Junior Indoor Success

Posted by Nobody on 1 January 2017

U18 Indoor Match Report

First up for Cannock's U18 boys at the Aldersley Sports Centre on Sunday (18 Dec) was Bridgnorth. In a tough group, this was a must win game. After a lacklustre first half, the Cannock boys upped their work rate to go 5 nil up. Bridgnorth won a consolation flick in the dyeing seconds but was well saved by the Cannock keeper, Connor Beardmore. Next up was the much tougher prospect of Repton, who pulled ahead with a goal, half way through the first half. Although Cannock continued to press, shots continued to go wide of the Repton goal. It an evenly fought match, Repton broke away and doubled their lead with the game ending in a disappointing 2-1. The final game of the group was against the in form Belpher, Cannock needed to win and win well. From the push back, the Cannock boys started at pace scoring 2 early goals with the pressure firmly back on Belpher. In the second half, Cannock doubled their lead, for Belpher to then win a penalty flick, which was once again saved. A final goal slotted home by Cannock meant a 5 nil win and a job very well done by the Cannock lads, and on to the semi’s as winners of their group.

The semi’s saw Cannock pitted against their local rivals, Lichfield. In a hard fought battle, both sides couldn’t breakdown each other’s defence initially, until half way through the first half when Lichfield scored against the run of play. Cannock remained one down until 3 minutes from time when they managed to draw even. With 81 seconds left on the clock, Lichfield pulled away with another goal, Cannock quickly subbed the keeper, putting Ben Hampton as kicking back, but the referee immediately gave a controversial short, which was cleared well by the Cannock team, only for the ref to award Lichfield a flick, with the keeper quickly brought back on, it proved one flick to many as a well place short hit the back of the net. Cannock had plenty of chances during the game but were unable to capitalise on the main shorts won in their favour. Lichfield run out 3-1 winners, with the 2015 champions having to wait another year to regain their crown back!

Cannock U16 Indoors, Midlands Regional Finals – Sunday 18 December 2016

The Cannock boys squad of 9 players qualified well from their Pool A as group winners after beating Bridgnorth (6-0), Stourport (3-1) Repton (3-2) and Derwent (7-0).

Semi-Final vs Lichfield​- Won 3-1

Final vs Repton – 2-4 Lost (but the two finalists qualify for the National Finals in late January 2017)

It was encouraging to see that a couple of training sessions gave them both the structure and confidence to take their learnings and ability into each game. It is difficult to sometimes maintain the intensity and discipline required especially in games that only last 8 minutes each way in qualification – then, when you are approaching tired, moving to potentially two knock out matches (semi-final and final) when it becomes ‘winner takes all’. The key group game was versus Repton Hockey club, a well drilled and structured side linked to Repton school but now a club in its first Midlands indoor tournament. Louie Morris the Cannock coach requested a passing game and for the most part the team delivered even when the score initially was against them. The result of a 3-2 win set the team up well for the semi-finals with one game to play from the pool.
The good news is that the team defended well throughout the day. Oliver Tubb as Goalkeeper performed solidly when required, assisted most of the time by Duncan Gladwin and Joe Norwood who protected him well. Conrad Willars and George Jandhu rotated well with George sometimes playing further up the pitch – but both penetrated defences and gained vital outcomes with flicks and corners resulting. Duncan’s flicking and the variations to corner routines deserved more goals than were scored but the opportunities were being created well.

Duncan not only led the attacking line with penalty flicks and short corners, he turned over possession and defended admirably as needed – a true captain’s example and an on pitch leader. The support roles were filled well and at Nationals it will be important for the team to improve their quick fire passing, D penetrations and convert more of the chances they create! Luke Stacey, Cameron Horn, Lewis and Harry Michael all made valuable contributions on the day. All are capable of stepping up onto the National stage and we look forward to developing further-still after more training team development.

Boys U16 Indoor

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