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Ben Rhydding boys third in nationals
8:36am Thursday 5th April 2012 in Ben Rhydding
Ben Rhydding produced an impressive performance top come third in the National Under-16 finals at Cannock.
They had fought hard to earn their place among the top eight teams in the country and produced a big effort to record three wins and a draw.
Their first group game was against a much-fancied Bromley and Beckenham and Ben Rhydding had an early goal disallowed.
That didn’t deter the boys as they continued to pass the ball around until they broke the deadlock with an excellent strike by Nick Woodhead.
Centre half Alistair Jordan netted the second before Bromley scored from a corner.
Ben Rhydding’s nerves were settled when England international Josh Sykes finished well to seal a 3-1 win.
Ashmoor from the West country were the opponents for the evening game.
Cameron Herbert was just beaten by a superb short-corner strike but the boys continued to attack their opponents’ defence with Andrew Lorimar, Robbie Studholme and Toby Waring continually turning their defenders and Elliot Dowley and Harry Sherlock turning this way and that to dazzle their markers.
The defence of Daniel Judkowski, Nick Woodhead, Charlie Austin and Henry Locke continued to spread the ball around with ease that.
The pressure told as Sykes popped up with a goal before Lorimar netted the winner.
That goal guaranteed a place in either the gold or bronze medal match. Standing in their way were Belper a capable team from the Midlands who had a better goal difference having also won both games. In the first half Rhydding were well on top but against the run of play conceded a goal.
They were not fazed by this and eventually were awarded a penalty stroke which Sykes converted.
They continued to dominate but couldn’t break down Belper despite numerous near misses and the score ended 1-1 in what could have been a great final.
Belper’s goal difference took them into the final while Ben Rhydding faced a bronze medal match against hosts Cannock.
The lively crowd was behind the home side but Ben Rhydding settled to their task.
Ross McMillan, Mitchell Wellman-Brown, Chris King and Will Powley all made dominant appearances as the boys took their opponents apart.
There was no doubt about the outcome as Ben Rhydding dominated and ran out 5-0 winners.
Goals from Sykes, Wellman-Brown, Waring, Woodhead and Locke sealed victory as Ben Rhydding signed off in emphatic style.
England junior coach Demy Dowley who guided the Ben Rhydding team said: “We have consistently played some superb hockey and the boys have demonstrated that they have earned the right to be known as one of the best junior teams in the country.
“So many of their opposition coaches have been incredibly complimentary of their style of play and professionalism.”