With a last minute change in schedule, the Dart U12s team were on the pitch earlier than anticipated. Having had very little time to warm up they were straight on against a somewhat more prepared East Devon side. Nonetheless, Dart started with confidence and discipline and put pressure on the East Devon defence from the off. Confident passing from Joe Ellis, Callum Barber and Leo Espinosa resulted in several strikes on goal – Joe Ellis being denied on several occasions by the post. In defence, Ben Kench, Daniel Jones and Lochie Poore (GK) made crucial tackles and saves to deny the East Devon forwards. End to end hockey, with chances for both teams saw the first half end at 0-0. The second half began with as much speed and determination as the first. More strikes on goal from Joe Ellis and Callum Barber were denied by either the keeper or the post. Great saves at the other end from first time goalie Lochie Poore kept the score at 0-0. A great team effort! Thanks to Isca for lending a player.
The 2nd game against Isca was a less even affair. Isca were controlled and disciplined forcing Dart onto the back foot. Valiant defending from Daniel Jones, Ben Kench and GK Archie Townsend could not keep Isca at bay for long. Half time score 3-0. In the 2nd half Dart fought hard to regain possession and their determination was rewarded with a short corner. A cracking strike from Joe Ellis hit the post denying Dart what would have been a well earned goal. Isca added 2 more to their tally in the 2nd half as Dart struggled to keep their positions. Leo Espinosa and Lochie Poore (now up front) continued to put pressure on the Isca defence, forcing their keeper to make all important saves.
Great determination from the team and it was a shame that their hard work was not rewarded with a goal. Much confidence can be taken from the tournament, however, as the Boys U12s team continues to gel as a unit and their passing game continues to improve.
They are now looking forward to their next tournament on Nov 1st where they hope to secure some well deserved wins.