It is always a sad time when a successful sporting season winds down, and this hockey season is certainly no exception. The highs of this season have been plentiful, and particularly so in this last week, and there is still more to come. Our 1st XI treated us to an exciting match against Manchester Grammar School in the quarter finals of the National Cup on Tuesday 26 March, securing a victory and a place in the finals, which they will play at the Olympic Park on 1 and 2 May. This will be the last time these boys will play together before leaving school at the end of the year.
The season’s block fixtures provided the boys with a canvas to show their strength and go down in the school history books after winning all of their fixtures – our first hockey team in quite some time to end the regular season with a 100% win record. In fact, they are unbeaten in block fixtures over the last two years and they have only lost five block fixture games in the five years they have been playing together – three of those were to Repton School who are very much considered one of the best hockey schools in the country.
Despite their strong start to the season, the boys have not rested on their laurels and have put in extra training sessions, spent time analysing their game and working on tactics. This has paid dividends – this season they have scored 86 goals and conceded only 33, and in their last three matches they scored 8, 15 and 10 goals respectively! We must also remember that these are the same boys who reached the finals, finishing in the top four, of the National Indoor Hockey Championship in January – an outstanding achievement.
Our U16A team finished off the season on a high scoring an equaliser in the last touch of the game against an unbeaten Perse side – a clear demonstration of the great determination they have shown throughout the year. Winning 7, drawing 1 and losing 4 of their regular fixtures, and a top 16 finish in their National Cup tournament, shows great promise for next year. The boys can hold their heads up high as they finish the season.
U15C team have had a remarkable season! They also ended on a high with a win against a strong Perse side meaning that they have won every single fixture this term, scoring 21 and only conceding 1 goal! This has been an amazing season for these boys and a real testament to their attitude and commitment.
The U14A team just missed out on regional qualification from both of their regional tournaments and enjoyed a steady regular season winning 8, drawing 2 and losing only 4 matches. The team has made great progress throughout this year, having made the tricky transition from 7-a-side to the full 11-a-side game. Their performance at the Indoor Regional Championships bodes well and they will be looking strong for next season’s indoor tournament having played two years below their age this year.
Director of Hockey Mr Samuel Mee said, “We have played more fixtures than recorded in previous years for boys at all levels across the school, from U14D to our 1st XI. The boys’ determination and commitment to hockey at Bedford School was apparent in all of their games, none more so than the U16A scoring an equaliser in their last play of the season and the 1st XI equalising with 10 seconds to go to qualify for the national finals. There is a real enthusiasm around hockey in school currently and that is testament to the culture being driven by the boys themselves and indeed the staff. I hope to see the boys continuing their momentum on a hockey pitch over the summer months and I am already looking forward to the indoor programme starting again in September.”