Boys U18s heading for Final

Posted by Nobody on 9 April 2017

9th April, 2017 – England Hockey Boys U18’s Semi Final

Cannock vs Bowdon

With a place in the finals at Lee Valley at stake, Cannock started from the off putting Bowden under consistent pressure. Following a number of close calls in the Bowden D, Jamie Greenwood fired a ball from  the right and into the path of Chris Gardner, who preceded to reverse stick the ball through the keepers legs to make it one nil to Cannock after 10 minutes.

With Bowden restarting the game, Cannock immediately intercepted and mounted another charge in to the Bowden D, resulting in Conrad Willars slotting home passed the flailing Bowden keeper to make it two nil after 12 minutes.

The game continued at pace, with some skilful passing and defence from the Cannock boys. When eventually a Bowden player broke free from Cannock to enter the top of the D, with only a charging Cannock keeper left as the last line of defence, but Connor Beardmore was more than a match for the Bowden attacker, preforming a precisely timed sliding stick tackle to clear the ball and allow the Cannock defence to regroup. With the ball back with Bowden the Cannock keeper was again called on with an aggressive smoother to take the ball and send the Bowden attacker somersaulting in to the air. With Bowden’s first short of the game, the ball was sent wide of the Cannock goal. With that the umpire blew his whistle for half time and a chance to get some fluids onboard on the hot April day.

Cannock started the 2nd half as they did the first, in total control of the game and were denied a third goal by the Bowden keeper. Undeterred Cannock pressed again with a lovely ball played in to the D by Callum Mackenzie, with the shot fired just slightly wide by Chris Gardner. Another great run by Mackenzie resulted in a short to Cannock, with the resulting shot cleared but forcing a second short. Chris Gardner made no mistake with the superb shot driven hard in to the Bowden net to make it three nil.

It was all one way traffic from here on in, with a Bowden foot clearing a ball on the goal line, the resulting flick neatly put away by Gardner for his hat trick, and to make it four nil to Cannock with 15 minutes left to play.

Sensing defeat, Bowden mounted one last attack at the Cannock goal, only for their close range shot to be cleared by the Cannock keeper. In the scramble to clear the ball, it caught a Cannock foot to give Bowden a short and potentially a consolation goal. With the drag flick coming in towards the Cannock goal, a driving Beardmore made his final save ensuring another clean sheet.

With the ball quickly back in the Bowden D,  a defensive error gave Hamish McKittrick an excellent reverse stick over the Bowden keepers head to make it five nil. With the Cannock boys sensing outright victory, they continued to pressurise the now deflated Bowden defence, resulting with Callum Mackenzie precisely executing a drag flick into the top of the net from the top D to make it six nil. With only seconds left on the clock, again Mackenzie made a single handed run from the half way line through the Bowden defence to lift the ball over the keeper and high in the Bowden net.

The final score, SEVEN nil to Cannock who played outstanding hockey for 70 minutes and well deserve their place at the finals in Lee Valley.

Boys U18s

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Why Cannock? We've a history of competing in and winning National competitions across all junior and senior hockey. We're also a great club with numerous sides playing every weekend for players of all ability and commitment! Why now? We are one of only a few clubs nationally who have both Men's and Ladies 1st Teams playing NATIONAL LEAGUE Hockey!

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