In another bumper turnout, 22 under 8 players travelled to Leighton Buzzard yesterday. Bedford Lions, Tigers and Bears teams faced tough opposition from clubs including Aylesbury, Tring, Luton, Leighton Buzzard and St Michael's school.
The Tigers and Bears teams started strongly, showing great enthusiasm and commitment and revealing how much they have learned from this season's training and tournaments. Both teams scored some fantastic goals and everyone worked incredibly hard. By the end of the six group stage games there were some very tired legs but happy smiling faces - each and every player should be very proud.
The Lions team were the most experienced of the three teams and, having just missed out on the finals in Luton two weeks ago, they were keen to get off to a good start. With the first game won and under their belts, the Lions settled into some solid and structured hockey, losing only one closely fought group game and winning the rest.
Their performance was good enough to get them into a semi final against Tring A. Despite some excellent play and dogged defending Bedford conceded a single goal to lose 1-0. The second semi final remained goalless between St Michael's A and B, going into extra time and golden goal. This may have worked to Bedford's advantage as they got to have a little breather before finally playing St Michael's B for the bronze medal.
Bedford obviously really wanted to win this match and the determination and dedication was clear - persistent attack of the opposition goal by Helena and Emily as well as clean and brave tackling by Jessica to win the ball back meant that Bedford went 1-0 up. St Michael's responded to this by upping their game but constant running and backtracking to support by Alex, some super passes by Esther and excellent defense of the goal by Luke kept them out. Dives, sprints and a late goalpost save by Qasim after St Michael's made a break had hearts in mouths but the final whistle went as the score remained at 1-0 to Bedford - a well deserved and hard fought Bronze for the Bedford Lions!
Thanks to the U8 parents as always for your support of both kids and coaches - we'll see some of you at Shefford and Sandy in April but otherwise enjoy the summer break.
Lions team pictured with Coach Claire L-R Qasim, Helena, Jessica (front), Luke, Emily, Alex, Esther