After both the U18 and U16 boys qualified for the Indoor National Hockey Finals last term, the teams travelled together to Whitgift School in Croydon for the finals. The U18s played the first match in the tournament against Repton; despite Dean Close dominating the exchanges the match ended in a 2-2 draw. The second match for Dean Close was against a very strong Altrincham School and in a very defence dominated game, the boys lost in the dying minutes 3-2. In the third match against Ipswich, Dean Close made several attempts at goal and the score was tied 1-1 for the majority of the match. With just seconds to go Ipswich scored, ending a tough game at 2-1. The final match for the squad was against St George’s School another close fought game that ended in a draw; frustrating for the team who played excellent indoor hockey throughout and only narrowly missed out on the Semi Final.
The U16 squad played their first game of the day against Ipswich and in a close match Dean Close lost 1.0. However, as they have done previously in the West Finals, this loss galvanised the squad to play some excellent indoor hockey and in the next match against Trent they won 4-3 with excellent performances from Felix Roth, Richard Swan and Alex Chihota. In the third match vs Yarm School Dean Close proved triumphant once more with a strong 4-2 win; including a hat trick from Richard Swan. In the final match of the first day, the squad faced a very strong Whitgift side who had won all their matches easily. Dean Close defended well with an amazing display in goal from James Pollard and excellent defending from Ed Stevens and Felix Roth. Whitgift scored first but the score was soon equalised by Matt Candy with a superb goal. With minutes to go Whitgift scored once more and briefly took the lead before Felix Roth equalised yet again from a penalty corner, ending the game on another draw but with Dean Close qualifying for the Semi Final.
The Semi Final game was against a strong Repton side, and after a gruelling first half the game was tied 0-0 at Half Time. Repton scored two quick goals early in the second half and though Dean Close played well in defence the boys were not able to respond with a goal. Director of Hockey, Gary Tredgett, said “The squad were disappointed not to go further in the competition but achieved so much by getting to the last four in the country and their development during the indoor season has been exceptional. A number of the team started playing Indoor for the first time this year and I am very pleased with their progression.”