Futures Cup Day Three

Day three of the Futures Cup at Cannock, supported by Man, saw the culmination of the under 18 boys and girls group stages ahead of Sunday’s final classification matches.  In the under 16 tournaments, which are run in round robin format, there is one round of matches remaining.

Man Group plc logoSupported by Man, a world-leading alternative investment manager, the Futures Cup is designed to replicate the professional environment of an international hockey tournament.  It represents the culmination of months of development, training, competition and selection for young players and officials as part of England Hockey’s long term development strategy, the Single System.

In the U16 girls’ tournament, the Saxon Tigers made it two from two with a 4-1 win over the Pennine Pumas thanks to a hat-trick from Surbiton’s Ellie Tait.  Following Tait’s opener, Havering’s Pip Wilson made it 2-0 on the stroke of halftime with a penalty corner conversion.  Preston’s Jenny Clayton pulled one back on 42 minutes but St George’s pupil Tait netted twice more from open play to put the Tigers top of the U16 girls’ table with just the Wessex Leopards to play.  In the other match between the Mercia Lynx and Wessex Leopards, an early double from Lynx vice captain Ellen Lockhart set the girls in red on their way to a 3-2 win.  Oxford Hawks’ Abigail Flory made it 3-0 in the 25th minute and despite goals from Rebekah Walker (Firebrands) and Hattie Armstrong (Taunton Vale) the Lynx held on.

In the U16 boys’ tournament, James Gall bagged his second of the tournament as he contributed to a four goal haul for the Saxon Tigers in their 4-1 win over the Mercia Lynx boys.  Saffron Walden’s Tom Greig set the ball rolling in the 13th minute but Lynx’ Joe Brownhill equalised before halftime.  Gall’s goal made it 2-0 before further goals from Elliot Smith (Harleston Magpies) and James Albery (Old Loughtonians) sealed the win and the top of the table position with one game remaining.  There was also a 4-1 win for the Wessex Leopards over the Pennine Pumas.  Taunton’s Thomas Chandler netted twice, once in each half, for the Leopards with further goals from Tom Alsop (Lowington) and Ed Horler (Team Bath Buccaneers).  Oxton’s Callum Steel had momentarily restored parity in the first half but Alsop hit back just a minute later to make it 2-1 before halftime.

In the girls’ U18 tournament, the Wessex Leopards and Saxon Tigers will face each other in the final on Sunday after both sides won on Saturday.  There was heartbreak for the Mercia Lynx girls as they lost 1-0 to the Wessex Leopards, Havant’s Rebekah Vanberkel netting the winner in the very last minute to secure the top position in the group.  The Leopards will be joined in Sunday’s final by the Saxon Tigers who beat the Pennine Pumas 5-0.  Tigers captain Grace Balsdon netted a brace of penalty corners to join her Canterbury teammate Lucy Hyams at the top of the U18 girls top scorers chart on two goals after Hyams also scored against the Pumas.  Lucy Wood (East Grinstead) and Faye Curran (Ipswich) also found the back of the net.

In the U18 boys’ tournament, the Mercia Lynx boys kept up their 100% record with a high scoring 6-2 victory over the Wessex Leopards.  The Lynx boys had already qualified for Sunday’s final after Saturday’s round of fixtures but refused to take their foot off the gas with five different scorers finding the net.  Wycombe’s Liam Ansell got things underway but Exeter University’s Josh Hood equalised in the 22nd minute.  David Goodfield (Telford) and Christian Beck (Cannock) made it 3-1 for the Lynx by halftime and Ben Morris (Beeston) and Jack Hardy (Reading) took the lead to 5-1.  Team Bath Buccaneers Alex Copestake pulled one back for the Leopards but Morris grabbed a second to complete the scoring.  The Lynx’ opponents in Sunday’s final will be the Saxon Tigers after Folkstone’s Luke Smithard and Old Whitgiftians’ Ben Bernard scored in a 2-0 win over Pennine Pumas.

Sunday sees the final round of matches in the 2010 Futures Cup.  For the U16s, there is one round of group stage matches remaining while in the U18 tournaments, first and second in the pools will play off for the title while third and fourth in the pool will contest the third place playoffs.

Follow the tournament and see the tables, top scorers list and more online at www.englandhockey.co.uk/futurescup

About Man Group, supporter of the EHB’s junior programmes and competitions
Man is a world-leading alternative investment management business. It has expertise in a wide range of liquid investment styles including managed futures, equity, credit, emerging markets, global macro and multi-manager, combined with powerful product structuring, distribution and client service capabilities. Man manages around $63 billon.

The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 100 Index with a market capitalisation of around £4 billion.

Man Group is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the FTSE4Good Index. Man also supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. Further information can be found at www.mangroupplc.com.