TWBS Staff v 1st XI Hockey match
Wednesday saw the return of the Staff v 1st XI Hockey match. The staff side (captained by the self-appointed Mr Jeffery) made a strong start and were 1-0 up in next to no time. Former pupils Paddy O’Neill and Marcus Foley bolstered the staff numbers (after all, the boys have well over 200 6th formers to choose from…the staff number significantly fewer!) and were instrumental in the goal. The foundations of the staff team were Messrs Paul, Furness, Bignall and Breen in defence, with Mr Woods a dynamic force in goal, and Messrs Jeffery and Thomas running the show in midfield. Mr Unsworth’s selfless running created many opportunities and Mr Chester was his more able partner in crime in attack. Sustained pressure throughout the first half saw the staff roar into a well-deserved 4-0 lead, with the pupils never really troubling the experienced staff defence. Paddy (twice) and Mr Chester getting the goals. The arrival of Mr Jones in place of Mr Jeffery saw a rapid shift in momentum. A rare pupil attack gave Ishwar Jabble a half-chance in the circle; a deflected shot looped off Mr Jones’ stick totally wrong-footing and stranding Mr Woods and gave the pupils a goal.
4-1 at half time soon became 4-4 – even with Mr Jeffery returning to the pitch; Akhil Paleti picked up a hattrick from a penalty stroke, an instinctive volley and then a crisp strike when left unmarked in the circle. The momentum had clearly shifted and the staff were maybe tiring (it is exhausting playing against boys half one’s own age…!) Chances continued to be made for the staff, but Unsworth (match winner in 2018, lest we forget!) was unable to finish any of them off. Then Mr Clark inexplicably missed an open goal from 2 yards out! Thankfully our newest recruit to the staff, Mr Thomas, was able to settle some nerves to make it 5-4 and then Marcus duly added the 6th.
A very enjoyable game that ended 6-4 to the staff – sadly capping a winless season for the 1st XI. My thanks go to those boys that have represented the school this year, especially to the Year 13s – captain Zac Gallagher, Will Mumford, Josh Jayasingh, Ish Jabble, Akhil Paleti, Charlie Dunnett, Cameron Boys and Freddie Pope – who have finally been allowed a senior hockey season after two years of pandemic-enforced break!
Director of Sport