Youth Academy & Premier League: HBU Triumph in Eastern Counties Jubilee Cup, Premier Side narrowly miss out!
“Herne Bay United U13 team and parents travelled to Soham, Cambridgeshire last weekend to compete in the Eastern Counties Roller Hockey Association Jubilee Cup 2014.
The two-day event saw eight teams from the North, South and East of England competing against each other for the title.
HBU’s first game was against Northern team Grimsby who were unknown to them. However, it became very apparent soon that HBU were a much confident and stronger team and they won the game easily 4-0.
Their second was against Walpole from the East of England, this was a young side which allowed the more experienced HBU players to dominate the play early on in the first half. HBU were able to score at will and the game finished 11-0 to HBU with nearly all the players getting onto the score sheet.
HBU’s last game of the day was against a much more experienced team Peterborough who had already won their own Eastern Regional League. With some end to end hockey and both goalkeepers making good saves it remained tight for awhile. However, the HBU team continued to press hard and scored a well worked goal. A couple more came for HBU before a lack of concentration allowed Peterborough to claim one back just before half-time.
In the second half Peterborough came out determined and pushed hard for more goals. HBU’s defence held strong and they gradually began to dominate again scoring another goal before the final whistle. Winning the game 5-1 meant they had finished in first place in ‘Pool A’ at the end of the first day.
It had been a long day so players and parents enjoyed some good food in Ely before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.
On the Sunday Herne Bay United met an Eastern Counties select team in the first semi-final of the day. A good start by HBU with Luke Huckstepp scoring twice before the half-time whistle. However, lack of concentration at the start of the second half allowed EC Select to score a goal. This seemed to spur them on and HBU needed to quickly regain their composure under increasing pressure. The game was end to end hockey and very tight till within the last few minutes when EC Select equalised to make it 2-2. Time had run out for HBU to close the game off and they would have to play 5 mins each way extra time with a ‘Golden Goal’ to end the game or it would go to penalties. After a stern talking to from the HBU coaches the team came out for the first period of extra time very positive. They dominated the play in the first couple of minutes with at least four chances on goal. HBU continued to apply pressure and EC Select needed to defend hard but were not able to get out of their half. HBU’s Captain George Daly found himself with some space in front of EC Select’s defence and took a slapshot that cannoned into the top left corner of the goal securing the win to take the team into the final later in the day.
The final was against local rivals Kent Roller Hockey and Skating Academy who had beaten Peterborough in their own semi-final. This was always going to be a good game for the spectators. HBU started off well with an early goal from Harry Slack. The Kent Academy hit back and quickly scored two goals to put them ahead. The game was turning into a very physical game, which needed some firm refereeing.
HBU remained composed and began to apply some pressure with the team playing some good passing hockey, which enabled George Daly to score two good goals to regain the lead. A lapse of concentration by HBU’s defence allowed KRHA’s Josh Osborne to equalise just before half time. An exciting but very tense first half, which had the spectators, enthralled.
All the HBU players remained positive and did not allow the pressure or emotions of the game get to them. They came out and began the second half confident and after a few minutes of play George Daly scored to put them ahead again. Once again the game was getting physical and KRHA quickly accumulated 10 team fouls and HBU was awarded a ‘direct-hit’. George Daly dribbled towards the goal and his shot was initially saved by KRHA goalkeeper Lucas Crow. However, with some quick reactions he was able to put the rebound away into the goal. With time running out on the clock and strong defensive play by HBU meant KRHA were unable to threaten. With some good passing hockey by the United players allowed George Daly to put the game out of reach for KRHA with another ‘cracking goal’ from a Slapshot just over the halfway line. HBU winning the game 6-3 at the whistle. The spectators gave both teams a rousing round of applause as appreciation of a great game of hockey.
HBU were presented with the Jubilee Cup as winners, at a presentation directly after their game. HBU’s goalkeeper Harrison Raven was also recognised for his outstanding performance during the two day tournament, voted by all of the other coaches and managers.
HBU; Harrison Raven (GK), Noah Latham (3), Luke Huckstepp (9), Harry Slack (6), George Daly (Cpt)(9), Archie Issacs (2) and Max Bassom “
Herne Bay United Senior Team Travelled to Middlesbrough at the weekend for their final League match of 2014 and with the hope of securing 2nd place in the League after Grimsby had put the league beyond doubt.
HBU were a light team travelling with just one Substitute. United Started strongly and remained throughout the match, the team to be beaten. United went 0 – 2 up and shortly after looked as if should be 3 up when a third goal was disallowed, United remained 2 in front for majority of the half for Middlesbrough to get one back before the half time whistle going into the break looking relaxed 1 – 2.
However Middlesbrough had majority of possession and their and the scores would remain the same for the majority of the half but Middlesbrough got their equaliser after 13 minutes with a fortunate fall of the ball, but United responded immediately to keep the lead and shortly after added to this once in play and once after being awarded the a penalty. United were now 2 – 5 up and looking to close out the game. However a turn in the run of play would allow Middlesbrough the glimmer of hope they had wanted and also once through a penalty and again through a fortunate fall of ball brought the game back to 4 – 5. The game was now a tense affair United looking to hold the game and Middlesbrough pushing for the equaliser and the game. On such a small rink it is hard to play the holding game with not the space to do so. However fortune fell on United’s side once more and they were awarded a second Penalty which was successfully converted and United again to be 2 clear at 4 – 6 with just over 2 minutes remaining. Middlesbrough pushed and pushed and got one back at 2 minutes from time at 5 – 6 and were keen to never give up. United should have scored on 2 more occasions but failed and with 50 seconds to go Middlesbrough equalised. The game finished 6 – 6 and though the game meant little as the title had been won Middlesbrough will finish 2 in the table and United should be 3rd depending on other results next weekend.
United looked pleased and played well it must be noted that United travelled with a small squad with 3 veterans, and three young players. The youth Academy players Alex Mount and Josh Branchett really showed their potential and with 21 years between the Alex and Josh and the senior players they travelled with the future is very promising and United should feel very positive about the future. Eddie Mount Played well in goal and Alex was a handful in attack that will disrupt any team, but the Man of the Match for the day for his team performance and stature in defence goes to Josh Branchett.
Team List: Eddie Mount, Alex Mount(1), Joshua Branchett, Simon Hosking, NA(1), Brendan Barker(4)