Lee Valley a fitting end for Fareham juniors

Luke Cornish is back for Fareham under-18s. 'Picture: Mick Young
Luke Cornish is back for Fareham under-18s. 'Picture: Mick Young
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Fareham under-18s have an opportunity to sign off their junior careers in style tomorrow.

The youngsters are through to the semi-final of the England Hockey Knockout Plate and will play Surbiton at the Lee Valley Centre – the iconic Olympic Park venue.

It is the last season together for 12 of the 16 players involved, so it would be fitting to round it off with some silverware.

Fareham manager Derek Bradbury said: ‘For a 
lot of the players, this weekend will be their last game for the under-18s.

‘Most of the team have been playing at the club since they were 10 or 11 years old, so it’s the culmination of their junior careers.

‘It’s quite a nice finale, especially to play at the Olympic Park.

‘If they could win it, it would round off their junior careers in a really nice way.

‘For most of them, they’ve never got to the semi-final 
of a national competition before.

‘It will also be the first time they’ve played at the venue, so it’s uncharted territory for everyone.’

However, Bradbury believes Surbiton are one of the strongest sides left in the competition.

The winner will play either Bury St Edmunds or Windermere in the final later in the day.

‘We’ve got the toughest semi-final draw,’ said Bradbury.

‘Most people would say that us and Surbiton are the toughest teams left.

‘Whoever wins the Surbiton game will win the final.’

Fareham beat Bournemouth 2-1, Taunton Vale 2-0 and Marlow 7-0 en route to the last four.

The Henry Cort side will be boosted by the return of England under-18 player Luke Cornish, who has been unavailable because of commitments with the first-team.

Fareham: Phil Horton, Roshan Laly, Chris Tagg, Ali Watson, Murray Watson, Cameron Duncan, Harry Lemon, David Roche, Jamie Young, Luke Cornish, Tom Larcombe, George Davey, Nick Gatenby, Harry Stamper, Archie Day and Ross McDonald