Last week, the Senior Hockey squad were faced with two exceptionally hard tasks. First of all, the Hockey 6s Tournament St George’s College saw the boys placed in a seriously tough group. An early victory against Aldenham School got the boys off to a good start, but it would get tougher from there. Narrow losses to Eastbourne College and Alleyn’s School plus a very unlucky loss to Langley Park, meant the day was over before it began. A commendable draw against Framlingham College gave the boys more points to show for the day but ultimately it was a step to far for the boys who worked exceptionally hard throughout.
The following day, the rearranged Frank Mason Hockey Tournament came around and, with very heavy legs from the 6s, it was always going to be a tough ask for such a young 1st XI. Given that only four Upper Sixth are leaving at the end of year, the decision was made to ‘blood’ the youngsters for the day with cameos from the senior boys. Lots of good lessons were learned as what was essentially an U16 side played in an U18 tournament. The education continues with a week of Caterham School, Dulwich College and Cranbrook School to play.
The 2nd XI team put in a strong performance against Caterham School on Saturday in a closely contested match. Eltham were hoping to add another victory to their seasons tally after beating St Lawrence College the previous week but Caterham had different ideas. It was Caterham who started the match better and only a superb diving save from Joe kept the score at 0-0. Eltham College started to force their way into the match and some strong play by Charlie on a couple of occasions created a couple of scoring opportunities. Eltham College managed to get several short corners and Karlo managed to convert one of these with a strong shot into the bottom corner to make the score 0-1 at half time. The match continued in similar fashion in the second half with Eltham pushing hard but Caterham also creating chances at the other end. With ten minutes to go, Caterham started putting the Eltham defence under sustained pressure and eventually managed to score with a good shot from the edge of the D. The final whistle went with Eltham desperately defending and certainly deserving a well-earned draw.
The A team were involved in a tight game against Caterham School which could have gone either way. We played some good hockey in patches leading to our one goal, but we tried to dribble too much and kept losing the ball which made the game quite scrappy. We fought hard till the end and never lost our fighting spirit. The final score was 3-1 Loss.
The Under 15B started well against Caterham School but lost their way as they went 1-0 down to a short corner move. Our basics let us down as we were unable to build any momentum in our play, the game got a bit scrappy from both sides and Caterham went on to score another goal winning the game 2-0.
Five Under 13 players were selected and the process of beginning the integration of two highly talented year groups started. The boys took a while to get going and found themselves 3-0 by half time. A lot of very good hockey was played and, if it wasn’t for the Caterham keeper having the game of his life, the score line would have been in Eltham’s favour at the break. At half time, the team talk was short and direct, the boys went on to completely outplay their opponents in the second half. The team scored two goals and deserved more, they just couldn’t score past a keeper who seemed to have force field around his goal. Although the boys lost 3-2, there were lot of positives to take away and lessons learned that will prove priceless in the years to come for this group
Simple pleasures – a sunny Saturday, a quiet motorway journey, a smooth flowing hockey performance or, perhaps a day to rue missed chances. With a fit and optimistic squad, it was Eltham who started stronger putting the home team under pressure from the start, Ethan coming close to converting from a tight angle in the early minutes. Caterham then scored from the ensuing return play and from there the pattern seemed set. It was the home side that played the simpler more direct hockey, passing forcefully and making the most of their chances to shoot in the D. Eltham were guilty of over-complicating the play, taking too many touches on the ball rather than looking pass and move at pace. Harry had excellent touches in the middle and Dimitri tackled tirelessly throughout. Overall, we didn’t match the home team’s opportunism on the day.
The Under 13A enjoyed an inspiring cup run this season but unfortunately, they were unable to beat a very good St Georges team on Friday. We played with pride and passion and left everything on the field. Both teams enjoyed their fair share of attacking opportunities, but St George’s were able to take theirs. Even though we defended valiantly, we were unable to keep the St George’s attackers at bay.
With a few players missing, it was a good chance for the other players in the Under 12A to compete against a good opposition. The first quarter was quite the event but the opponent’s scored through a good shot from a tight angle and it ended 1-0 at the first break. Eltham boys came back be very strong with some solid runs from the forwards and were rewarded with a well-deserved goal. Eltham continued to press hard and create chances, but the opposition’s goal keeper made some brilliant saves which boosted them to score at the other end and Eltham conceded 2 successive goals. The next quarter was a case of perseverance and stamina, but our players went for an all-out attack leaving gaps at the back and conceded a few more goals. Overall a good performance in the first and second quarter.
Under 12 Hockey:
The Under 12 teams had fixtures against Caterham on Friday with three of the games finishing in Eltham’s favour. The Bs won 6-2, C’s 1-0 and the D’s an impressive 8-0. All the boys did well in tough conditions and left everything on the pitch. Some good hockey was played even though conditions were far from ideal for hockey.