A great weekend was had by Borehamwood at the Senior Nationals in Herne
Bay on 6th/7th Dec 2014. Before the Tournament started we were already
the most successful ball club in the country, having won 2 of the last 3
National Finals and being the only club this year to have an A and B
team at the Finals. What unfolded over the weekend only confirmed this.
started the Tournament off with a match against Sprint Raiders. On
paper, a fairly straightforward match, and the result was a 5-0 victory.
Although Crusaders never quite got out of second gear, it was a good
victory to start the Tournament.
The Kings were next up with
their first match. This was very important, as a win would open the way
up for a quarter final place whereas a loss would mean realistically
the team would be competing for 9th - 12th place for the rest of the
weekend. Heathrow Reapers were the opponents and the Kings put in a very
good performance without quite reaching the heights of their
outstanding Plate Final performance of a few weeks previous. The final
score was 4-2 to the Kings.
Second match up for the Kings was
against Hallamshire Hornets, probably the most consistent team in Europe
over the last few years. This was always going to be tough for a young
Kings squad with only 6 players. What unfolded surprised most people at
the rink, not least the Hornets players themselves! The Kings put in the
performance of the first day to take the game to the opposition. After
10 minutes played the score was still 0-0 and on chances the Kings
should have been ahead. Eventually the Hornets did score a couple of
goals but the Kings did not fold and hit back with a goal of their own.
At times they were pinning the Hornets back in their own area. In the
end the experience of the Hornets shone through and the the final score
was 3-1. A truly great performance from the Kings.
Next up for
Crusaders was Ash Avalanche. A strong team who have been mostly playing
together since peewee level. It was a tough test for the Crusaders who
were not at their very best. Even so, they still had too much quality
for Ash and ran out 3-1 winners. Onto the quarter final against the
It cannot have happened often in the history of Bisha that
2 teams from the same club competed in a quarter final of the
Nationals! It shows the strength in depth at Borehamwood.
was a close one, with Crusaders really starting to produce their top
form, at the wrong time from the Kings point of view! Nevertheless, the
Kings produced a performance similar to the one against the Hornets, and
this time without a coach! The Crusaders scored 2 goals in the first
period and a further goal early on in the second period to lead 3-0
midway through the second period. At this point, the Kings could have
dropped their heads but they showed resilience and scored a quick goal
from Dan Picton to make the score 3-1. Crusaders replied with a fourth
but again Kings hit back with a goal. In the dying seconds Steve
Dickinson scored a 5th for Crusaders to make the final score 5-2, a fair
reflection of the match. A very good performance from Crusaders and an
excellent one from Kings. A great first day for Borehamwood.
was a less successful day for the Kings. It was always going to be
difficult continually producing top class performances with such a small
and young squad, and this proved to be the case. Against Swindon, the
team put up a good fight but eventually lost 3-1.
In the 7th/8th
place play off against a strong Ash Avalanche, fatigue caught up with
the players and combined with inexperience, resulted in a 7-1 defeat.
However, this must not detract from an overall excellent Tournament. 8th
place was a great achievement and the future looks good for these
Crusaders had a more successful Sunday! Their first
match was the semi final against a strong Wigan Warlords team, who had
knocked them out of the nationals a couple of years previously.
Crusaders started the match well and went into the lead. They were
producing their very best hockey, just when it mattered. However, Wigan
would not be subdued and responded well, meaning the teams were tied at
4-4 going into the final few minutes. This was when the experience and
class of Crusaders really told and they scored the winner with seconds
The final saw Crusaders against old rivals, Hallamshire
Hornets, their opponents in both their 2011 and 2013 National final
victories. Matches between these 2 teams are always close fought,
physical confrontations with lots of skilful play, and this was no
The match started off at a relentless pace, a step up from
anything else witnessed over the weekend and never really slackened.
Crusaders took the lead with a goal from Jamie Campbell and followed
this with a second from Ed Barnes. Crusaders were producing some great
hockey, Steve Dickinson and Dexter were attacking with strength and
purpose, and our penalties conceded were not costing us.
Hornets are very experienced and gradually increased the pressure on
the Crusaders goal. The score remained the same throughout the second
period though, thanks in large parts to some 'bodies on the line
defending', in particular from Lee Hayter, and some great saves from
James Wright. Into the third period it looked as if Crusaders might hold
on, but the Hornets talisman Alex Pearman, took matters into his own
hands and scored 2 quick fire goals. The score 2-2 and so into overtime.
The 2011 final against Hornets also went into overtime, but unlike
then, when penalties were needed to separate the teams, Crusaders
dominated this overtime, and Dexter and Campbell scored 2 further goals.
Crusaders had won the final 4-2.
Steve collected the trophy and Borehamwood were National Champions again!
Unarguably Crusaders are now the strongest ball hockey team in the
country. Three national victories in the last four years proves that.
The challenge now is to replicate that success on the European stage,
and to match Hornets and Street Warriors by winning a European title!
2015 might just be our year!!