By: Ed Marland
Yesterday the Framlingham College Prep School 1st Boys’ Hockey team travelled to Millfield School in Somerset for the IAPS National Hockey Finals to play against the best hockey playing schools in the country.
For some of the boys this was their third or fourth appearance at a National Hockey Final and for all but three of the team, it was their last few hockey matches for the Prep School.
The boys started the day well with wins against Bedford Prep (2-0), St Andrew’s Eastbourne (3-0) and King’s Hall (1-0) before drawing (1-1) with St Andrew’s Pangbourne. This put them 2nd in the group, separated only by goal difference. This meant a quarter-final against Hazelgrove Prep. A fantastic game of end-to-end hockey proved goalless at the end of normal time and 5 minutes of golden goal couldn’t separate the teams either, meaning the game went to flicks. This proved to be an agonising way to lose by the narrowest of margins and meant the boys had to lift themselves to play for 5th to 8th place. However, Framlingham were about to show real courage.
In the playoffs, the team went 2-0 down to Edgeborough but showed an immense amount of character to pull back into the game and draw 2-2 in normal time and again it went to flicks – this time going the boys’ way!
This meant one final game against Gresham’s and the team went 2-0 down again but battled their way back into the game to draw 2-2. In a titanic last few minutes, Gresham’s scored with seconds to go to win 3-2.
So an incredible days hockey ended with the 1sts coming 6th in the country. It has been an amazing year for hockey at FCPS with the 1st girls’ team being national champions and the U11s also reaching the national finals. However, this group of young men have made such progress on the hockey pitch this season and their efforts and character on the pitch deserve great praise. They ended their season on a real high and were a huge credit to themselves and to the school.