After a very early start, involving a two and a half hour journey to Canford School in Dorset, no one knew what the day would hold for our U13 boys’ hockey team at the South Regional IAPS Championships. However, the squad was strong and all seemed focused on the tough day that lay ahead.
Cranleigh Prep had a 3–1 victory over Parkside in their first game of the group stage and this was a sign of things to come. They then managed to secure 3–0, 4–0, and 6–0 wins against Great Walstead, Barrow Hills and Highfield respectively. This meant they finished top of their group and sent them straight through to the quarter finals. Knowing that if they won the quarter final they would qualify for the national championships at Millfield at the end of March, there were new pressures for the team. However, this didn’t faze them and they continued to play wonderful team hockey throughout the knock out stages. They beat Sandroyd 8–0 in the quarter final, Eagle House 4–1 in the semi-final and set up a final challenge against Stroud School. Cranleigh Prep won the final 6–1, concluding what had been an almost perfect day of hockey for the team.
They played and won 7 games, scored a staggering 34 goals and only conceded 3 throughout the tournament. It truly was a team effort and every single player played their part in such an amazing day. It was summed up by the gentleman presenting the shield and medals at the end of the tournament. He described the incredible buzz around the tournament from players, coaches and parents, saying: ‘Have you seen Cranleigh Prep School play?’ This was the best compliment that team coaches, Harry Thomas and Alison Jolly, could have asked for.
Many congratulations to our U13 boys, we witnessed an unbelievable standard of hockey played by each and every one of them. Bring on the nationals!