The finals of the Spalding Primary School Hockey tournaments were held at Glen Park.
Around 170 children from 13 local schools split into four leagues of five teams based on experience, with advanced, intermediate and two beginner leagues.
The tournament was a huge success and England Hockey’s regional manager, Andy Dale, who attended for the first time, was impressed not only by the number of children taking part but also admitted to being amazed at the overall standard of the hockey being played throughout the leagues.
Holders of the Advanced league trophy, St Norbert’s A, were held to a 1-1 draw in the opening game by a strong St John’s team. St John’s took an early lead but a late equaliser earned St Norbert’s a valuable point. Main rivals John Harrox A looked impressive in their wins over Boston based Tower Road and St Mary’s (both 2-0) and just pipped St John’s 2-1 in an exciting third game.
An injury during St Norbert’s 6-1 win over Tower Road, halted proceedings for a while, but the holders marched on with a 4-1 win over Boston St Mary’s.
This set up a final clash between St Norbert’s and John Harrox. It was a contest of the highest quality, with both teams giving their all.
St Norbert’s took an early lead but, as hard as they tried, John Harrox were unable to score. A late St Norbert’s goal sealed the win and the league title for the second year.
Wyberton A ruled supreme in the Intermediate league, wining all four of their games. The team of mainly Year 5 pupils have threatened all season to make their mark and chose the finals to confirm their status. Their wins were at the expense of Ayscoughfee A (3-0), John Harrox B (3-1), Surfleet (2-1) and Weston Hills (4-1), earning them a place in the Advanced league next season.
Ayscoughfee A recorded three 2-0 wins over Surfleet, Weston Hills and John Harrox B to finish in second place.
In the Beginner A league, it was all to play for between Pinchbeck East and St Norbert’s B in the final game as both sides had won their three previous games. Pinchbeck East had the edge with emphatic wins over Ayscoughfee B (4-0), Monks House (4-1) and Gosberton Academy (4-0), whilst St Norbert’s B had beaten Gosberton Academy (3-1), Ayscoughfee B (3-1) and Monks House (3-0).
The final was a hard fought battle, with neither side being able to find the net, so Pinchbeck East claimed the title on equal points but with a marginally better goal difference.
Goals were hard to come by in the Beginner league B, which was won by Boston St Mary’s B team, who won their first three games against John Harrox C (1-0), Tower Road B (1-0) and Wyberton B (2-0), before being held to a scoreless draw in the deciding game by a very young but impressive St Norbert’s C team making their debut in the tournament.
With three wins over St Norbert’s C (2-0), John Harrox C(1-0) and Wyberton B (2-0), Boston’s Tower Road B finished in second place.
Trophies were presented to the four league winners by Anna of Doodles Pottery Painting.
The 2016/17 tournament will be held at Glen Park, Surfleet on Fridays October 7, November 25, February 3 and March 17, with the finals taking place on May 19 next year. Any school not currently participating but who would like to be considered for the 2016/17 tournament should contact Fred Morris by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.