The Merton School Sport Partnership held its annual Year 5/6 Quicksticks Hockey Borough Competition on Friday 18th November 2016 at King’s College Sports Ground. Quicksticks is a modified version of hockey suitable for primary aged children. Games consist of 4 players on pitch with no goal keepers; this makes it easier for primary schools to play as accessing a goal keeping kit is a tricky and costly affair. Quicksticks hockey also requires the players to rotate each game, giving them the chance to act as a coach, scorer and to give all players an equal chance to take part.
Seventeen teams from across the borough took part in the event. The competition consisted of 2 leagues with a final playoff game to determine an overall position. The competition format ensured that all schools had plenty of games to keep the children warm and active on a cold and wintry day.
All teams were raring to go and great with their rotations which meant the competition ran smoothly. Benedict’s opening game was promising with a close win against West Wimbledon; 2-1, St John Fisher also managed to secure a win against Hollymount after defending hard for the final minutes of the game, final score was 2-1. Other entertaining games consisted of Wimbledon Park against Bishop Gilpin, Wimbledon Park’s tactical defending approach enabled them to draw 0-0, and Holy Trinity narrowly beat Hatfeild 2-1 with a clever free pass to the back post to score their final goal.
Midway through the league matches, it started to emerge as to which teams looked favorites; League 1 Bishop Gilpin and Sacred Heart looked strong with some high scoring wins; however, when they both met it was Bishop Gilpin that kept composed winning 3-0. League 2 it was Poplar and St Teresa’s climbing the league table but when they met each other Poplar’s attackers were on fire, winning 6-2.
After all the league games had finished each school had a final game to determine their overall position within the competition. The Semi Final consisted of St Teresa’s and Scared Heart, during the competition it was evident that both teams had been tactically coached prior to the competition. There were waves of attacks from both teams but both defences were solid and didnt give up without a fight. However, Sacred Heart played the long ball to their lone striker who calmly placed the ball in the back of the net to secure their bronze medals, final score, St Teresa’s 0-1 Sacred Heart.
The final was a common occurrence during Merton Quicksticks competitions, between Poplar and Bishop Gilpin, both teams had been undefeated throughout the tournament. The majority of play was in midfield as the standard of play from both teams was very similar and of a high standard. The game resulted in going to extra time and golden goal. Bishop Gilpin were able to score with moments to spare and win the competition via golden goal. Congratulations to Bishop Gilpin for becoming the Merton Borough Quicksticks Hockey Champions 2016, they will now proceed to represent Merton at the London Youth Games in March 2017.
Final positions are as follows:
1st- Bishop Gilpin
3rd- Sacred Heart
4th- St Teresa’s
5th- Wimbledon Chase
7th- Wimbledon Park
8th- St Mary’s
11th- West Wimbledon
12th- Holy Trinity
13th- John Fisher
Thank you to all the schools that took part and to the Rutlish Hockey Team for umpiring all the matches. Also a big thank you to King’s College for letting us use their fantastic facilities and to Wimbledon Hockey Club for attending and promoting their junior section.