Last week Gresham’s Prep U13A and U11A boys’ teams competed at the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) National Hockey Finals, being held at Millfield School and Rugby School respectively, having both won their regional qualifying tournaments earlier in the term.
The U13 boys got off to a slow start but then enjoyed a successful morning thereafter, finishing as runners-up in their group, which meant that they got through to the main Cup Quarter-finals, to play the winner of one of the other groups – Dean Close. The boys unfortunately just lost this one 1-2, to the eventual winners of the whole tournament, which put them through to the 5th/6th/7th/8th place play-offs. Two good wins here, against Town Close and Framlingham, meant that the boys finished up in 5th place overall, out of the 20 schools that had qualified – a fantastic achievement!
The U11 boys started a little better, beating the eventual tournament runners-up 2-0 in their opening match, but then a run of draws and then a loss in their final group match saw them slip back to 4th place in the group, which meant that they got through to the Plate competition, which would decide 9th – 15th finishing positions. After three more matches, and a couple of nail-biting penalty flick competitions when scores were tied, the boys finished up in 12th place overall, out of the 24 schools that had qualified – again, a fantastic achievement!
Even reaching these National Finals is a terrific effort, and both teams and their coaches deserve huge congratulations.