Best yet for Hall hockey team

Echo: Purple patch — the hockey teams from Thorpe Hall with coaches Hayley Middleton and Kirsty Durban Purple patch — the hockey teams from Thorpe Hall with coaches Hayley Middleton and Kirsty Durban

THORPE Hall School is celebrating its best hockey achievements to date after winning two medals at the county finals.

The Thorpe Bay school’s junior team won silver following a 2-0 defeat to Saffron Walden’s RA Butler Academy school.

And the senior team beat Braintree’s Alec Hunter Academy 1-0 to secure bronze.

PE teacher Hayley Middleton and former international player Kirsty Durban helped the team to success, and Hayley was delighted.

“It was so exciting, I nearly passed out just watching!” she said.

“This is an amazing achievement for a school our size.

“The teams have worked so hard and they completely deserve their success. Kirsty and I could not be prouder of them.”

The Essex finals were held at Chelmsford Hockey Club and the junior team went as Southend Borough champions and the seniors as borough runners-up.

The juniors beat RA Butler 5-1, Ingatestone & Fryerning 7-0, Eversley Primary 11-0 and Clacton’s Holland Park 8-0.

Thorpe Hall met Southend borough rivals Heycroft School in the semi-final and beat the Eastwood school 3-1 in extra time.

They lost 2-0 to RA Butler in the final but the silver medal was still Thorpe Hall’s highest achievement in hockey to date.

Thorpe Hall’s team was: Nathan Sands, Charlie Elmore, Owen Middleton, Ryan Blaydon, Grace Gosling, Kathleen Blakes-ley, Austen Robinson, Tom Albecq, Kudzaishe Mubayi and Ava Hanney.

Thorpe Hall’s newly-formed senior team qualified for the finals from their first competitive tournament only weeks before and had set their sights on a medal in the “In 2 Hockey” tournament at the county event.

A difficult start in their first three matches led them to a bronze medal play-off against Alec Hunter Academy.

Thorpe Hall had the majority of the possession but it was still goalless until Mark Tompkins’ shot was deflected on the goal line by Jonathan Albecq in the last-minute to secure a 1-0 win.

The senior team comprised: William Shepherd, Oscar Ahlers-Diver, Mark Tompkins, Zachary Horton, Luke Donovan, Glenn Cowley, Adam Howitt, Jonathan Albecq and Ewan Richmond.

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