We’d like to thank everyone that’s made it a memorable weekend!
The weekend opened with Hosts Nottinghamshire v. Cornwall.
Long periods of sustained pressure from the hosts along with some stout defending from Cornwall meant the game was scoreless, until Notts’ Jude Chapman forced a scrappy PC over the line just before half time. Cornwall responded early in the second half with an open play goal by Alfie Budge, capitalising on a rare Notts defensive error. Notts finally sealed a 2-1 victory in their opening game when Sam Dixon converted a PC with 5 minutes to go.
The second game of the day saw Wiltshire play Norfolk.
Another evenly balanced game. Norfolk started strongly and took an early lead through Guy Crooks form open play. Norfolk doubled their lead on 17 minutes through Vincent Pertorious. Just before half time Wiltshire’s Matt Janes pulled one back and gave Wiltshire some momentum going in to the break. Two goals around the hour mark, one each for Wiltshire’s Marc Brothers and Tom Morton completed the comeback for a 3-2 win.
The third game of the day saw far travelling Channel Islands take on the Hosts Nottinghamshire.
In what was billed to be the game of the weekend, the Channel Islands started strongly, after their epic journey the morning of the tournament, with a goal by Phil Cuming after just 6 minutes. It wasn’t until early in the second half that Notts’ Sam Dixon pulled the sides level from a Penalty Corner. The Channel Islands regained their lead just 9 minutes later through Sam Dunstan, following another rare Notts defensive error. But two goals in three minutes, Sam Dixon’s second PC conversion and a field goal from Notts’ captain Charlie Brook saw the hosts home 3-2.
The fourth game of the day say Cornwall v. Norfolk
Cornwall were eager to bounce back after their close defeat to the hosts, but two first half goals From Norfolk’s Vincent Pretorious and another two after the break from Norfolk captain Will Edwards and Lee Hoggett saw Norfolk 4-0 victors.
The final game of day one saw Wiltshire take on the Channel Islands
An early goal by the Channel Islands’ Bill Millar put Wiltshire on the back foot and the Channel Islands took advantage with further goals from Peter Millar and captain Tom Millar, before Wiltshire responded though an open play goal from Sam Creedy, however a second by the Channel Islands’ Tom Millar would restore the Channel Islands’ 3 goal advantage shortly before half time. Two more Channel Islands goals in the second half, by Michael James and Tom Millar completing his hat-trick, spurred Wiltshire into a spirited comeback late on, but goals by Paddy Gompels and Jack Gompels we not enough to halt the Channel Islands 6-3 win.
Sun and blue skies welcomed the teams on day 2 at the Nottingham Hockey Centre, a stark contrast to the dull and drizzly weather on day one.
Cornwall v Channel Islands
The Channel Islands again started strongly, two goals in the opening 11 minutes, from Sam Dunstan and Peter Millar saw them take a two-goal lead. Cornwall bounced back level through Jonny Heward and Michael James but a further two goals from Jamie Bolton and Tom Millar saw the Channel Islands regain their two-goal advantage at half time. A spirited fight back saw Cornwall get back within one when Martin Rowe converted a Penalty Corner, before the Channel Islands Sam Dunstan restored their 5-3 advantage at the final whistle.
The second game of Day two saw the hosts, Nottinghamshire, back in action, this time against Norfolk.
Both sides were evenly matched, and it was only a 17th minutes Penalty Stroke, after an accidental foot on the line, converted by Sam Dixon, that separated the sides at half time. After the break, Notts came out all gun firing, and three goals in 4 minutes, Sam Dixon completing his hat-trick and another by Chris Powell, put Norfolk on the defensive. Two further goals, from Notts’ Charlie brook and Jude Chapman would seal the victory 6-0.
Game 3 of day two saw Wiltshire take on Cornwall. A win was vital for Wiltshire in order to stay in the running for a final’s day qualification place.
However, it was Cornwall that started strongly, determined to make the long journey worthwhile, they took a two-goal lead through Martin Rowe and Mark Symons inside 11 minutes. Wiltshire pulled one back almost immediately through Ben Clarke and so it would stay until the 63rd minutes when Wiltshire equalised through Jack Gompels. A nervy last 7 minutes for Cornwall as Wiltshire piled on the pressure, but they held out for a 2-2 draw.
The penultimate game of the weekend saw Norfolk take on the Channel Islands. A win for Norfolk could see them Challenge the Channel Islands for a finals place.
The game was extremely tight. Very few errors made by either side and it took 30 minutes for the Channel Islands captain, Tom Millar, to break the deadlock. Norfolk looked for a response and threw everything forward, but a goal 8 minutes from time by Channel Islands’ Sam Dunstan sealed a 2-0 win and the mathematical possibility of finishing the group top, should Notts falter in the last game of the weekend.
And so to the final game of two cracking days of hockey, played both on and off the pitch in the greatest of competitive and social spirits, Wiltshire v hosts Nottinghamshire. With Nottinghamshire looking for their first 100% record for many years.
Notts started strongly and there was no reply possible by Wiltshire. Notts’ skipper, Charlie Brook, put them ahead on just 4 minutes, followed by Jude Chapman on 10. Sam Dixon converted a Penalty Corner on 19 minutes and Notts went into half time three-up. With tiredness setting in, Wiltshire had no reply to further goals from Chris Powell and Alex Davies and Jude Chapman completing a great personal weekend with his hat-trick and Notts running out 7-0 winners.
Nottinghamshire P4, W4, D0, L0, GD+15, P12
Channel Islands P4, W3, D0, L1, GD+6, P9
Wiltshire P4, W1, D1, L2, GD-9, P4
Norfolk P4, W1, D0, L3, GD-5, P3
Cornwall P4, W0, D1, L3, GD-7, P1