u10 Boys - Purley festival
By Graeme Law
u10 boys enjoy mixed fortunes at the Purley festival
Priory entered two teams for the Purley festival, the first they’d ever played with goalkeepers.
Thomas R and Mark bravely volunteered to keep, and both did fantastically - particularly given the kit wasn’t personally tailored! However, it did give them added protection against the bitter cold, which took its toll on the rest of our players, and both teams were not as fluent and disciplined as they’d been in previous festivals.
The two Reigate teams played each other in the first match - and within 30 seconds an incredible mazy run by Sam had put the Meerkats ahead. The Meerkats ended up beating the Polecats 3-0, a slightly flattering scoreline to a hard-fought game.
Whilst the Polecats continued to struggle in losses against Purley and Old Dragons, the Meerkats had a frustrating time in goalless draws against those teams. The first penalty corner was a learning experience, as a well struck injection shot past two players expecting the other to stop it...
However, we were able to rearrange our teams for two final games, and suddenly things clicked into place.
The Polecats thumped Purley 4-1, with a succession of fantastic flowing moves capped off by goals from Isaac, Charlie, Henry and Jacob. The Meerkats then beat a very strong Dragons side 2-1. Sam and Toby scored the goals, but it was a great team performance, with George, Austin, Henrik and Thomas R all performing heroics in defence , and Thomas H and Ruari providing penetration down the flanks.
After a succession of dominant performances in last year’s festivals, there was disappointment at finally losing our unbeaten status. But the strength in depth of the boys' u10 hockey squad is incredibly encouraging, and the way the team bounced back to win the last two games augers well for tougher challenges to come in the future.