Through the Autumn term, we had 12 children work hard every Tuesday night to develop their hockey skills; of these children, 8 were selected to play in the South Winchester and Eastleigh hockey event at Trojans. The children were very excited and looking forward to their first competitive school's hockey fixture. The day started with a 0-0 draw against Botley Primary; we were pleased with this as we learnt to play in a larger space than we were used to. The second game saw a 2-0 win and Fair Oak were getting into their stride, developing confidence in their positions and enjoying the competition being given. A 1-0 win against Netley Abbey was followed by a 0-0 draw against Freegrounds and finally in the deciding game of the league, Fair Oak beat Durley 1-0. This meant that Fair Oak finished top of their league unbeaten and without conceeding a goal. I was blown away by the progress this group of children made from September through to the end of the tournament - within the team were a number of children who were making their competitive debut for Fair Oak! Winning the league meant that the team were given a place at the Hampshire Finals!
As we started the county finals, we knew that the day was going to be challenging at times as our hockey journey as a group was still very new. The morning started with a mixed group of teams. The games saw some fantastic hockey from both Fair Oak and their opposition. Unfortunately, we lost 3 games and won one but the progress the children made against very good opposition was brilliant and the quality of hockey improved game by game, bringing great hope for future tournaments. In the afternoon, the competition was split into seeded groups and we knew that this should lead to some more success and this is what we had! Beating Bordon 2-1, South Farnborough 3-1 and Uplands 4-3. We played fantastic hockey worthy of a higher seeding. The group was won and the fantastic team each got a t-shirt as a prize.
As a coach, I look back on our first session in September and compare that to the hockey I saw at the county finals and I am amazed by the progress they have made as individuals and as a team through their commitment to the club. The quality of hockey they put on show exceededd all my expectation and I couldn't be prouder of each of them. I look forward to working with the Year 5s again next year and for the year 6s I hope this gives them the encouragement to try hockey and different sports when they go onto Secondary school. Thank you to the hockey team for making me so proud!
Utilita Cup 12.1.24
Our Year 6 boys’ football team had the chance to play in the Utilita Cup on the 12th January. The tournament was a qualifier to see which school would represent Saints at a regional and then national tournament. In total there were 31 teams over the course of the day.
In their first group game, the boys performed excellently against Halterworth B. The games were only 8 minutes and the boys scored 3 good goals to get off to the perfect start. In their second game the boys could not find the break through even though they controlled the ball. It took an excellent long range finish from Leo to seal a 1-0 win. In the third game the boys played Oliver’s Battery in what was an even closer game. Oliver’s Battery eventually came out with a 1-0 win after scoring a late winner with no time to reply. In the final group game the boys played against Weeke. Both teams played well and had chances to score but neither was able to find the breakthrough with the game ending in a 0-0 draw.
After those results, the boys finished second behind Weeke in the group, which meant we would play Herne A in the quarter finals. Herne quickly scored a goal after a good counter attack and then protected their lead for the rest of the match well. Unfortunately this saw the boys knocked out in the quarter finals by the finest of margins. Although they were disappointed with the result, the boys represented the school well and on a different day could have gone much further into the competition.
Hampshire Plate vs Bartley 17.1.24
Having won after extra time in the last round of the plate, the boys were keen to put in an impressive performance. In this round, we were drawn at home again were able to utilise the whole field for the pitch. The boys were confident the extra space would help them.
Almost immediately, Jake scored a volley to make it 1-0. This was quickly followed by a good strike by Leo to make it 2-0. The boys had made the perfect start and were playing some of the best football they have played so far this season. However, they were disappointed to be caught by a rare Bartley counter attack which saw them score after the ball came off Harry. The boys rallied well and Leo soon scored a third goal before Jake grabbed his second to make it 4-2. Jake was then able to secure a first half hat trick after a real poacher’s goal, which made it look as though the tie was wrapped up. But, just before half time, Bartley won a free kick just outside the area which they were able to convert to make the score 5-3 to Fair Oak. Having been run close in all rounds of the Hampshire Cup, the boys could have been forgiven for expecting the same to happen again. However, in the second half they grew from strength to strength. Evan made one or two stops but didn’t look like he would be beaten. Harry and Radley defended well but also created multiple chances. Odhran was dangerous on the left and Luca – making his debut for the side – played excellently on the right before scoring a close range finish. In the end, the score was 11-3 to Fair Oak with Jake scoring 6, Leo 3, Luca 1 and after moving to midfield, Harry scored a well-deserved goal from a mazy run before a finish low into the corner.
This was an excellent victory for Fair Oak where they played some exceptional football but also capped this by being ruthless in front of goal. The only downside was George coming off injured toward the end of the first half after another solid performance in midfield. We now face Portsmouth Grammar away in the quarter finals and will be looking for another good win!
This week a selection of our athletics squad represented the school in the qualifiers. We took two teams who competed in a variety of events including throwing, jumping and running. It was lovely to see the children compete where they were able to apply the skills they have been developing at athletics club. They performed to such a high standard including many individual successes as well as team achievements. They represented the school brilliantly! Their teamwork was outstanding and their encouragement for one another was a pleasure to witness.
Today our Year 5 and 6 girl's football team played in the quarter-final of the Hampshire Plate against Wallisdean Primary School.
The girls started brightly, moving the ball positively, with Flo dictating play in the middle, bringing wider players into the game with some slick passing. It didn't take long before Megan broke through the defence to fire us into the lead. There
were several chances in the first 20 minutes and the girls went into half time with a 2-0 lead thanks to a calmly converted penalty by Flo.
After the break, Wallisdean came out fighting and made it hard for our players at times. Despite Rayah and Eva's tireless work to clear any threats, they managed to pull one goal back. The girls kept their heads up and continued to play their passing game. Mia played a through ball which reached Flo who showed great footwork to round two players and finish into the corner, giving us a 3-1 lead.
Wallisdean continued to keep our midfield on their toes, with Siena and Lyra hunting down every ball. An excellent free-kick looks destined for the top corner but our superstar goal-keeper Ramona was able to hold onto it and protect our lead. The girls went on to create some excellent chances, a great strike from Lyra came off the post as the girls tried their best to extend their lead.
Wallisdean kept the game very competitive and scored a second with six minutes left on the clock. Fair Oak were able to see the game out with some disciplined positional play and battling well to prevent an equaliser. Both sets of coaches agreed it was a fantastic game played in a fair and competitive spirit. We thanked Wallisdean for travelling to us and they wished us luck as we move onto the semi-finals. Well done girls, we are proud of you all.