Resilient Perse hockey team battle testing conditions to earn national finals spot
14 Mar 2019
The Perse boys’ U13 hockey team held their nerve against the opposition and the elements to prevail in the East finals of the England Schools In2Hockey Championships.
In awful weather conditions at Redbridge, the Perse team carried all before them as they came through the group stage. They claimed victories over Forest School (1-0), Bedford School (5-0), Spalding School (4-0) and Town Close School (3-0) as well as drawing 1-1 with Culford School and sharing a goalless stalemate with Aldwickbury School.
The semi-finals saw The Perse held to a 0-0 draw by Gresham’s School, but they came through 2-1 on penalty strokes thanks to two saves from goalkeeper Viwe Wood, and won the competition by beating St Faith’s School 3-1 in the final.
Following their success, they will now go on to play in the national finals in Nottingham in May.
Captain Jack Moffat and vice-captain Hugh Ponder were delighted that the team had made it to the finals after a difficult regional competition.
Jack said: “It’s really exciting that we’re in the finals and it’s a great feeling knowing our team has been good enough to progress. Most of us have been playing together since Year 3, so we know how each other is going to play which is great.”
On the conditions, Hugh said: “We had a hard time with the weather, but we managed to tough it out. It was like being in a cold shower. A lot of our players said they couldn’t even feel their hands, but we just thought ‘if we’re cold, the other teams will be cold too’ so we showed a strong mentality.”
The pair have another big sporting occasion to look forward to as they are also in the Perse boys’ U14 team, which has qualified for the Notts Sports England schools finals at the Olympic Park in April.
Jack said: “That will be a great experience and hopefully something we can learn from for the U13 finals. Being in the U14 team also means Hugh and I are playing 11-a-side a year early and we can lead by example next year because we’ll have gained that experience.”