U18 Boys EH Championship vs Wimbledon HC

Result : 6-5 Win

Match Report : Joergen Jaehnig

Halloween Sunday morning in south London should prove to become not only a crowd pleaser but also a real thriller. With both teams fielding England U18 players, expectations were high and they were not to be disappointed.

From the get-go the Forward line of Oscar Prior, Jackson Trathen, Nayan Bhundia and Daman Bansal started pressing the opposition in their own 25 forcing turnover after turnover which ultimately resulted in the first penalty corner of the match. Beautifully executed, Tom Murphy slotted his drag flick into the bottom left corner – the Gate was up 1-0. On the follow Wimbledon slowly but surely found their form and started penetrating the Southgate defence. The equaliser came from a penalty corner and ultimately Wimbledon went 2-1 up through a penalty stroke.

20 mins into the first half Southgate won their second PC of the day. Lucas Jaehnig stepped up and scored the equaliser with a clean drag flick. By that time both teams had already decided to play all-in and it was end to end stuff from here on to the final whistle. Just before halftime, Wimbledon again took the lead, which they extended shortly after halftime to make it 4-2 to the hosts. Despite that “accident”, the boys showed great courage and combined with some tactical changes to shore up the centre of the pitch, wave after wave of beautifully executed attacking hockey – orchestrated by midfield virtuoso Barney Collier – rolled towards the Wimbledon keeper. One of those resulted in the next PC and Lucas Jaehnig marked is second of the day with a rocket drag flick through the keeper’s legs – the Gate was back in the game. Only shortly after that another great attack, this time down the left flank, saw Noah Lavy solo along the baseline to set up Daman Bansal who coolly scored the equaliser.

The boys continued to attack relentlessly eventually scoring another penalty corner to make it 5-4. Tom Murphy saw his initial drag flick blocked and greedy for his second of the day he scored the rebound on the reverse. Wimbledon hadn’t quite realised what had happened when the Southgate boys won the next penalty corner. The readers of this match report may have guessed it right …. 6-4 to the Gate, this time a beautifully executed variation saw Lucas Jaehnig completing his hattrick.

In that phase of the game it was Veysal Demir in goal with numerous saves, as well as the battling defensive line around Sam Marshall, Ruben Straat, Aman Chhaya and Josh Chandler keeping the opposition from scoring. 90 seconds from the end Wimbledon managed to pull one back to 6-5 but despite the opposition taking the GK out, the Southgate boys managed to secure the result in style.

Special mention from the author and coach to manager James Marshall, the excellent umpire Duncan Trathen as well Vivek Dongha who was forced to support his teammates from the sideline with a twisted ankle.
Ultimate thanks though to my whole team, I thoroughly enjoyed this match. Next time though please, I could do with a little less drama – too many grey hairs already.

Goal Scorers : Lucas Jaehnig (3), Tom Murphy (2), Daman Bansal
(Joint) MOM : Lucas Jaehnig & Daman Bansal