The U18 boys’ hockey team from Hurstpierpoint College is now ranked third in the UK after competing in the National Schools’ Hockey Championship finals in London.
The Hurst boys won the bronze medal in spectacular fashion after playing at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre, part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Hurst faced Exeter School in the semi-final. The game was played at an excellent pace with many young players impressing the England coaches who were watching. Hurst almost won through in the final minute but the match went to a penalty shoot-out and Exeter went forward to contest the final.
On day two of the championship games, Hurst played a gripping match for third place against The Perse School from Cambridge. Hurst took the lead in each half and saved a penalty stroke but Perse fought back each time and Hurst prevailed by scoring from a penalty corner in the dying seconds of the match.
The Hurst boys were presented with their bronze medals on the Olympic pitch by the Chairman of England Hockey.
Hurst qualified for the national finals this year after claiming victories against Bedales School, Ardingly College, Churcher’s College, Portsmouth Grammar School and the reigning national champions, Whitgift School, whom Hurst defeated in the quarter-final.
Hockey coach Chris Marchant commented, “I am very proud of the achievement of these boys and in the manner they represented the school. They have worked very hard this season and the memory of the national championships will stay with them for life.”
The team comprised: George Axton, Daniel Hodgkin, Max Paterson, Alex Cooke, Rob Cope (captain), Sam George, John Mooney, Ben Cooke, Sam Heinzl, George Garton, Johnathon Rea, Ben Candfield, Sam Todd-Saunders, Edward Firth, Oliver Mackenzie, William Francis and Jack Troak.
Report and picture contributed by Hurstpierpoint College.