U16 Boys’ North West Regional Finals
On Tuesday 6 March, the U16 Boys’ hockey team had an early start and travelled to Timperley Hockey Club to represent Cumbria in the North West Regional Finals.
The team knew that this would be a very challenging day, with games against some very strong hockey schools. After a long delay on the motorway, the team were straight off the coach and onto the pitch to face Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. The very well organised, and disciplined, Windermere kept AGSB at bay for 17 minutes, when the opposition slotted home a well-worked attack. Windermere continued to hold out by defending in an outstanding manner as a team, until a miss-hit shot rolled agonisingly past an unfortunate James Harris in goal. A third goal from a penalty corner made the score line flattering for Altrincham – the eventual winners.
Filled with confidence from an excellent performance, Calday Grange School were next up. Once again, Windermere’s boys defended as one and created scoring opportunities of their own. This opened the game up and Calday were clinical in front of goal. Despite the best efforts of Archie Dalzell, Freddie Carradus, Michy Carrillo and Jack Keane at the back, with James also continuing to make some outstanding glove, kicker and stick saves, Calday ran out 4 goals to 0 winners.
Following this result, the boys were determined to put things right in their last game against Rossall School – a game targeted for a result from the outset. This was to prove to be a very even, and open, affair. Once again, Windermere built from their solid defensive platform. Some outstanding work in midfield from Josh Bellis, Teddy Ferguson, Isaac Ravenhill and Archie Bennett saw Windermere dominate the match. Gonzalo Lucas was unfortunate up front; after skilfully beating the goalkeeper, the ball just wouldn’t sit for the shot and the scoring opportunity passed.
Windermere continued to force turnovers and create chances, which were eventually rewarded when Pierce Harris got into the circle and pounced on a loose ball to drive it into the net. Rossall continued to threaten but the team stuck to their defensive task, Gonzalo almost managed to lob the keeper – who made a good save before volleying wide from the save. Windermere continued to threaten but were unable to find another goal, despite coming close. Rossall forced a series of very late penalty corners, one of which was turned on to a post by Archie Dalzell, but Windermere hung on for a very well deserved 1-0 win.
Once again, the team was praised by the umpires along with the opposition coaches for their disciplined performances and fair play. Much credit should go to the team for three outstanding performances.
Players of the tournament, as voted by the team, are as follows:
3rd – Josh Bellis.
2nd – Archie Dalzell.
1st – Isaac Ravenhill.
U18 Boys’ North West Regional Finals
The next day, it was the turn of the U18 Boys. Starting the day with a 7am departure to Timperley Hockey Club for their North West Regionals. Three tough games were expected and, once again, a strong Altrincham Grammar School for Boys was our first opponent.
A solid defensive line of Archie Dalzell, Harry Broomby, Jack Dickson, Pierce Harris and Michy Carrillo provided a sound platform from which to build and an outstanding Oliver McTurk in goal kept AGSB frustrated until a penalty corner was eventually squeezed in. A second goal soon followed and, though the ball had clearly crossed the back line, frustratingly it was allowed to stand. A well struck backhand made the score line a rather flattering 3-0 to AGSB who would go on, once again, to win the tournament. Next up were a very vocal Neston High School, they piled on the pressure but Windermere held strong until a penalty corner was well converted. More penalty corners came, but Neston found Oliver McTurk in fine form and the score remained 1-0.
As Windermere grew in confidence, the game opened up and Neston worked in a great second goal. Unperturbed, Windermere continued to grow in confidence and stretch the game, creating scoring opportunities of their own. A penalty corner was well cleared by the opposition, but hard work, and a disciplined team performance, were rewarded when Tom Whitehead drilled home a penalty corner. Along with some great Windermere defending, this saw the game end 2-1. Still able to qualify for the final, if results went their way, Bolton were to prove no pushover in the last group game. In a more even affair, both teams created chances and Windermere’s solid teamwork provided the confidence going forward. Unfortunately, as the team tired, Bolton scored two quick goals one a great deflection by Oliver McTurk, once again performing outstandingly to keep the team in touch. Tom Whitehead, Oliver Thomas, Josh Bellis and Leighton Guang tried to create something from nothing, but to no avail. Bolton finished the match as the 2-0 winners.
Windermere were praised for their positive attitude, defensive structure and overall performance, with Oliver McTurk singled out in each game for particular praise. Everyone contributed to an excellent overall performance in all three games and should take great credit from the day.
The team voted for the players of the tournament:
Joint 2nd – Harry Broomby and Tom Whitehead.
1st (by some margin!) – Oliver McTurk.
Well done to both teams for two great days of hockey. Six excellent performances that showed you at your very best.
The first time my daughter and I visited the school she said to me “that is a happy school no question.” The scholastic achievements of the school are evident and an easy measure for a school to demonstrate. What is hard to quantify is the holistic development of a pupil at which, in my experience, Windermere School excels.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.