South Hockey Match Report
Ardingly Under 11 Boys finished runners-up in the South Schools Mini-hockey Championships on an historic weekend for the school that saw them have teams in all four of the South competitions.
The Under 11's started with a goalless draw against Durlston Court but then recorded a win against Kent champions Wickham Common thanks to an Alex Shaw goal. Needing a win in their next game against Abingdon Prep to top their group, Eddie Lambie thought he had scored the winner but the whistle went to award Ardingly a penalty. Ben Harris stepped forward and kept his cool to secure the win and top position in the group and progress through to the Cup Super Pool. Here a 1-0 win against Portsmouth Grammar School, Alex on target, secured a semi-final berth and a 2-0 defeat to Surrey champions Hoe Bridge was academic. In the semi-final they faced Dulwich College and a tense 1-0 win was secured with Alex again on target to secure a final against St Georges College, Weybridge. In a pulsating match St Georges took the lead but a fine individual goal by Jonty Russ levelled matters just before half-time. St Georges regained the lead midway through the second half and despite some late pressure, Ardingly could not force an equaliser. Although the boys were disappointed, they could all be proud of their brilliant performances that saw them crowned as the second best team in the South.
The Under 11 Girls also suffered defeat in a final, this time in the Plate. It looked as though they had been drawn in the Group of Death and so it proved as the South Champions (Portsmouth GS), South runners-up (St Georges) and Plate winners (Chesham) all emerged from their group. This tough draw meant the girls entered the Plate and after 2 more matches, three teams could not be separated. Therefore Ardingly went into a 3-way penalty shoot-out against Burgess Hill and Cumnor Primary (Oxford). After an epic shoot-out that lasted more than 20 minutes, Ardingly emerged as the victors thanks to Immy Waters, Ellie Bayne and Alex Medlicott scoring from the spot and Emily Spiers, having never played in goal before, making some excellent saves. In the semi-finals Ardingly's opponents did not turn up so the organisers reinstated Burgess Hill. This time Ardingly made sure there were no need for penalties as goals from Alex and Orla Badger completed a 2-0 win. Unfortunately the girls were tiring and lost the final to Chesham.
Like the Under 11 Girls, the Under 13's met the eventual South winners in their first game, namely St Georges College. After just a few minutes it was clear St Georges were the best side they had faced all year and although the girls suffered a 2-0 loss, they rose to the challenge and had chances of their own. They kept up this form in their next game to record a 5-0 win against St Gabriels but a 2-1 loss saw them enter the plate. A 4-2 win against Notting Hill saw them face Alleyn's in the semi-final and in a fantastic match Ardingly led 3-1 with just 3 minutes to go but two late goals meant a penalty shoot-out. The teams were still so close that it went to sudden death but eventually Alleyn's proved victorious and they went on to win the Plate final against Cranleigh. During the competition Phoebe Spuyman, Alice Harvey, Cara Rocks, Zoe Andrews and Amber Kemp all got goals but the star was undoubtedly goalkeeper Alex Morgan who made some sensational saves.
The Under 13 Boys started slowly and nervously against Parkside and lost 4-0 to the side that eventually lost in the final to Whitgift. However, the boys upped their game in a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth Grammar School, James Pang on target, and a narrow 2-1 defeat to Dulwich College, Louis Evans with a finish into the roof of the net. This meant they entered the Plate but the boys then lost the plot and suffered two defeats to Langley Park and Magdalen CS, Oxford in which the excellent Zac Segal was kept busy in goal. However, it was good experience for the boys, especially for the four Year 7's who will look to do even better next year.
Ardingly College, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 6SQ