Great effort by Martongate

Some of the Martongate squad.
Some of the Martongate squad.

Martongate School boys can claim to be the fourth best team in the North of England after their display in the National In2 Hockey Championships.

They took on the best teams from across the North at Leeds University, and became the only side to beat the eventual winners Altrincham Grammar School.

Deputy headteacher Di Levitt said: “If you put in the time, effort and commitment, you can achieve.”

The first opposition was against Rossall School, from Fleetwood in Lancashire. The team started very confidently and it was not long before Riley Potts produced his magic hockey along the back line and slotted in the first goal.

Not long after he then added another. Owen Tolson made the most of his first opportunity on the pitch to add another in a 3-0 win.

The second game was against Ashville College from Harrogate. The Martongate team once again played some very good hockey. Excellent play by Joshua Davey down the left caused problems for the opposition and the team did everything right but were unable to convert the final shot between the posts, and drew 0-0.

In the final game of the pool the team met Altrincham, last year’s winners.

With Joe Pratley once again dominating the midfield, Martongate went into the lead from a fine shot from Tom Manson.

Altrincham equalised and a draw looked likely, however some excellent defending form Bailey Smithson then created an attack. The team capitalised on this and were awarded a short corner. Tom Manson’s strike gave the keeper no chance and sealed a 2-1 win.

As winners of their pool, they then faced Kirkham Grammar School from Preston in the semi-final.

Arnie Tindall’s never give up attitude and skills helped motivate the team. Eugene Gray in goal, who before this game had not touched the ball in play, made some excellent saves keeping his team in contention.

As the final whistle went, the result of 0-0 meant the dreaded penalty strokes, and defeat in sudden death put Martongate in the 3rd/4th play-off.

This was against Kings Chester, of Chester. In the first two minutes the team suffered injuries to the two forwards. Kings made the most of this and very quickly went 2-0 up.

As the team settled, it was a more even affair and Harvey Asquith showed his skills producing some quality attacks, but Kings scored the final goal just before the end of the game.

Throughout the competition, Martongate scored 36 goals and conceded only six.

Mrs Levitt said: “The team can be very proud of their efforts and achievement throughout the competition.

“To be the fourth best team in the North of England for their age group is a testament to the team. All of the schools they played against were from the private sector who are fortunate enough to have some wonderful facilities at hand all the time and play regular fixtures.

“This is the seventh year that a boy’s hockey team from the school have qualified for the final round however this team had something special.

“Individually, they are talented hockey players but what made the difference this year was the way they gelled as a team, supported one another and the 100% effort every player gave.

“Unfortunately, we will lose seven of the squad this year to secondary school. We hope they keep playing hockey as they have an enormous amount of talent.”