The 1st VII travelled to IAPS full of confidence after a wonderful start to the season. Arriving early and after a good warm-up, the boys started with a nervy 1-0 win over The Downs Wraxall, which would set the tone for the morning. Against New College, the team played some superb hockey, but saw shots hit the posts, the keeper and flash wide. As can happen in tournament hockey, the lack of clinical finishing cost The Elms, as New College broke with 2 minutes left and took their only chance of the game to win 1-0. Sadly, the team found it hard to pick themselves up from this defeat and went down 3-0 in their final group match to a well-organised and skillful Hazlegrove side.

Finishing third in the group meant the boys had the opportunity to salvage something from the day in the plate competition after lunch. From the start, the team showed their desire to prove themselves with a confident 3-1 win against St Hugh’s. Moving into the semi-finals, an end-to-end match against Lambrook finished 1-1, even after extra time, meaning penalty flicks. Ed and Will W kept their cool to put their flicks away, whilst Will Hooper saved both of Lambrook’s efforts, to send The Elms to the final against Beachborough. The Elms went 2-0 up early, but things were made nervy when Beachborough pulled a goal back. However, in the second half, The Elms rose to the occasion, playing some superb hockey and pulling away to end up 6-1 winners. The final goal was a super move, finished off by Felix F diving at the far post to deflect in – a fitting way to finish a great performance. The whole squad were outstanding, particularly in the afternoon and represented The Elms brilliantly throughout. They thoroughly deserve their medals and can hopefully apply lessons learned throughout the day in tournaments later in the term.