Redbridge & Ilford miss out on national hockey final trip
PUBLISHED: 12:55 25 April 2013 | UPDATED: 12:55 25 April 2013
Redbridge & Ilford hockey club’s under-10s suffered heartbreak after missing out on a place in the national finals in Norfolk later this month by just one place.
To reach the national stage they had to finish in the top two of the 10-strong Essex round, which was being held by the Reds, but they were pipped to it by Blue Hornets and Colchester.
It was the first time the club had fielded a team in the competition, but they made a solid start to the group stages with a 1-0 win over Crostyx after a goal from Archie Williams.
R&I then brushed past the challenge of Brentwood in a 7-0 demolition which saw Nathan Gladman score a hat-trick alongside two for Williams and one each for Thomas Zamymsky and Toby Togonu-Bickersteth.
After a tense 0-0 draw with neighbours Old Loughts, they sealed their place as group winners with a 2-0 win over Blue Hornets in their final game. Gladman and Togonu-Bickersteth got on the scoresheet as they finished on 10 points.
In the semi-final against Colchester, R&I conceded their first goal of the event, but driven on by Gladman and Max Dingle, Togonu-Bickersteth broke away and scored a superb solo goal to equalise.
Togonu-Bickersteth went close in the closing stages but the Colchester keeper managed to make a last-ditch save to ensure the game went to penalty strokes.
The opposition’s previous experience in this format proved the difference as they came through 3-1 to deny Redbridge a spot in the final and progress to the National Championships.
Redbridge quickly put their semi-final heartbreak behind them though as they came out and won the third- place play-off match 2-0 against Crostyx as Williams and Togonu-Bickersteth both found the target.
All in all though it was a successful tournament and the future bodes well for the senior teams when the youngsters make the step up over the next five years.
Redbridge & Ilford: Dingle, Zamymsky, T Togonu-Bickersteth, N Gladman, R Gladman, Santaub, Togonu-Bickersteth, Murphy, Thurley, Williams.
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