Match Reports from Valkenswaard 2012 Junior and Seniors
HBU U13’s made the short trip to Eindhoven Holland on the weekend of the 24/25th March to compete in the EuroCup Valkenswaard tournament. This was to be the 2nd European adventure this season for the club’s youth section with a third scheduled for the Easter weekend when the U11’s travel to Saint-Omer France for a tournament.
This tournament had HBU youngsters playing in 5 games over two days against Dutch, German and French opposition.
The opening game on Saturday was against the host team Valkenswaard which saw HBU begin the weekend well with an impressive team performance resulting in a comfortable 13-0 victory. The 2nd match was a much closer game against a solid German side RHC Recklinghausen with HBU victorious at 6-1.
In their third and last match of the day HBU ran out 9-0 victors against their French counterparts HC Fresnoy.
With all the other teams taking points off each other, final qualifying was going to be close. The U13 team had demonstrated great play and team performance during this first day and clearly left the rest of the competition something to think about.
Following this match the players earned a well deserved break and made the most of the entertainment facilities provided by the host club whilst the parents enjoyed the local hospitality and the great weather.
HBU found themselves facing a strengthened Valkenswaard team on Sunday morning in the Semi-Final play-off. Taking an early lead HBU found themselves 1-0 up at the break and extended this in the second half, winning 3-0 in their toughest game of the tournament securing their place in the final and managing to keep a clean sheet again.
HBU’s opposition in the final was the French team HC Fresnoy who upset the German side Recklinghausen by winning their semi final on a penalty shootout. A tense game throughout with some end to end play. However, HBU very quickly took charge of the game and with Amelia scoring the final goal of the day resulted in a 5-0 victory and HBU declared Champions of the tournament.
A good solid performance by all the players and the team were undefeated during the competition bringing home the silverware.
Following the presentation it was nice to hear comments from the other coaches that HBU were definitely the ‘best team here’ and deserved to be outright winners.
A great end to an enjoyable weekend for parents and players alike.
Team: Rhys Young (gk), David Martindale (Captain)(8), Jamie McVey(5), Josh Butcher(3), Alex Mount(8), Oli Hudson(5), Will Parkinson-Wellard(1), George Daly(5), Amelia Parkinson-Wellard(1)
Herne Bay United in Valkenswaard – 24th & 25th March 2012
Herne Bay United took advantage of a break in the fixture programme to travel to Holland to play in an inter-club tournament last weekend. The trip was viewed as being an excellent chance for some of the younger, less-experienced members of the squad to get some game time against good quality opposition away from the pressure of league matches.
The opening game of the tournament was against Fresnoy (the French representatives) and due to some travel issues the team arrived with only minutes to spare so were ushered straight onto the rink to get proceedings underway. This rushed beginning was clearly evident in the first half as Fresnoy were quick out of the blocks and rang up a 4-0 lead at half-time. The short break gave HBU the chance to re-organise and focus minds on Hockey rather than travelling. Following this adjustment HBU began to take charge of the game and pulled a goal back through Dan Butcher. Unfortunately despite numerous chances there were no further goals and the French held on to win 4-1.
Determined not to repeat the failings of the first game HBU began their match with Wolfurt of Austria passing the ball around well and creating a number of goal-scoring opportunities. However, the failure to convert any of these proved costly when Wolfurt broke quickly and plundered the opening goal, this upset HBU’s rhythm and the remainder of the half was an up and down affair with the Austrians eventually doubling their lead with a long range effort. Again at half-time HBU managed to re-group and proceeded to dominate the second half. Following sustained pressure Neil Austin pulled a goal back with a sweetly struck slap-shot that arrowed into the top corner. HBU continued to threaten the Wolfurt goal but were unable to find the breakthrough, then with a couple of minutes left a desperate tackle left the Austrians with a man in the sin-bin. HBU made use of the extra man keeping the ball well until Austin found himself with a clear sight of goal and was able to place his shot through the goalkeeper’s legs with seconds remaining. There was hardly time to re-start the game leaving the final score 2-2.
Early Sunday morning HBU lined up against the german Team from Recklinghausen and continued exactly where they had left off the previous evening. Following some good passing movements Karl Smith opened the scoring after 5 minutes when he beat his man on the edge of the penalty area and finished well. 5 minutes later Smith added his and United’s second with a long range shot that caught the German goalkeeper unawares. This sparked the Germans into life and despite some good defending HBU conceded from short range. At this point the match could have gone either way but Joel de Figuerado took the opportunity to put his mark on the game with a fine dribble that resulted in him being taken down for a penalty. He got up brushed himself off and finished well from the spot leaving United 3-1 at the break. The second half resulted in HBU dominating possession but finding themselves unable to convert the pressure into goals until a fine team move led to de Figuerado finishing well from close range. This effectively sealed the game and United were able to control the game from here on in. Recklinghausen did manage to pull a goal back with a couple of minutes left but it was too little too late and HBU ran out comfortable 4-2 winners
The earlier win sent Herne Bay United into their final game against the hosts Valkenswaald with a chance to win the tournament as other results had gone their way. However, the match didn’t start well as the hosts scored after 4 minutes. Undeterred HBU didn’t stray from their game-plan and equalised 3 minutes later with a fierce strike from Danny Butcher. This was as good as it got for United in the first half as in the last 10 minutes Valkenswaald scored 5 unanswered goals through a combination of good play and defensive errors leaving the halftime score 6-1 and HBU hopes of winning the tournament in tatters. To their credit United re-grouped at halftime and were determined to finish the weekend with their heads held high. This led to an impressive second half display where HBU scored a further three goals through Butcher and Austin (2) whilst just conceding 1 on the counter-attack. The final score was 7-4 and Herne Bay United were left rueing the first half performance against Fresnoy coupled with a bad 7 minutes against Valkenswaald which derailed any hopes of returning home victorious.
Despite not bringing home the silverware the tournament succeeded in its aims of giving some young squad members extended game time, which they grasped with both hands and showed marked improvements by the end of the weekend to show to the management that they are worthy of a first team place in future matches.
Apart from the 1st place going to Home team Valkenswaard and other teams on similar points the final table was decided on goal difference with HBU losing out and finishing bottom of the table.
Team: Eddie Mount(gk), Neil Austin(4), Karl Smith(2), Danny Butcher (3), Joel de Figueiredo(2), Tom White, Richard Walker, Phil McVey, Paul McVey. Ashley Barton