The region travelled to the comparatively local venue at Watford having selected a squad of 13 after a series of training sessions that took place at Splashpoint in Worthing. In this age group we have a reasonable number of boys to select from and even though some potential squad members were unavailable for a number of reasons, we still had a difficult selection process to arrive at a final 13. A number of boys were unlucky to miss out on selection but we hope that they will have benefited from the training sessions.
The final squad was as follows; -
- Henry Elwell-Sutton (G/) Mid Sussex Marlins
- Adam Pearson, Hastings
- Matt O'Dell, Crawley
- Ben Chegwin, Hastings
- Charles King-Tenison, Crawley
- Zachary Elliott, Portsmouth
- Elliot Hurst, Crawley
- Harrison Peel, Crawley
- Ollie Hunt, Andover
- Tom Lee, Andover
- Jude Goddard, Andover
- Akos Hausknecht, Worthing
- Al Handyside, Basingstoke
Coach; - Ben Alcorn, Assistant Coach; - Alastair Roberts, Team Manager; - Sophie Williams.
Our final build up to Watford was not helped by pool closures at Splashpoint at very short notice and it was great shame that we never had the chance to work with the squad the week before the event.
The individual match reports are as follows; -
South East 1, North East `17. (H/T 1-5)
This was a really tough opening game against the team that eventually were the overall winners of the competition. We actually scored first and played well for a couple of minutes but then the opposition counter attack started to dominate the game.
We were punished on many occasions when we were unable to maintain possession under heavy pressure and the team really struggled during the second half of the match.
Scorer; - Harrison
Exclusions; - Harrison 3, Charles 2, Jude 1, Tom 1, Ollie 1, Al 1.
South East 1, Wales 6. (H/T 1-3)
A much better performance from the team and the defending was much improved which resulted in a much more competitive performance. The boys were still struggling to create many scoring opportunities but we did have a number of chances when we might have done better.
Exclusions; - Matt 2, Zach 2, Ollie 2, Adam 1.
South East 1, Ireland 8. (H/T 0-3)
This was another improved performance against a big and strong Ireland team who play a very uncompromising full press defence. We actually maintained possession pretty well and we were unfortunate not to score more than the one goal which was a good finish from Elliot at the end of a well worked man-up play. Although we were guilty of conceding on a number of occasions when we probably should have done better, the boys put together a much more competitive performance.
Scorer; - Elliot
Exclusions; - Tom 3, Matt 1, Akos 1, Jude 1, Harrison 1.
South East 3, London 9. (H/T 2-5)
Possibly our best performance against a talented London team who eventually finished as runners up and we frustrated them for long periods with a much more more competitive display. The team were beginning to create more chances in attack and the quality of our defending had also improved limiting the opposition to a relatively small number of chances. Henry produced a number of good saves and the final score probably flattered the opposition a little.
Scorers; - Adam 2, Elliot 1.
Exclusions; - Jude 3, Akos 1, Adam 1, Zach 1, Harrison 1, Elliot 1, Charles 1.
South East 4, Scotland 11. (H/T 2-5)
This was always going to be a tough game, not least because it was played at 8.30 on Sunday morning. The early start time was reflected in a lethargic opening when we allowed the Scotland counter attack to dominate proceedings. We did improve as the match went on and we looked better in attack scoring 4 good goals but the final score was probably a fair reflection of the difference between the teams.
Scorers; - Adam 1, Zach 1, Harrison 1, Elliot 1.
Exclusions; - Akos 2, Ben 2, Jude 1, Zach 1, Harrison 1, Charles 1.
South East 1, East 3, (H/T 1-0)
This was another good performance to finish and we led a strong East team at half-time after a penalty from Adam. All of the squad played well and the quality of the defending in the first half indicated the potential of the team. We ran out of steam a little as the game went on but this was still a very competitive effort from all of the boys.
Scorer; - Adam
Exclusions; - Jude 1, Zach 1, Harrison 1.
Overall it was obviously disappointing not to record a win but we did see a huge improvement over the course of the weekend and all of the squad gave 100%. Henry was voted by the opposition coaches our MVP which was very much deserved because he made a string of fine saves including a number of penalties.
It was a very tough weekend for the boys but I'm sure that they will have learned a great deal from the chance to play in this competition. The squad were a really good group to work with and they always tried to develop the ideas and tactics that the coach was trying to work on even when it was particularly hard going.
Squad Photo (courtesy of Sophie Williams).
Back row; - Al Handyside, Charles King-Tenison, Henry Elwell-Sutton, Matt O'Dell, Harrison Peel, Adam Pearson, Tom Lee, Ben Alcorn (coach)
Front row; - Elliot Hurst, Akos Hausknecht, Zach Elliott, Jude Goddard, Ollie Hunt, Ben Chegwin.