The flagship hockey team at Stamford School completed their pre-season with a friendly tournament at Worksop College, spread over two days, playing four fixtures.
Returning from the festive season, for a schoolboy, is never an exciting prospect.
The 1st XI set about their first fixture on the Saturday against local rivals, Uppingham, with purpose and vigour.
The tone was set in the first 10 minutes of this match, with Stamford School laying siege on Uppingham’s goal.
Centre forward Jamie Richardson bagged a brace from open play, playmaker Joe Chedd scoring and short corner specialist Tom Wilson converting to make it four before half-time.
The icing on the cake was supplied in the second half by forward Tom McDonald and Lawrence Sidwell slamming home from the top of the D. Final score 6-1 to Stamford School.
In the afternoon Stamford started well against local men’s team North Nottinghamshire.
This was through both purposeful running as well slick, well constructed interchange play in midfield orchestrated by captain, Joe Chedd.
Jamie Richardson opened the scoring from a tight angle.
North Nottinghamshire found their feet, and despite good defending by Stamford, scored two quick goals from set pieces around the D.
In the dying embers of the game, North Nottinghamshire made it three with a well-constructed, deflected goal; but Stamford had the final say in this tight contest with Arthur Franklin grabbing a fine solo goal – weaving through the North Nottinghamshire backline. The final score was 3-2 to North Nottinghamshire.
The morning of day two of the tournament saw Stamford open up against Seaford College of Sussex.
Seaford started well and took the lead with a well worked short corner.
In the second half, Stamford began to pen Seaford College deeper into their own territory.
With less than five minutes remaining, Stamford transferred the ball out to Oliver Huxley on the right who played a through ball to Tom McDonald, who expertly drove the baseline and slipped the ball back for Jamie Richardson to slot home an equaliser.
Stamford sensed that the game was theirs for the taking and hassled the Seaford defence with a high press.
Stamford won the game in the final minute. A miscued clearance from the opposition goalkeeper resulted in the awarding of a penalty corner.
Up stepped drag-flicker Tom Wilson who secured the 2-1 win for Stamford
The afternoon game saw Stamford School pitched against Midland under-18s league champions, Trent College.
After no score in the first half, Stamford stormed out of the blocks at the break and began to take a stranglehold of the game.
The first goal came about through excellent vision from James Dodworth to distribute to Lawrence Sidwell who drove expertly down the baseline and found Jamie Richardson to slot home.
They quickly added a second goal for Tom McDonald, who dinked the ball over the advancing keeper to make it 3-0 to Stamford.