Newark junior hockey players recently descended upon Highfields hockey centre to compete in the England hockey association In2Hockey county qualifier.
Newark had entered five teams across the Under 10 boys, under 10 girls, under 12 boys and under 12 girls.
The under 10 teams were first to play early in the morning. There were a number of players who had only participated in a couple of matches before the day and both teams were fielding young players. The boys and girls started their campaign against one of the two Beeston teams and against expectations both Newark teams came out victorious with goals from Freddie Adcock for the boys and Sophie Munro for the girls. The next encounter against the Beeston A team resulted in defeat, but both Newark teams were upbeat and raring to take on West Bridgford. Once again both Newark teams came out on top with Georgina Joy scoring for the girls and Freddie Adcock scoring late in the match for the boys. These wins were replicated in their final matches against Boots and once again Newark outplayed the opposition to win. So this meant both Newark Under 10 teams finished runner ups, qualifying for the regional finals on Sunday 7th May.
Buoyed by this early success, Newark Under 12 girls were buzzing. Two teams were entered - Newark Otters, who had high hopes and Newark Herons who were determined to have a fun-filled day!
Newark Otters had a tough start playing three Beeston teams and losing all three encounters, convincingly against a very good Beeston Bees side, but much more narrowly against the other two teams. Their confidence was boosted by a convincing win over Newark Herons with Evie Thompson scoring a hat-trick and Zara Littlewood getting her first goal for club and they followed this through with a win against Beeston Bumbles as Evie Thompson scored in the last second of the game. Unfortunately they faltered in the crunch match against Boots and lost 3-1 to two counter-attacking goals despite having numerous opportunities of their own to score and even hitting the post twice. A 1-0 win against West Bridgford through a Jess Owens goal proved insufficient to allow a higher finish in the table and Otters missed the opportunity to qualify as the runner up club. Newark Herons finished a respectable 7th out of 8 teams and managed a couple of hard fought draws.
Newark Under 12 boys competed in the final session as conditions became very blustery. The tournament required them to play eight games back-to-back, which was no mean feat. They unfortunately failed to win their first match against West Bridgford boys who ended the tournament as qualifying runners up to Beeston. The boys played some exquisite hockey and scored some great goals after team interplay. They beat West Bridgford B team and Nottingham Players but lost in the final second against Boots in a game they perhaps should have won. The Newark lads managed to score a number of goals with Liam Dowson, Jacob Martin, Logan Tustin, Otis Parrish-sims, Jacob Knox and Oscar Tunnicliffe all finding the back of the net.
A huge thanks to all the parents and supporters who made the day special for all the Newark players. The future of Newark hockey looks very bright with huge potential and great attitude amongst its youngest players.