Captain Josh Pavis and Victor Habel were on the scoresheet as Trent College edged a 2-1 final victory over Ipswich School at the Indoor Schools Hockey Championship finals at Whitgift School in Croydon. The success means Trent College currently hold both the u16 boys’ outdoor and indoor nationals schools’ crowns, following Trent’s 11-a-side team lifting the outdoor trophy in an all Derbyshire showdown against Repton at Cannock last May.
The u16 boys were just one of three Trent College teams to have made their national indoor 2014-15 hockey finals, with the u18 girls also qualifying for the outdoor championships. With a number of regional finals to come this term, that number could still rise.
With the u16s boys’ squad affected by illness on the opening day, Trent suffered their only loss of the six-game tournament – a 5-1 defeat to hosts Whitgift – and scrapped through to the knockout phase courtesy of a 3-3 draw with Dean Close. But the boys regrouped on day two with a 7-0 win over Egglescliffe and with Pavis scoring all seven goals.
This victory set up a semi-final clash with local rivals Repton. Buoyed by their newfound confidence, Trent dominated the game and ran out 5-3 winners with two goals from Harvey Doleman to book the final head-to-head with Ipswich.
Ipswich took an early lead but from there Trent controlled proceedings and took their chances in the second half. Pavis leveled the scores with a sensational finish from the baseline before Habel slotted home what would prove to be the decider. Ipswich fought hard for a late equaliser but Alex Bates held firm in goal.
Mark Wadsley, head of hockey at Trent College, said: “It was a great achievement for the boys. They improved immensely throughout the tournament and deserved the win. It was a real team effort but two notable performers were captain Joshua Pavis, who led the team well, while Alex Bates had a great tournament in goal.
“To be the reigning indoor and outdoor champions is an incredible achievement. The focus for this group now is to reach this year’s national outdoor finals later in the term which will be a tough test with the quality of opposition in the Midlands.”
Meanwhile, Sam Apoola’s 13 goals in five games couldn’t quite fire Trent College’s u18 boys to matching their u16 counterparts’ success. The u18s reached their semi-finals where they faced Exeter, who had previously won the last two u16 titles. The Devon side raced into a five-goal lead just after half time, but Trent scored three late goals to almost complete a remarkable comeback.
Mr Wadsley added: “It was a fine performance from a team that overachieved throughout the weekend. Tom Hancock was excellent in goal and Sam Apoola’s performance was exceptional. They look forward to their outdoor campaign now.”
Trent College girls’ u18 team were also in national indoor final action at Bromsgrove School, the first time they had ever reached that stage of the competition. Despite scoring eight goals in four games, the girls couldn’t progress through the group stage and now turn their attention to the outdoor national finals being held for the first time at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre at Olympic Park on 24-25 February.