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Hockey teams take the next step towards the nationals after success in the Essex Cup at Redbridge Leisure Centre.

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Bancroft’s senior boys’ hockey team have qualified for the East of England finals after finishing runners-up in the Essex Cup at Redbridge Sports & Leisure Centre last week.

The boys expected some tough matches – especially against teams from Chigwell and Felsted schools.

But early victories against Forest (3-0) and New Hall (4-0) boosted confidence as they fought for the right to represent Essex in the next stage of the national competition.

They then faced King John’s, which proved a tough game that they managed to win 1-0.

However, their next game against Chigwell was dominated by short corners with the opposition securing a 3-1 success.

And against Felsted, the Bancroft’s boys changed their style to play a half-court game in order to disrupt their opponents.

Although there were plenty of opportunities, neither team could break the deadlock as the game finished goalless.

This meant that Bancroft’s still needed to win against a strong Coopers’ Coborn side, which was unbeaten at that point.

Again Bancroft’s opted to play a half-court game and their patience paid off as they secured a 1-0 victory.

It left Bancroft’s cheering on Chigwell against Felsted in the tournament’s final game.

And the result duly went their way, meaning that Chigwell qualified for the next stage of the competition at the University of East Anglia as Essex champions and Bancroft’s took the runners-up spot.

Bacroft’s coach Andy Mac-Leod said: “Our boys surpassed themselves on the day with their confidence growing throughout.”

Chigwell School’s head of hockey, William Tomsett, was delighted after both the under-18 and under-16 sides reached the regional stage of the National Schools’ Hockey Championships.

He said: “Despite having very little preparation time due to the snow over the last two weeks, the under-18s produced some stunning, free-flowing hockey.

“An equally impressive display was produced in the under-16 competition where we entered our talented under-15 team with a view of developing the boys for future years.

“The boys played with real maturity, resulting in a number of fine performances.”

Bancroft’s under-18s: Burke, Bradbury, Sahoye, Reeves, Aswani, Samuel, Phillips, Stroud, Carter, Tann, Morralee, Thankarajah, Krishnarajan, Gardiner, Patel, Modi.

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