All Bicester final for Wallingford Shield
By Stuart Lock
It was an all Bicester final at the Wallingford Shield competition on Saturday
Bicester U12s took the top 2 places at the Wallingford Shield festival today, with Bicester B clinching the Shield with a 1-0 victory in a closely fought final against Bicester A!
Bicester topped both groups with some fantastic, flowing hockey, great team work and decisive goal scoring.
In the Semi Finals the 'A' team faced Thame. After going behind to an early Thame goal, the A's staged a strong comeback, to dominate the opposition and went on to win 3-1. The 'B's had a tough game against Oxford. It was an end-to-end affair with Bicester shooting just wide of the goal on a few occasions – so ending in a 0-0 draw and the nail biting prospect of a penalty 'shuffle' shoot out! It was a 'best of 3' format followed by 'sudden death'. After a fantastic show of attacking skills and goal keeping flair the 'best of 3' ended up with a 2-2 draw - so on to 'sudden death'… Again there was little to separate the two sides but Amy Cowan in goal put on her best 'Maddie Hinch' show, quickly closing down the attackers and marshalling them away from her goal – to give Bicester 'B' the victory and book a place in the final against our 'A' team.
After the hugs and congratulations between 'A's and 'B's were over – it was back to business! No concessions were made that this was an all Bicester affair, as both teams battled hard to secure victory (and 'bragging rights'?!) over their club mates! In the end it was a well finished goal by Adam Rathband that separated the teams, giving Bicester 'B' the 1-0 victory and the Wallingford Shield.
A memorable day for all the players, parents and coaches involved – and a great advert for Bicester Hockey Club. Well done everyone!