Tuesday 20th March will go down in Bromsgrove’s long and distinguished history as an epic one and possibly the finest hour for its Preparatory School’s U13 Boys’ hockey teams.
The U13A team travelled to play in the ISHC National Finals Day at the University of Birmingham. Thanks to five goals from Archie Greaves-Hall and one apiece from William Brown and Jack Warner, the team defeated Blundell’s School, Devon 7-2 in the Semi-Final.
The National Final saw the team drawn against Calday Grange Grammar School from the Wirral, who had knocked out the pre-tournament favourites and last year’s national champions, Whitgift School, Croydon, so they knew a tough task lay ahead.
Bromsgrove raced into a 3-0 lead following an excellent performance from the boys. A further four goals from Archie Graves Hall to add to his tally of nine in two games, two from Louis Upton and one apiece from Robbie Bayliss and William Brown sealed the win and the title of National Champions in a competition that is open to every school in England.
Individual mention has been given to the goal scorers, however, this was very much a superb, all round team effort from all nine boys involved. Congratulations to the squad: Henry Jones, Rafferty Gallagher, Henry Jinks, Jack Warner (captain), William Brown, Louis Upton, Archie Greaves-Hall, Billy McDonough and Robbie Bayliss.
U13B National IAPS Finals day
The U13A boys had also qualified for the National IAPS Finals day at Millfield School but because both national finals fell on the same day, the U13B team stepped up to the mark and travelled to the National IAPS Finals day.
The boys were truly amazing in the group matches and won two, drew two and lost just the one match to the Scottish Champions. This was against all other schools’ U13A teams.
The team opened its campaign with a 0-0 draw against King’s Hall. Following a 2-2 draw against The New Beacon and a superb second goal from Elliot Evans, the team then dispatched Bedford 1-0. Their only group defeat came against Graigclowan, going down 0-2 in a game where they had very little luck. Some great finishing resulted in a final 2-0 win in their last group game against Kingshott.
Bromsgrove came 3rd in the group, missing out on a Cup place by 1 point. Bromsgrove then entered the Plate competition. In a tight game against Parkside and 5 minutes of extra time, the team drew 0-0. Penalty shuffles resulted in a 0-2 reversal. In the final match v Gresham’s, a 1-1 draw led to a fatigued side losing 0-2 in penalty shuffles.
The team finished third in their group of six, only one point short of qualifying for the last eight. The boys competed admirably in the plate competition and had a ranking of 15th on the day out of the twenty-four participating teams.
The team consisted of Finlay Shaylor, Alex Holroyd, Harry Draper-Barr, Lochlann Mitchell, William Hobbs, Elliot Evans, George Lamb, Ayran Jagadish and Louis Heptinstall, with Cameron Owen putting in a real captain’s performance.