Boys' Hockey: 1st v Ampleforth
Opponents: Ampleforth U14B
Date: Saturday, 24th January
On Friday, the 1st Boys’ Hockey and 1st Girls’ Netball headed south to Ampleforth College, Yorkshire on an overnight trip. With the original plan of playing in a 7s tournament left in tatters when that was cancelled, the boys were set to play Ampleforth’s U14B hockey team instead.
The trip down was long but uneventful (if you can ignore the questionable quality of some of the singing) and on arrival, we were warmly welcomed to the College and settled into our accommodation before the boys headed off to the 1st XV pitch for an excellent rugby skills session with the Director of Rugby and Belhaven OB (2016) Joe Mitchell.
Tea and a visit to one of the boarding houses (Theo took on one of the upper 6th in a game of chess) was followed by a movie night in our accommodation complete with popcorn, crisps and fizzy and lights out at 10pm.
After breakfast, the girls headed off to their triangular at Cundall Manor and the boys had a brief tour of the shooting range, theatre and DT center in the company of OBs (2018) Jack Wishart and Charlie Mitchell. Thereafter we visited the fitness studio where we were scheduled in for an hour long session with Mr. Miles who, after a brief warm-up, had the boys trying out various bits of kit and then doing a fitness session, all to thumping beats, which they loved.
And so, to the match. With Ampleforth finding themselves a man down at the last minute, Rory stepped into the breach and played for them in the first half, thriving as striker and, without a doubt, playing the best hockey he has played this season! Though he certainly played a big part in the Ampleforth team, it wasn’t enough to prevent Wilfred scoring in the sixth minute to give Belhaven the lead.
Though there were some good moments, I was a little disappointed at how frequently the boys tried to move the ball forwards through the crowded middle section of the pitch especially with so much space out wide. Wilfred worked hard as mid and Thomas made some good runs up front, though the rest struggled to get the ball to him in time - eyes up! In the second quarter, Ampleforth came back strongly and Kit was called on to make a couple of saves - I was pleased to see him be quite dynamic and get off his line when required.
With an injury seeing off another Ampleforth boy, I lent them both Theo and Tommy for the second half and with their support, they really did begin to push hard and eventually it was Theo who opened their account for them! Turncoat! Tommy also seemed determined to take on his (ex)team-mates and made some strong runs up the left.
For us, AJ was enthusiastic and worked hard on holding his position while Harry, when on the ball, was effective and it was he who scored the next goal. After that, they pressed hard and Hayden was called on to make a few stops, one of them a good one but, with huge gaps appearing in our defence as boys went AWOL, it could not last and they eventually scored an equaliser.
So, a really good training game with boys trying out new positions and ideas. Some excellent moments of play (a nifty series of passes in the wide right channel that led to Harry’s goal, stands out) and still some areas on which to work.
More dodgy singing and games on the bus back home with a quick stop for tea. Many thanks to Ampleforth for hosting us so very well. A fantastic experience for all involved.
Belhaven Hill 2 - 2 Ampleforth