On Wednesday 7th February Avon House competed in the Redbridge Games Mini 8 Hockey tournament at Redbridge Sports Centre along with thirteen other schools.
After a severe frost overnight this mixed event started on time with a coveted place in the London Games at Crystal Palace beckoning.
Unfortunately the squad took time to get into their stride with a keenly contested scoreless draw against a pacey Aldersbrook side in the first fixture.
The second group match against Christchurch proved more frustrating with the team spurning five penalty corners and squandering possession and the side trudged off after another nil-nil.
The third match against Fairlop looked to be crucial with the opponents having already secured a victory but proved to be a case of déjà vus. A host of corners went begging and a fusillade of shots were repelled by their goalkeeper, who was a shoo-in for man of the match. Yet another 0-0 resulted, leaving qualification hopes dangling in the balance.
Aldersbrook had now chiselled out two wins and secured their place in the semi-finals and we went into our last group match against Manford needing a resounding win, to perhaps finish as the best second place team in the competition and seize the final berth in the last four.
Goals from Brandon and Adam saw a very raw, inexperienced team “put to the sword” but this proved in vain for Ilford Jewish Primary had a superior points tally.
A solitary goal in just one of the first three matches would have been enough to have progressed in the tournament and it was galling to be eliminated without ever conceding a goal but this is the nature of tournament play. Congratulations to our neighbours Wells Primary, who went on to triumph on penalties in both the semi and the final.
Many thanks to the parents who came along to support the children and to the organisers for coping with a spate of late withdrawals.