St.Ives Under 10 boys went into the 2014 County Club Championship with high expectations having finished 3rd in 2013. They beat all before them including previous winners Saffron Waldon and Cambridge City to become County Champions for the first time.
This meant a place in the regional tournament, held at Harleston Magpies,for the first time for a St.Ives team. Matches to be played against the best of Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
Starting a little rusty after a 3 week easter break the boys lost the first game 1-0 to a well drilled Blue Hornets team, but then recovered in the group stages to beat Bury St.Edmunds 3-0 (2 goals Tom Smith, 1 Ollie Traherne) , draw 1-1 with Broxbourne (Ollie Traherne) and then beat Dereham 1-0, (Tom Smith) in their first game played on waterbased astro.
This meant 2nd place in the group and a semi final position against Blueharts (winners of group A).
The boys were now playing their best, controlled hockey and dominated Blueharts to win 2-0. Tom Smith and Harrison Kemp with the goals and excellent midfield play from Mark Pater and Matty Lynn.
At the same time they saw Blue Hornets, who had beaten them in the first game and go on to win the group, lose their semi final to Old Loughtonians on penalties.
After a prep talk to calm the nerves the boys and Old Loughts traded blows to draw 1-1. Jack Maltby with the goal and expert defending from Connor Clinton, Edward Hill and Charlie McCarter.
No extra time – straight to penalties. Three volunteers were needed to take penalty flicks.
A little reminder from the coach (me) on best position and the boys new to aim hard to the bottom right of the goal.
Matty Lynn bravely took the first, and beat the keeper with perfect positioned flick.
Goalkeeper Dom Fairholm then stepped to the mark and saved the first Old Loughts flick.
Harrison Kemp took the ball for St.Ives and again confidently put the ball into the bottom right corner.
Old loughts second player confidently put the ball on the spot, flicked and watched as Dom Fairholm changed direction to expertly save his second penalty.
No need to take our 3rd (Jack Maltby was gutted). We had won it!!
St.Ives were crowned East Under 10 Regional Champions at their first attempt.
Several managers of other teams complimented St.Ives style of play, attitude and how good it was to see a different team winning this tournament.
The future of hockey is bright with these boys and the rest of the St.Ives Junior Section.