Ipswich School go Dutch to win international tournament

Ipswich School has added an international trophy to its list of sporting triumphs after winning a prestigious Under-19 international tournament in Holland.

Hosted by the HDM club in Den Haag, a mixed-age team of boys from the Suffolk school beat one of the home country’s sides – Ring Pass club from Delft – in a high-scoring final.

Ipswich’s route to the final involved playing the Scottish U16 team (4-3 win), the Swiss U18 team (4-0 win), Kent U17 team (7-1 win), AGSFP club from Scotland (7-0 win), and Gouda HC (1-1 draw).

They were again pitched against Gouda in the cross-over semi-final and again the two sides were evenly matched, with Ipswich narrowly winning through 3-2.

In the other semi, the much-fancied home team lost out to Ring Pass through an Australian-style penalty shoot-out competition.

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The final was a high-tempo affair from the first whistle.

Ring Pass scored early, but Ipswich succeeded in equalising before half-time.

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The superior work-ethic of the Suffolk team showed through in the second period, however, as they quickly established a strong lead and they went on to clinch the win, 6-2.

The school’s Euan Smith, who turned 18 during the tournament, scored a remarkable 14 goals in total to be named joint-top goalscorer.

“Having taken part in the tournament two years ago and only winning one game meant we came this year with modest expectations of what we could achieve,” said head coach David Hacker.

“To win the tournament is an extraordinary success and great testament to a fantastic set of players.”

The international trophy will now sit alongside those won regularly by Ipswich School at national and regional level, by both the boys’ and girls’ hockey teams, in indoor and outdoor games, and at all senior age groups from under 13 to under 18.

This year the school’s under-18 girls’ hockey team came second in the national indoor finals, and fourth in the national outdoor final.

The boys’ under-16 hockey team, which includes a number of players fresh from this tournament victory, will compete in the schools’ finals to be played at Cannock HC in late April.

The boys’ U13 team will also be taking part in the minis nationals in May.

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