German raid has silver lining

Havant under-14s travelled to Germany for an indoor hockey tournament
Havant under-14s travelled to Germany for an indoor hockey tournament
Katie Spooner is aiming high for City of Portsmouth Ladies. Picture: Keith Woodland

Developing talents can boost City glory bid

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Havant under-14s held their nerve to snatch a silver medal from their overseas mission.

The Barncroft Way youngsters kept their cool to win a penalty shootout in the semi-final of a tournament at the Braunschweig Tennis & Hockey Club.

But their dreams of making off with the trophy were dashed in the final as they had to settle for the runner-up gong.

The tourists enjoyed the character-building trip to the north of Germany, where they competed against a number of strong club sides.

Havant faced a daunting task as they locked horns with opponents who have regularly played indoor hockey since the age of five.

But rather than swerve the mission in favour of the local Bratwurst, they rose to the challenge.

Hosted by the welcoming families of Braunschweig players, Tomek Bruml, Daniel Chung, Noah Darlington, James Harper, Tim Hoare, Matthew Horton, Tom Lush, Elliot Tucker and Milo Wren made a big impression during their German adventure.

The two-day tournament began in mixed fashion, though, as they tackled three games on the opening day.

A promising 4-1 victory was followed by 4-1 and 4-0 defeats, leaving the Havant College side to face-off against the host club’s first team for a place in the final.

An extraordinary match ended level at 2-2, with Havant playing some outstanding hockey to twice come from behind and tee-up penalty drama.

And in a battle of nerve it was the visitors who highlighted the same mental toughness that twice brought them back from losing positions to inflict defeat on their hosts.

Exhausted from their gruelling semi-final achievement, a tired Havant were then outfought 5-0 by a very strong CzV Bremen side in the final.

Regardless, the Havant talents are now hoping their European adventure can stand them in good stead ahead of the domestic indoor programme.

– JEFF MARSHMAN