The Horsham District Primary Schools Hockey League got underway on Tanbridge House School’s Astroturf pitch last Friday.
With a bumper entry of 18 teams on show for the first meeting of three, there were plenty of matches to get through with teams being split randomly into four groups.
North Heath’s A team was the dominant force in group one, scoring 12 goals without reply to register four straight victories.
Sussex representative player Luca Yates was their key forward player with support from Tate Stowell.
Castlewood recovered well from their initial 4-0 setback against North Heath to win three close matches.
Kieran McCall and Nathaniel Shoaubi being responsible for most of their goal threat.
Steyning B took third place and William Penn finished above a goal-leaking Slinfold despite the goalless draw that resulted when the two met.
Notable performances from William Penn came from Pria Saha with some excellent defending and from Alice White who kept going despite sustaining an early injury.
Holbrook topped group two, Steyning A finished top of group three and St Mary’s won group four.
In group two, it was Holbrook who topped the table courtesy of three 1-0 victories and a goalless draw.
Conner Brennan was drafted in last minute as Holbrook’s goalkeeper and given they did not concede a goal all night, the team clearly has unearthed some star quality.
Year 6 girl Gracie Piper, a Horsham Hockey Club player, was another key factor in the group winner’s success.
Other results in the group saw Billingshurst, thankful for the goalscoring exploits of Georgia Falloon and Toby Alexander, manage to squeeze out second place above Steyning’s C team.
North Heath B, with goals from Jodie Cherubini and strong goalkeeping nerve from Hayley Emerson, pipped Warnham A for fourth spot by virtue of their single goal win over Steyning C.
Despite bringing up the rear Warnham will take heart from some of the good play they demonstrated, notably from Pairo Lor in defence and Ben Teasdale up front.
Steyning A, inspired by Harvey Claridge and Will Walton, were impeccable in winning all of their matches in group three.
That included an 8-0 battering of Kingslea B and a 1-0 victory over Southwater A, their closest rival for whom Jaime Benaldo De Quiras provided some Latin flair with six goals.
Warnham B went one better than their A team by not finishing bottom.
First-time hockey competition entrants Kingslea battled gamely despite their three heavy defeats.
In the fourth group, St Mary’s School, Horsham, was ruthlessly efficient in despatching three opponents by two and three goal margins and without conceding a goal all night.
Southwater B took runners-up spot with two wins and they were another team appreciative of a good goalkeeping contribution from Aidan Condell.
Kingslea’s A team was delighted to score a victory in its first hockey outing beating Northolmes 1-0 in its final match.
Three defeats mean Northolmes will need to go back to the drawing board before the next meeting but they will take some comfort from the bravery displayed by Aiden Merritt in their goal.
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