06 Mar 2013
Charterhouse through to Hockey Final

Finally a Final

Boarding Schools Cup

Semi-final

Dauntsey’s 2 Charterhouse 4

Charterhouse travelled to Dauntsey’s on a balmy Tuesday March 5th knowing that history was against them. they had lost at the semi-final stage of the Boarding Schools Cup two years in succession and their only other meetings with Dauntsey’s, at the Oxford Festival, had all three ended in defeat. There is something about this team which relishes a challenge, however, as witnessed by their remarkable comebacks against Reed’s and Tonbridge earlier in the Quarter.
Both sides began somewhat edgily and were guilty of giving the ball away much too easily but, as the game settled down, it became clear that this would be a very even contest. Dauntsey’s had several players with excellent stick skills while Charterhouse could rely on the flawless tackling of Rory Peplow and Ewan McDougall and the spirited running of harry Coe, Huw Reynolds and Ashley Beddows.
Dauntsey’s won the first short corner and a slick routine seemed to take everyone by surprise including their own attackers. Charterhouse had more luck at the other end. Their short corner was only half cleared and, when Ed Ilay fired the ball back into the circle it bounced up off a defender’s stick and Beddows was on hand to swat the ball home.
This success gave Charterhouse more belief and created even more anxiety in the home team and there was a strong feeling that another goal now might well break Dauntsey’s resolve. Chances came but the home goalkeeper was a match for anything Charterhouse had to offer and steadily the hosts regained their composure and began to assert some pressure. They won a series of short corners but could not convert any because of the excellence of Pavel Degtiarev in the Charterhouse goal as well as their own tendency to try to be over elaborate.
Charterhouse continued to create chances on the break and might have scored just before the end of the first half but they were again thwarted by good goalkeeping and it was Dauntsey’s who ended the half in the ascendancy with yet another short corner after the whistle had blown to end the half. Like those before it, it came to nothing as Tom Gordon-Martin scrambled the ball clear.
The second half began as the first had ended with Dauntsey’s pressing and Charterhouse calling all hands to the pumps and looking to strike on the break. They survived the first ten minutes but made mistakes as the pressure mounted until the ball was given away needlessly for the umpteenth time and then the Dauntsey’s forward was given all the time in the world to turn in the circle and fire home giving Degtiarev no chance.
The crowd of about a hundred spectators roared their approval and, when Ed Worrall was yellow-carded for a nasty foul in his own 22, Dauntsey’s must have felt that the game was theirs for the taking. That short corner also came to nothing and Charterhouse, bristling with an unfounded sense of injustice, cranked up their work-rate and created some pressure of their own. Only minutes after conceding, Beddows found Reynolds in the circle and the striker did the rest to restore Charterhouse’s lead and return Dauntsey’s to square one.
With fifteen minutes still to play there was a sense that this would not be the final score and so it proved. Unexpectedly, however, it was Charterhouse who scored next. A long through ball found Worrall free in the opposing circle and his finish was as exquisite as it was skilful. Almost immediately afterwards Peplow played a neat one-two with Reynolds and slotted the ball into the bottom corner to make victory almost a certainty.
Dauntsey’s continued to attack and gained a consolation goal from a short corner – at last – with two minutes to go but there simply wasn’t time for them to do any more. It had been an excellent match full of skill and endeavour, as well as quite a lot of errors, between two well matched sides. Dauntsey’s can certainly take much credit from their performance and can look back and think that on another day things might have been very different. Charterhouse, meanwhile, can look forward to a final at Southgate Hockey Club on March 18th and anticipate an exciting climax to their season.