HBU had drawn with and lost to in previous encounters. The reminder produced a goal-hungry restart and consistent scoring throughout the half to run in 9 more goals for a 16 – 0 win. HBU scorers – Mount(4), Greenwood(5), Branchett (4), Butcher(2), Jocie Greenwood.
HBU v Bury 9 – 2
HBU started in the same way as they had in the previous match with three goals in the first 3 minutes. HBU then got bogged down as they had in the first match and Bury stiffened their defence and were able to score a counter-attack goal just before half time. After the interval HBU again started systematically and took their 3 – 1 half-time lead to 6 – 1 before an own-goal made it 6 – 2. HBU scored 3 more goals to make the full-time score 9 – 2 against a team which we had drawn with in the previous tournament. HBU scorers – Greenwood (6), Mount (2), OG
HBU v Kings Lynn 4 – 2
HBU, as usual, went on the offensive from the start but it quickly became clear that Kings Lynn had watched the earlier matches and had decided to maintain a very tight defence and use HBU’s possession against them. The tactic worked very well with HBU only able to force an own-goal mid-way through the 1st half only for Kings Lynn to score on the break just before half-time to give a score of 1 – 1 at the interval. It was now HBU’s turn to consider how to play the 2nd half against a disciplined team who were also very clinical in front of goal. Just 5 minutes into the second half Kings Lynn hit back after an HBU attack and scored to give them the 2 – 1 lead and they clearly had the plan to defend it at all costs. HBU’s efforts were frustrated by tight defence and good goalkeeping and HBU’s frustration was turning into team fouls. With 5 minutes to go Butcher came on for a tiring Martindale and Kings Lynn got caught out by the change of style which immediately produced the equalising goal for HBU. Kings Lynn were rocked by this and HBU took advantage to take the lead with another score in the next minute. HBU’s team fouls then started to rattle up from 5 to 9 in no time flat (at10 Kings Lynn would have been awarded a direct free-hit). The final 3 minutes was very tense and HBU managed to stay out of trouble with the referee and scored with just 9 seconds on the clock (quite a relief as we could not see the clock from the dug-out!). HBU scorers – Butcher, Greenwood, Mount.
HBU Manager Ron Barker commented “The day worked out really well for the team. The first match got the cobwebs out of the system and the 2nd match allowed us to get into a rhythm of scoring which we dearly needed against Bury and Kings Lynn. We are now level at the top of the table with Kings Lynn as they managed to drop a point against Bury. Our next match in this league is next month and it is our final and decisive encounter with Kings Lynn; we can be sure they will be working to be even better at keeping us out and hitting back on the break. We’ll be working on what we have to do too”.
I would like to thank all the parents who travelled with the team to carry out transport, timekeeping, scoring and other duties that go with the “home” tournament. The Sudbury sports centre and local roller hockey enthusiasts were very helpful to us visitors unfamiliar with the facilities. Unfortunately, we cannot use the Herne Bay Arena for Eastern Counties matches as they must be played in the Eastern Counties area which is more or less East Anglia.
HBU Team: Rhys Young (GK), Alex Mount, Josh Branchett, Lewis Greenwood (Capt), David Martindale, Josh Butcher, Jocie Greenwood, Luigi Walker (GK)