For an unprecedented eighth time in five years, a Dean Close
hockey team has qualified for the National Finals.
Earlier this season, the U16 boys’ team won the county championships
and the zone round to gain a place at the West of England finals last
week. They played five games beating
Taunton School 2-1 in the semi final to meet Millfield in the final. The final score was 2-2 which led to sudden
death penalty flicks where Millfield won 7-6, a team they had already beaten
earlier in the year.
That meant the team had to travel to Essex for a ‘winner-takes-all’
playoff against Saffron Waldron High School.
In a dominant performance the team won 6-1 with Lloyd Evans scoring a
The Dean Close U16 boys’ hockey team now goes on to take
part in the National Finals on 25-26 April at Cannock Hockey Club. It is the same team that lost the U14
National title on penalty flicks in 2011.
Director of Sport,
Rhys Gwilliam, said: “It has been a long journey for the boys to get to this
stage, putting in a huge amount of time, effort and dedication. The level of
talent within this squad equals that of the team who won the National Title in
2009. There is no reason why these boys cannot do the same.”
This qualification comes on the back of a fantastic season
for the U16 girls who won the West of England Championships and came 9th
in the National Finals in what is the biggest and most prestigious schools
netball tournament in the country.