Bury St Edmunds Hockey Club hosted the East Cluster finals on 12th May with over 100 hockey players travelling from as far afield as Holcombe (near Maidstone, Kent) and Surbiton (South-West London).
The boys played a home and away fixture matches against teams from Bedford, City of Peterborough and Spalding to qualify top of their division for the East Cluster qualification.
The boys started extremely well with a 4-0 win over St Albans, all four goals scored by the season top scorer Ben Smart. His fourth goal was a fabulous lob over the St Albans keeper, our own goalie Max Woods saved a penalty flick to keep St Albans off the score sheet.
The next match the team faced opposition from Surbiton Hockey Club, one the UK’s top hockey clubs. The match started well until our central player Cameron Ford was accidentally hit in the face by an opposition stick putting him out of action for the rest of the afternoon. The team lost their focus and had to adapt to a different play style, sadly Surbiton players were too well organised and took full advantage winning 3-0.
In the 3rd /4th place play-off the team faced Braintree. Still disappointed after their loss to Surbiton, the team looked like they had given up and were facing a 0-2 deficit at half time. However, a spirited team talk by the coaches got the team revitalised and re-organised for the second half. Within a minute of the re-starting signal, Bury had found the back of the Braintree goal through the prolific Ben Smart, followed a few minutes later by a second, a sneaky backhand shot from Will Bettley. With all to play for at 2-2 the Bury defence of Max Chapman, Henry Derbyshire and goalkeeper Aengus Sullivan worked hard to keep Braintree away from the D and out of the goal, and with five minutes of the game left Ben Smart found the goal again to score his sixth goal of the tournament meaning Bury finished a well-deserved 3rd.
For a small club like Bury, where we only have 18 boys on the players list for the U14’s, to finish 3rd behind two National League clubs (winners Surbiton and runners-up Holcombe) is no mean feat and the boys and coaches should be very proud of their achievements, losing only 2 matches all season.
Goalkeepers: Aengus Sullivan, Nikolaj Winter and Max Woods
Outfield Players: Alex Bettley, Will Bettley, Max Chapman, Will Daniel, Henry Derbyshire, Cameron Ford , Josh Gooding, Henry Green, Ollie Hill, Lucas Nicolai, Guy Salisbury, Sam Slark-Hollis, Ben Smart
Coaches: Caroline Daniel, Mikey Thompson, Chris Chapman and Leonie Kammeijer
Manager: Annemarie Vis
Well done to all involved - the club is extremely proud of your achievements