Chance missed in national finals
HAVANT under-16s came away from the National Championships disappointed after failing to register a win at the tournament in London last weekend.
Havant played Surbiton, Leicester and Neston South Wirral over two days at Lee Valley but were beaten on all three occasions.
The Barncroft Way side went 1-0 up in the opening game against Neston South Wirral, thanks to England player Ethan Hoddle.
However, Craig Stevens’ side failed to take their chances and were beaten 5-1.
Then they lost 7-2 to eventual champions Surbiton, who had 11 England players in their side.
Hoddle was on the scoresheet once again and was joined by Ollie Reed.
Havant played well against Leicester but didn’t take their chances again and hit the post twice before losing 4-1.
Hoddle scored and his team-mates created another seven or eight opportunities.
Coach Stevens said: ‘The boys were all really disappointed.
‘The first game was the killer one.
‘We went ahead and had two really good chances but then it got away from us.
‘They had an England player who scored three and set up another goal for them.
‘Surbiton won every game and easily beat Marlow in the final – they were at a different level.
‘Against Leicester we created plenty of chances and on another day we could have won.’
However, Stevens was proud of his squad for making the national finals for the second year in a row, despite only playing together for a couple of years.
The side are clearly capable of taking on the top sides, after getting promoted to the Mercian Premier League this season.
In fact, half the national finalists were from their league – Surbiton, Canterbury and Guildford.
Around 50 people from Havant came to support the boys, from parents and grandparents, to dedicated club members.
Stevens said it was a good learning experience for the boys, especially playing in front of a big crowd.
On a more positive note, Havant have the chance to win some silverware next Sunday when they take on Bournemouth in the Hampshire Cup final at Eastleigh.
The tie is earlier than normal and not on Hampshire Finals day due to clashes with exams and county matches.
Havant under-16s: Tristram Randall, Ollie Wright, Josh Cant, Rhydian Walsh, Jack Stubbings, Matt Cottrell, Louis Wrenn, George Whelan, Ethan Hoddle, Ollie Reed, Finn Eastwood, Louis Elston, Josh Whitlock, Finn Carvalho, Nick Walters, Matt Cooper and Tom Stevens