Week 18 Sports Report

2 February 2024

Under 11 Hockey 

For the second year in a row, an U11 hockey team at The Beacon has qualified for the IAPS national hockey finals. The team will travel to Cheltenham in the Spring as one of the best hockey prep school teams in the country. And deservedly so.

The lad’s performances last Friday were just reward for the hours of hard work and practice they had put in at hockey club and in PE. Competition for a place in the squad was intense and final selection was not straightforward. The boys were optimistic about their chances even though the day involved a 200 mile round trip. 

Our competition started reasonably well with a match against Bromsgrove. Comfortably ahead at 1 – 0 for most of the match, through a George O goal, it was a little frustrating to concede near the end making the match a draw. No matter, this was going to be a long tournament and the key thing was that we hadn’t lost. Cheltenham College were the next challenge and this time we fell behind. This was despite beginning to play with fluidity and good purpose. Henry M drew us level before George again scored to give us a 2 -1 win. A 0 – 0 draw with Ratcliffe College saw us top the pool and go into the Cup quarter final. By this stage James G had grown in stature and was subtly controlling matters at the back.

Against Eversfield Prep we played some of our best hockey of the day. We just couldn’t get the ball into the goal!  This only became serious when Eversfield scored with five minutes remaining. The clock was ticking down and nails were getting gnawed. If there had been a seat at the astro I would have been on the edge of it. Hunter O was not feeling the pressure though. He capped a fine display with a sweet shot from the top of the D. The sound of his stick hitting the ball was like the crack of a rifle shot. The only sound better than that was when the ball clattered into the board at the back of the goal. With about 90 seconds left of normal time we had drawn level. Final score 1 – 1. Next came the Golden Goal period. It came and went without anything memorable, let alone Golden. This now meant we were into penalty flicks. Who would hold their nerve to win? We did. With Finn H in goal it was never in doubt…

Our semi final was against the host school, Repton. Their slick passing game put us under pressure from the off. An early Repton goal forced us to chase the match and 1 – 0 soon became 2 – 0. Still, we had to try and fight our way back into the match even if it meant exposing our goal even more. Unfortunately, 2 – 0 became 3 and it was with a different kind of relief that we heard the final whistle. We were down but not out. The winner of the 3rd/4th play off between us and The Elms would be going to Nationals.

Considering this match had a lot riding on it the lads appeared to take the pressure in their stride. Our defence was rarely troubled and most of the play took place in the opposition half. Fortunately, we got the goal we deserved through Orchard and it gave us a 1 – 0 lead that we were never to relinquish. At the final whistle the boys were elated but not as elated as the travelling band of parents and grandparents who had come to support. It was very sweet to see the joy on everyone’s faces and, without doubt, qualifying was a large cherry on top of what had been a very satisfying hockey cake! 

 Well done to all the squad – 

Sebastian Smith, Henry MC, Finn R, Hugo C, George O, Hunter O, James G, Archie K- G.

Reported by Mr Williams

Under 10 B Football vs St John’s Beaumont

The Under 10 B Team visited St John’s Beaumont on Friday and came away convincing 5-0 victors. Every boy pitched in and drove the team forward with a direct, entertaining brand of football.  Sarvan K opened the scoring with his hammer of a right foot after a neat corner routine from Blake and midfield maestro Henry L and the boys went into the half time interval 1-0 up.  Then, the second half turned into part football match part Arki B show as he chimed in with a hat trick, with Blake R adding a composed finish to complete the rout.  Dan S had little to do in goal as the rocks in defence – Alexander L and Sahan L – did brilliantly to break up every attack and Leon K a constant menace in every position he played. As superb all round performance to delight Coach Baker and the visiting supporters.

Reported by Mr Baker 

Under 9 D:

The U9D’s performed admirably on Tuesday afternoon in a 5 – 0 win. From the outset, The Beacon dominated the midfield and created a stranglehold that the opposition could not break. Sam H was in imperious form but it was shame he did not have his shooting boots on. He deserved at least 2 goals. Freddie M however did find the back of the net. Not once, not twice but three times. Joining him on the score sheet were the dynamic Alex L and the redoubtable Kritchnat T. Also on form were Vihaan O and the defensive pillars of Dexter S and Alfie Se, who stood vigilant throughout.

Reported by Mr Williams

Under 8 C1:

A joyful afternoon was had on Thursday as the U8C1’s put their contemporaries from Davenies and Berkhamsted to the sword. In a fine display of attacking football, that belied their tender years, the boys swash-buckled their way to two fine wins. Against Davenies, our boys literally took the game by the scruff of the neck with goals that would grace any edition of Match of the Day. Ezra B and Hamish M both scored braces, Charley MS finished a flowing passing move for perhaps the best goal of the afternoon, while Ben G exchanged his goal keeping gloves for a second half hat trick. He just needs to work on his goal celebration… Final score 8 – 0. Against Berkhamsted a tighter affair saw a 2 -1 win with goals from Ezra and Charley. To score goals you need to look after the ball and setting up their teammates were the brilliant Luca H, Eddie M and Oscar B. Particularly good was Arjun P. Great work, lads!

Reported by Mr Williams