Within the space of a month Seaford Boys’ Indoor Hockey went from qualifying in the top 10 in the country to ranking 3rd in the country. When the Seaford Boys’ Indoor Team arrived at their hotel in London and immediately started preparing for the biggest school tournament they have ever played in. The top 10 teams in the country split into 2 pools of 5 teams each. Pool 1 included Seaford, Rossall, Exeter, Ipswich and Repton; pool 2 included Whitgift, Millfield, Eggelscliffe, Denstone and Thomas Deacon Academy. The first game closed with a 6-3 win vs Exeter and later that evening in the second game the boys really played super hockey and beat last year’s finalists, Ipswich 5-1. Looking up into the crowd, the team could see a very happy and proud Headmaster supporting them. The team then went back to the hotel and reluctantly had ice baths and a session of video analysis to plot their next day’s progress.
The next day, with a large supporter’s crowd following the team (parents from Germany/England and Staff, Ed Bowden, Tim Farmer and Tony Phillips, including the Deputy Head Mr Passam and his family), the team had a really tough match against Repton and just lost 2-3. With this result Seaford had to beat Rossall in their final Pool game which they did quite comfortably 6-2 to qualify top of their pool and play Millfield in the semi-final. With the boys qualifying for the semi-final Seaford again broke school records by being ranked in the top 3 in the UK!
The other Semi-final was between Repton and Whitgift.With the team 1-5 down and 9 minutes to go in the game Seaford came alive and scored 3 goals to get within striking distance at 4-5 but a lapse in concentration let Millfield score another. With 1 minute left on the clock the Seaford boys dug deep and scored an amazing goal and with the score at 5-6 to Millfield and 13 seconds on the clock Laurie Bowden SHOT…… THE BALL STRUCK THE CROSSBAR AND DROPPED ONTO THE GOAL LINE with only a touch needed by a Seaford player the whole stadium went into slow motion BUT unfortunately a Millfield player reacted first and cleared the ball away for Millfield to win the game 6-5 and stop the progress of Seaford.
A proud parent said: “They should be very proud of the result and I am sure the whole of Seaford College are too! If a month ago the Headmaster make a prediction that the 1st team would be in the semi-finals and finish third, I image there would have been a few sceptics in the crowd- but no, it was amazing effort by all. Well done to you all and I am sure that the new outdoor season will be a really successful one when the spring finally comes.” Straight after the game Johann Von Stechow commented: “Sir, I am gutted and exhausted but I have never had such an enjoyable tournament in my life and am very proud to be a Seaford Player.” Laurie Bowden (Vice Captain) said: “wow what a game pity we lost but we gave it our all!”
Captain Hendrik Geyer was all praise for his team as he said: “what a team, I could not have asked for more effort from my players, pity we could not go all the way to the final.” Alec Haythornthwaite added: “without the professional structure we had in place (Physio , Manager and Coach) I don’t think we would have got this far!” Ferdinand Haug commented: “I really enjoyed playing such a big tournament. I was really sad losing, so unlucky in the semi-final but I have always dreamed of what we have done!”
Steve Paxton, Hockey Coach said: ”this is very special team I am very proud of them and I could not have asked for any more from the players and the management team around me (Dom Barnes Manager and Jodie Rogers Physio) – their commitment and effort and just being modest and friendly Athletes should make the school, their parents, their teachers and their fellow athletes very proud of them. I would also like to thank the Headmaster – Mr Green, Mr Passam, Mr Yates and Mr Cook for their support for myself and the athletes during this momentous occasion.”