National semi-finals call for Ipswich School’s under 18 hockey team

The Ipswich School under 18 hockey side

The Ipswich School under 18 hockey side - Credit: Archant

Ipswich School’s U18 boys’ hockey team is through to the national semi-finals of the England Hockey Schools Cup competition - the top four teams in the country - with the U16 boys also through to the national finals as East regional champions.

The U18 competition has been played in a different format this year, with the Schools Cup being run as a knockout competition at this age group as a one year pilot scheme. The U16 competition has remained the same with county and regional finals leading to a place in the national finals.

The U18 boys will play Whitgift School in the national semi-finals this week. To reach this stage Ipswich beat Framlingham College 7-2, Fested School 4-1, and Eltham College 4-1. In the fourth round they drew 3-3 with Trinity School in Croydon, but won 6-5 on penalties. The Ipswich School boys played Sir William Borlase Grammar School last week, winning 3-2 to take them through to the semi-finals.

David Hacker, Director of Sport at Ipswich School, and the U18 team coach said: “We are delighted to be through to the national semi-finals of the new-style Schools Cup competition. I am very proud of everything which the boys have achieved – they have worked very well together as a team. They’ve had to do it the hard way as well, by playing away from home for the last three rounds to the finals, but we are looking forward to the Whitgift challenge!”

The U16 boys’ team beat Woodbridge School 7-0 and drew 1-1 with Culford to win the county title. They then won four matches out of four in the regional pool competition, beating Gresham’s 2-0, Stamford 3-0, Bishop’s Stortford 3-0 and The Leys 2-0, to reach the regional finals. Here they faced a three-way play-off with Culford and Felsted, who were the winners of the other two pool groups. The Ipswich team beat Culford 5-0 and drew 1-1 with Felsted, to clinch the regional title. The team will play in the national finals in May.

Bill Williams, Acting Head of Hockey at Ipswich School, said: “This is the third consecutive year that the U16 boys’ team has reached the national finals, which is a great achievement. We wish both teams well in the next stage of their competitions.”

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