22 Jan 2018
Indoor Hockey: Whitgift U16s win national hockey competition

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The national Super 6s indoor hockey competition culminated with a weekend of fantastic hockey earlier this month. The boys’ competition, hosted annually at Whitgift, is the top indoor competition for schools. Teams progress from county rounds, to regional, and then the indoor finals.

Both Whitgift’s U16 and U18 teams had reached the divisional stages. The U18s faced a series of knock-out rounds against their pool, playing excellently and winning against Reed’s School (4-1), Kingston Grammar School (3-1) and The Portsmouth Grammar School (7-1). This set the team up against St Lawrence College in the South Semi-Final, with the winner gaining an automatic place in the national finals. Dr Karl Stagno, Whitgift’s Director of Hockey, recounted, “Whilst the team was quietly confident, as they had beaten St Lawrence 4-2 in a previous round’s game, they were also very aware of the strengths St Lawrence possessed. Unfortunately, and even after playing brilliantly for the most part, the U18s lost 3-2 to a very dogged and clinical side.”

The U16s, in turn, started their campaign back in November, with a massive 10-0 win over St Lawrence in the South Heats. Victories against Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School, Lingfield College, Magdalen College School and Cranleigh School were enough to see them comfortably through to the national finals. It was at the finals that the team came into its own; resounding victories against Forest School (6-0), Altrincham Grammar School (3-0), Worksop College (4-0) and Dean Close School (4-0) put Whitgift in pole position for the title. A stubborn Bishop’s Stortford College side lay in wait, but they too succumbed with a 4-0 loss. Whitgift faced old rivals, Dean Close, in the final, having been in the same position at U13s national final, when Whitgift finished runners-up. A resolute display of hockey saw Whitgift finish with a victorious 2-0 final score. The team were crowned national champions, after a run of impressive stats: they played 13 games in total, scored 84 goals throughout the campaign, and only conceded 3.

This is the fifth time Whitgift U16s have won the title in 10 years, having gone one better than last year, when they lost in the final.

Dr Stagno concludes, “Ability takes you to the top, but character keeps you there - this team has both traits in abundance. We are so proud of them and pleased the have managed to reap the rewards of their hard work!”