Under 14’s Youth Academy show great promise in Europe!
HBU U14 team made a promising start to their European campaign with a weekend trip to RSC Wasquehal, a team based in the North of France. At such an early stage of the season it was a great opportunity for competitive matches. The tournament featured 8 teams and would see HBU playing 3 group matches, a semi final and playoff match.
Having made the short journey, the squad of 9 players took some time to get the hang of European hockey before finally winning their first game 4-1 against German side RESC Walsum, all members of the squad played their part in a steady start. The next game HBU faced Paris side HCC Montlhery and after a good start allowed the French side to come back into the game, just managing to hold on to win 3-2.
The toughest group match was yet to come with HBU facing local favourites and home side in the ‘headline’ match on Saturday night. HBU continued to improve and the match was an exciting one with HBU taking the lead and overcoming the strong local support they extended the lead- 2-0 to HBU! The home team continued to press but HBU held their own and with keeper Harrison in fine form, HBU kept a clean sheet and continued to create many more chances during the game but were unable to add to the goal tally. A satisfying first day’s team performance.
As winners of Group B, HBU played Group A runners up US Villejuif, Sunday morning. HBU took the game to their much larger opponents and were 2-0 up at half time. HBU were visibly tiring in the 2nd half and allowed the French team to pull one back. Still looking comfortable HBU went looking for a third goal that would assure victory and a place in the final when a couple of poor referring decisions saw the French side awarded 2 penalties in a 3 minute spell. However, despite a great first save from Harrison the French side equalised with the 2nd penalty forcing the game into a penalty shootout. As with their football counterparts the English side found themselves falling short during the penalty shootout, a string of fine saves by both keepers and some wayward shooting saw HBU lose 2-1 on penalties to the eventual winners of the competition.
The team’s final game was a play-off for 3rd and 4th place against HC Dinan Quévert which saw all players being involved in an exciting match where HBU lost out 6-4.
As our first European outing of the season this was a successful start and all who travelled enjoyed the experience. Losing on penalties to the winners, beating the runners up and losing narrowly to the third placed team demonstrated the ability of the side and the competiveness of the tournament.
Squad: Harrison Raven(GK), Jamie McVey (C), Ollie Hudson, George Daly, Luke Huckstepp, Harry Slack, Noah Latham, Archie Isaacs, Sian Emslie.