U13 Boys - Report
|Abergavenny||vs||All South Wales Sides|
Under 13’s Boys Storm to South Wales Play-Offs
This week saw the return of Abergavenny’s Under 13 boys, this time in relentless contest vs the top teams throughout South Wales for the qualifying rounds of the South Wales and Welsh Cups.
Abergavenny made the early start with the 100 mile round trip ahead of them and an hour less time to arrive in. Following a brief period of acclimatisation, the blistering heat was calmed nicely by the on pitch watering system and this allowed Abergavenny to organise themselves into a well drilled formation and look to challenge local rivals Brecon Hockey Club.
Abergavenny: 0, Brecon: 0
Abergavenny were keen to stick to their game plan of moving the ball around the park to work Brecon hard in the opening minutes of the game. Alex Kennet performed well in the opening stages and improved with every minute in goal. In the initial game Hollis McGlynn and Jacob Church held the defence together with Mathew Goldsmith just in front. Ellis Mostyn took the left wing duties with his counterpart Mathew Gilbertson on the right. Dan Taylor maintained his well earned role as lone striker and was eager to express his class from the outset.
The boys worked hard in their opening game, and had obviously shaken off the jet lag from their long journey before-hand. Mathew Goldsmith held the centre park well and shipped the ball quickly around his players. Brecon had a very strong left wing but Mathew Gilbertson showed no sign of fear, now able to hassle any player on the pitch to turn over the ball in favour of the Blue and Gold side. Abergavenny countered well with Ellis Mostyn running the full length of the park from end to end throughout the game. Dan Taylor worked especially hard and showed outstanding commitment in attack, diving at full stretch on more than one occasion to test the opposition keeper. Jacob and Hollis switched the ball regularly to change the line of attack and provide their team with options on either side of the pitch.
Despite several flashing shots and Dan Taylor at full stretch unlucky to narrowly miss out on a goal playing just over a Mathew Goldsmith Cross, the score finished 0-0. This result is impressive but does not do the Abergavenny boys justice as the majority of territory and attacking phases belonged to the Blue and Gold side.
Abergavenny: 3, Llanishen and Caerphilly: 0
After their initial strong performance, the Abergavenny team looked only to make a single change for this game, opting to give Ellis Mostyn a breather in defence and allow Hollis McGlynn to be more expansive with the left wing position. With the Llanishen team having been over-run by Abergavenny just two weeks ago, the red side came out of the starting blocks with revenge in mind. Mathew Gilbertson however had other ideas and worked his jab tackle well to frustrate any opposition runs.
Hollis McGlynn provided an engine room for the team putting in the hard yards to combine well with central mid field player Mathew Goldsmith. For the first 4 minutes Abergavenny worked hard but struggled against the opposition wings and were dependent on the back line with Jacob Church looking impressively strong in defence. Jacob is a specialist defender and over the past season has developed an ultra-competitive and unbeatable attitude challenging every player regardless of size or skill. Jacob comes away with the ball on over 80% of occasions and perseveres until the job is done. Ellis also offered such attrition and this thwarted the early Llanishen aspirations.
It was time for Abergavenny to find their feet through strong player Mathew Goldsmith in the centre working several weaving runs through the central midfield to set up Dan Taylor with several one on ones.
Goals began to flow easily following the initial strike with both wings making passes for fun and Dan Taylor more than happy to oblige and put the goals home. One such effort came from another full reach dive across the face of goal, smashing the ball deep into the backboard.
The score finished Abergavenny 3, Llanishen and Caerphilly 0.
Abergavenny: 0, Gwent 1
Abergavenny now faced their strongest opposition of the contest against local rivals Gwent in a derby game which looked to be the play off between first and second in the pool. This game was a very even affair, but again Gwent looked to dominate in the opening minutes. Several immense saves were made by Alex Kennet, making a massive leap across his goal mouth to pull off a finger tip save in the third minute.
Abergavenny then broke play with Hollis McGlynn playing a through ball to Mathew Goldsmith and Mathew Gilberton able to deflect the ball comfortably on an opposition foot. The umpire instantly awarded a short corner and the boys looked to capitalise mid way through the game. Ellis injected well but an unfortunate deflection from a Gwent stick resulted and pressure was instantly released. On the break, Gwent then struck the Abergavenny crossbar with force although Alex Kennet had it covered and knew exactly where the ball was.
Ellis Mostyn regained possession and flashed a pass direct to Hollis who struck just wide of the Gwent net. A quick ‘16 yard hit out’ then followed and Abergavenny were caught out of position in the dying stages of the game. Gwent scored a very good and well deserved goal although it was very difficult for the boys to accept having put all of their energy into the game.
Abergavenny 0: Carew: 0
Abergavenny then played their final pool fixture vs an unfamiliar Carew side, the blue and gold team worked the ball from end to end and were unlucky not to be awarded a short corner in the opening minute of the game. This contest was a very even match with Carew managing to find an extra player having played their previous opposition with only 6 players. Carew looked a strong side and had several older faces in their squad. The boys worked very hard in exhausting conditions and should be pleased with their efforts. Playing four games on the trot with no substitutes is an extremely difficult challenge and Abergavenny coped well leaving the pitch with the best goal difference in their entire pool and only missing out on a guaranteed finals place by a single goal.
Abergavenny finished second in their 5 team pool and were therefore pitched against Whitchurch in the play off.
Abergavenny 0: Whitchurch: 0
Abergavenny regrouped and were allowed to be the spectators for ten minutes, supporting team mate Alex Kennet who showed the great sportsman ship in keeping goal for Llanishen in their final game of the day.
Following a short break, Abergavenny played another solid game against Whitchurch, both sides exhausted at the start worked tirelessly throughout the fixture and looked to batten down the hatches for a place in the final. Mathew Goldsmith made some dominant runs and Alex Kennet organised his defence well. A draw at the end of this game was inevitable and this took the game into the trenches for a penalty flick competition.
Alex Kennet showed immense bravery and courage having never faced penalty flicks before in this age group and stepped up confidently in goal without needing any encouragement.
The rules for penalty flicks allowed any three Abergavenny players to step of for the initial, best of three contest, followed by a sudden death competition with all seven of Abergavenny’s players in the line up should this be required.
For the first 3 flicks, Dan Taylor, Mathew Goldsmith and Hollis McGlynn could do ‘no wrong’ in drawing level with Whitchurch at 2 goals each.
The Abergavenny coaches were very grateful for the maturity and courage showed by the entire team who volunteered to put themselves in the spot light, with some players having never taken a competitive penalty flick in their lifetime.
A total of 18 flicks were taken, and this proved the quality of hockey being played at Under 13 level, Abergavenny drew level until the 17th flick and unfortunately were just outdone 9-8 by the Cardiff based Whitchurch opposition.
Abergavenny should be extremely proud of all of their efforts and showed outstanding sportsmanship in congratulating their opposition for the thrilling performance which both sides had been part of. It wasn’t until the contest was over that the somewhat deflated players looked around to see the surrounding spectators which had stayed to watch the spectacle. Both of the Abergavenny coaches and the entire club is very proud of its young players, especially when they put such a performance together.
Our thanks must go to all of the parents for their continued enthusiasm and pitch side support throughout every occasion.
Thanks must also go to Stephen Mostyn for his organisational and coaching efforts throughout the games, without this support the team would not have reached its potential, also to Nikki Mostyn for her organisation, photos, scoring and preparation throughout the event.
Well done all.