Reading U18 Boys Round-upBy Reading Hockey Club • May 11th, 2013 • Category: Home Page, Next Generation, U18 Boys
Whilst the men’s 1st XI were securing the third place at the play-offs the U18 boys played their final match of the 2012/13 season against Oxford in the play-off matches for the Mercian league – unfortunately it was indeed their ‘final’ match of the season as the team went down 5-2 in a keenly contested game played at high speed and with great quality. With Julius Bruecker unavailable due to duty for the Men’s 1st XI and skipper Alex Manton-Jones injured the day before playing for the Men’s 2′s it was always going to be a big ask for the squad, but the team played with real passion and commitment and were kept in the game right until the end by some excellent defending, not least by man-of-the-match James Waite in goal.
The boys had qualified for the league play-offs by coming second in the Mercian League West after a strong campaign which included big wins against both Maidenhead (5-0) and Yateley (6-0).
The side also got off to a great start in the U18 EH Cup with an 8-1 defeat of Gerrards Cross, before losing 5-2 with a weakened squad to a strong Old Loughtonians side who subsequently went on to win the whole event, beating Beeston 3-2 in the final.
As well as playing for the U18s, many of the boys are also regular players for the men’s sides – in particular for the Refills, playing alongside a few senior and not-so-senior adults (you know who you are!) in the London League, but also representing the club at 1st XI, 2nd XI, 2As, Rovers and Retros. On top of that James Waite, Oli Brown and Nic Barton have being playing u17 county this season as did Ali Higginson stepping up from u16. In addition the likes of Kiran Dhoot, Joe Mahony, Robbie Ashby, Oli Brown and Alex Manton-Jones are key members of the ‘Young Leaders’ team which assists with coaching the U8-U12 colts on Sunday mornings and as such have made significant contributions to the club over a number of years.
Highlights of the season include some outstanding performances at the RHC Christmas Dinner, especially from Alex MJ, plus one or 2 decent moments on the pitch as well !!
A number of the squad who have been training/playing at Reading from the U8s will now of course be heading off the University and other pastures new, so we wish them all the very best, and thank them all for their contributions to Reading Hockey Club.
Finally a big ‘thank you’ to all who have helped with coaching, umpiring, managing and general ferrying about of the players.
Ian Ashby & Judith Barton