Monkstown’s U-16s put in a superb performance when they they took the silver medal in the top European U-16 HOD tournament in Valkenswaard, the Netherlands over the Easter weekend.
They battled it out against teams from eight countries including Germany, England, France, Poland, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Starting out, they got the better of the Swiss national squad 3-1 before beating regional sides North Holland (2-1) and South Holland (3-0).
The highlight of the weekend was on Sunday when they beat the Belgian National squads, currently ranked third in Europe, 2-1 and 1-0. This was the first time in four years the Belgians had been defeated in this tournament.
The final was a cracking game with the boys just being edged out 2-1 in a high quality high tempo game by Stichse HC – current home club of Irish senior internationals Mikey Watt and Conor Harte – who are one of the top teams in Holland in this age group.
Goals were scored by Jordan Larmour (5), Rory Nichols (4),David Nolan (4), Andrew Fogarty (2) and Geoff Cole who also brought off three goal-line saves at corner time.
Nolan was named player of the tournament with some immense displays and Alexander Beattie named as goalkeeper of the tournament, the highlight being his performance in the 1-0 win against the Belgian Tigers.
Excellent performances from captain Jazze Henry, Larmour ,Robert Browne, Nicholls and Fogarty contributed to a great team effort.
Speaking after the tournament, SCHC captain Gert Steens paid tribute to Monkstown’s efforts, saying: “It was an honour to play this heroic Valkenswaard final against Monkstown U-16. Congrats to David Nolan and Alexander Beattie for their deserved best player awards. Let’s make it our mutual goal to meet in next year’s final! Best wishes from Bilthoven, SCHC JB1″.
** Thanks to Trevor Watkins for providing the details