Loughts youngsters take centre stage at Futures Cup

While the Old Loughtonians’ senior teams enjoyed a rare weekend off, the club’s younger members took centre stage at the Futures Cup, as all five representatives returned home from Cannock Hockey Club, Staffordshire, with medals.

James Albery played for Saxon Tigers under-18s boys – made up of players from the south-east – and was on the score-sheet in the final to help secure gold at the four day national tournament.

Tigers dominated the group stage with three wins from three. They began with a 3-1 win over midlands-based squad Mercia Lynx and followed up to beat northern-based Pennine Pumas 2-0.

In the final group match, Tigers beat the south-western based Wessex Leopards 3-1 to secure their place in the gold medal match.

Led by head coach Mark Menear, Tigers came from behind to end the half level.

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In the first minute of the second period Albery fired his side in front and, after Lynx had briefly got back on level terms, Tigers struck twice more to seal the title.

Chigwell school pupils Conor Caplan and William Godfrey were selected to represent the Saxon Tigers under-16s boy’s team and won silver medals.

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Tigers slipped to a 1-0 defeat against eventual winners Mercia Lynx in their opening match, but bounced back to beat Pennine Pumas 8-1, with Godfrey completing the scoring from a penalty corner.

Saxons secured their silver medals with a 5-1 thumping of Wessex Leopards, with Godfrey again on target from a penalty corner to ensure his side finished second in the group.

There was silver too for the Saxon Tigers under-18s girls, captained by Loughts Emily Defroand.

Club-mate Emily Wills was also part of the squad that won their opening two matches, firstly beating Mercia Lynx 2-0, then Pennine Pumas 3-1.

Tigers let a three-goal, half-time lead slip in the final group match to eventually draw 3-3 with Wessex Leopards.

Buoyed by their magnificent second-half display, Leopards blew Tigers away in the following day’s gold-medal match, winning 5-1 to send the Loughts pair home as runners-up.

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