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BU14 Seals Make Comeback Against OGs

7th February 2022

By Will Hayes

BU14 Seals 3 – 2 Old Georgians

The Boys U14 Seals travelled down to St George's College to face Old Georgians (the band/team formerly known as Dragons) in the quarter final of the England Hockey Tier 1 Cup. The hosts' hockey prowess was displayed by the fact that their Men's 1s (playing a practice game against Holcombe) contained GB stars such as Sam Ward and Ashley Jackson. That said, one SHC hockey parent thought that it was a men's third team game as he thought the players looked a tad out of shape – maybe time to reflect during the Sunday morning four-ball at Burhill me thinks. 

As Liverpool fans will remember that the legendary Steven Gerrard occasionally has a blip, so one of the Seals midfield superstars had a slip within the first minute of play. OGs stole possession and took the lead. Within the next two minutes some indecision and "after you Claude" in the defensive line took place which saw one of the OGs take the ball at pace and strike a pure all-along-the-carpet tomahawk to put OGs 2-0 up and place half a foot into the semi finals.

Our midfield maestro though dusted himself down and kept his nerve and along with Toby began to dictate play. Toby was keen to play forward and get the ball into the opposing D. Good positioning from Fordy saw a dangerous ball played across the D and Dexter, not a young man to stand on ceremony, bundled the ball home. 2-1. 

Dragons continued to pose a threat with some skilfull players in midfield and on the counter. But it was the Seals who struck next. Wabi provided a great outlet upfront and was moving the ball effectively and finding his team mates. A purple passage of play for the visitors resulted in the hosts having a ball intercepted high up the pitch. When others might have clammed up in the situation, young Barney, faced one-on-one with the keeper displayed proficiency at "giving the eyes" to the keeper that may keep him in good stead at the junior disco/Prom/Pryzm (delete as appropriate) – the youngster slotted the ball home for the equaliser.

So, 2-2 at the break and all to play for. In the coaching role was Frankie – a  glass-three-quarters-empty Northerner – who was delighted at half time to see the heavens open as it reminded him of his days playing on the Red-gra at Alderley Edge. Whatever was said, worked. The Seals team passed the ball around using the full width of the pitch with Olly making smart use of the aerial pass. 

James and Jude had seemingly made visits to the same hairdresser and asked for the "Peaky Blinders" cut - the new barnets seemingly reduced the drag co-efficient as they both used their pace to good effect. Some onlookers were surprised to see that the left-half-that-shall-not-be-named had found himself in right midfield and was finding space and moving the ball adroitly with the right winger Barney: the combo looks promising and may bode well for manoeuvres at upcoming sixth form balls.

Cormac et al upfront were finding space but were not quite able to apply a clinical finish as the game became more stretched and pockets of space appeared for the Surbiton side. It was Toby who followed one of his early passes to find some space in the D as the ball broke to him on the P-spot where he applied a Wayne Gretzy ice hockey slap-shot finish to put Surbiton 3-2 up.

OGs continued to pose a threat on the counter and the Seals were lucky that Coxy was keeping calm and showing strength in the tackle to repel the hosts' attacks. And so a berth in the semi-finals against one of Guildford, Cambridge or the winners of Brooklands vs York awaits on, I think, Sunday 27th February.