- 05 Feb, 2019
Boys U16s EH Junior Championships – Jersey v Horsham & v Reigate Priory
Junior Hockey – Boys U16s
EH Junior Championships 2018 / 19 – Tier 2 – Division 8
Horsham Boys U16s 2, Jersey Boys U16s 1
Buoyed by the win over old rivals Guernsey in the England Hockey National Junior Club Championships Division last weekend, Jersey’s U16s Boys’ set off to the UK to play their final two group matches, knowing that they if they won them both they would win the group and be invited to an Area Regionals Finals day.
The matches were played back-to-back at superb facilities in Horsham and the weather was kind, so Jersey stepped on to the pitch against bottom of the table Horsham in good spirit. But what sport teaches you is that nothing is certain, and when Jersey opened the scoring after five minutes with a well taken low drag flick by Jamie Watling from a short corner, things were going to plan. Despite Jersey dominating the play and winning numerous penalty corners and creating chances that important second goal never materialised and right on half time, from a rare Horsham attack, they equalised from open play.
At the start of the second half Horsham were playing with more confidence and took the lead with a very well worked far post deflection from a penalty corner routine. Jersey pushed forward for the deserved equaliser and spent the final fifteen minutes camped in the Horsham half, but a series of missed chances and good Horsham defending earned the hosts the victory by a narrow margin.
Jersey Boys U16s 3, Reigate Priory Boys U16s 1
Needing to pick themselves up for the second game against the more dangerous, on paper, Reigate Priory, the first action was furious. Reigate Priory won a penalty corner and the fierce strike beat Jersey keeper Henry Dawson only to see Jersey captain Robbie Forrest stop the ball dead on the goal line before clearing away. The Jersey boys then settled and started to play to their potential and were keeping the ball better and stretching the Reigate Priory defence.
The deadlock was broken following a Jersey short corner when the dangerous Chris Thomas fired in an accurate low cross and found Aidan Boyle free at the far post for a tap in. Jersey were now dominant and doubled the lead when Boyle crossed into the Reigate Priory D, for the ball to be deflected into the air. Jersey forward Archie Corbett reacted quickest and swatted the ball head height on the volley into the top corner for a superb strike.
At the beginning of the second half, Reigate Priory pushed forward to get back into the game and set some Jersey nerves jangling by pulling one back from a low shot at the near post but the boys in red responded well and restored the two-goal advantage when Thomas finished well from a Jersey penalty corner routine. The opposition then started to lose their composure, leading to several green and yellow cards and despite a late superb Dawson save, Jersey comfortable and professionally saw out the final few minutes.
The Jersey team sits top of the Division with twelve points from their five matches and can only be caught by Guernsey, who need two big wins from their two remaining fixtures to see who wins the group and has the opportunity to compete for Area Champions.