Boys’ Indoor Hockey
The U18s Indoor West Finals were played at Wellington College in Somerset. Dean Close won both games in the first group vs Queen’s Taunton (3-1) and then against Canford (3-1). The boys then played King’s Bruton and, after a hard fought battle, won 2-1. This took them to the final group stage to meet Millfield and Exeter. In the first match vs Exeter (National Finalists last year) Dean Close played very well in an even match but unfortunately conceded two goals when they had a player in the sin bin, so lost 2-0. This meant they needed to beat Millfield to qualify. The boys dominated the early exchanges with Francesco Biedermann scoring a fantastic goal and Olly Birmingham getting fouled to force a penalty which Nicola Klukte scored. Millfield scored near the end but Dean Close ran out winners and qualified for the National Indoor Finals to be held at Whitgift School. The whole squad played well and were captained by Adrian Street.
The U16s Indoor West Finals were also played at Wellington College in Somerset. With a very young squad Dean Close started with a 3-1 win vs King Edward’s Bath and, after dominating all the play against Prior Park, drew 1-1. This meant they won their group and played Exeter in the knockout match. In a hard fought match the boys pulled off a 2-1 win which put them into a final group with Queen’s Taunton and King Edward’s Bath. In the first match vs Queen’s they went 2-0 up, only to be pegged back to 2-2 with seconds remaining. However the game was not over and Max Reeker put away an amazing corner flick to win the match 3-2. The boys then had to play King Edward’s Bath and in a very close match, managed to come back from 2-1 to draw 2-2 with Max Reeker once again scoring to put them through to the National Indoor Finals as West Champions. This is an amazing achievement from a very young squad. Sam Norwood captained the team with the whole squad contributing to a successful day.