9th June 2018

Avoca Mixed 7s Hockey Tournament

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Avoca Mixed 7s 2018

The 2018 tournament was a scorcher!! Ten teams took part in this year's event and most could be seen enjoying the refreshing cold water that sprayed across the pitch midway through the event as the spinklers were turned on to water the pitch! Despite the roasting temperatures, the hockey on show was played at a frantic pace and with goals being scored from anywhere on the pitch, it was goals galore with an average of over 7 goals per game!

In the opening group matches in Group 1, Class on Artificial Grass (CAG) opened their tournament account with an impressive 7-0 drubbing of newcomers Ass on Artificial Grass (AAG) and CAG then got the better over Chazwazzas following a close and hard-fought 5-4 victory with CAG's Luke Adams unstoppable. The holders began where they left off in 2017 with wins over AAG and Wicklow Warriors winning both 7-2 with Herbie Fowler Hudson in flying form converting seven times. Chazwazzas picked up their 2nd win of the campaign before losing 5-4 in a must-win match against Bomb Squad. In the final group games, all was to play for as the battle for 4th place in Group 1 was decided as Wicklow played AAG and the former came away with a comfrotable 4-0 win to resign AAG to the Trophy Final while Wicklow went through to the Plate. Bomb Squad played CAG to decide top spot and following a thrilling 3-3 draw, Bomb Squad topped the group thanks to an extra bonus point.

Group 2 seemed to be slightly closer in comparison to Group 1; The Panthers got off to a great start beating Newpark Bees by the odd goal before succumbing to Alwyn and the Chipmunks. Newpark Bees then claimed their first scalp by beating the Stragglers despite being down to 5 players with other team members wandering off to the shop - however, bees returned to see the side ahead and with a full 7 on the field, cemeted victory! Following on from their opening draw against the Chipmunks, Bray HC comfortably beat the Stragglers before edging out the Panthers and eventually swatting the Bees to claim top spot in the group. The Stragglers picked up their first points against the Chipmunks with the Straggler's Darragh Butler influential; although the Chipmunk's Sam Collier bagged a hat-trick as they tried to claw back the deficit. Second spot was then determined in the final game between the Panthers and the Stragglers; a draw and the Chipmunks would finish 2nd; if either team won, then they would claim the Cup semi berth - the Panthers went ahead but the Stragglers levelled only to go agonisingly behind seconds later; in the end the Panthers added another couple of well crafted goals and sealed victory.

Knock-out Rounds: by finishing 5th in the group stage, AAG played off against the Stragglers in the Trophy Final; an entertaining end to end battle ensued and the Stragglers won this duel 6-3 with AAG putting up a valiant effort. In the Plate Semis: a 12-goal thriller between Chazwazzas and Newpark Bees saw the former claim the win by 2 goals eliminating the Bees in the process as they were then moved into the Shield Final. Teams not on the playing pitch certainly made it a carnival atmosphere as they cheered on and booed every aspect of the games. The Wicklow Warriors joined the Chazwazzas in the Plate Final as they held on and defended well against the battling Chipmunks winning 2-1.

Shield & Plate Finals: Newpark Bees and Alwyn and the Chipmunks had drawn 3-3 in the group stage earlier in the day; however the Bees edged out the Chipmunks in this final encounter 5-3 to claim the prize. Chazwazzas sailed past Wicklow Warriors in an unmatched contest as John Elmes fired in 5 goals for the Chazwazzas as they etched their name on the Plate and later vyed to return next year with a stronger squad to go further and challenge for the Cup title.

Medals: Tounament holders Bomb Squad booked their spot in the final with somewhat ease as they brushed aside the Panthers winning 5-1; Matthew Jungman was key as he notched a hat-trick. Joining them in the final was CAG as they narrowly pipped Bray HC to a 4-3 win. The battle for bronze was won early as Bray HC hit the Panthers for six as they won comfortably 7-1; unlike their previous meeting which yielded only a 3-goal tally. In the main event, Bomb Squad and CAG had previously drawn 3-3 in the group stage and amazingly the final ended 3-3 as well. 3 minutes of golden goal decided the contest and it was CAG who converted through Zoe Watterson to great scenes of celebration.

Awards: Congratulations to John Elmes on being crowned top goal scorer who beat fierce rivals Herbie Hudon Fowler, Luke Adams and team mate Ivan Cooke to the honour. Our panel decided to award Player of the Tournament to CAG's Emma Douglas who edged out others suggested including Dan Hogarty, Luke Adams, Finn MacAnna and Hilary Long.

Heroes: Many thanks to Stephen, Tess, Phil and Ben for umpiring! Thanks also to the ten super captains for organising their teams (Dan, Ben, Elmo, Stevie, Herbie, Rob, Emma, Ali, Emer and Rachel). Many thanks to Avoca Hockey Club for allowing us to use the venue once again and supporting us leading up to the event. Lastly, many thanks to Naomi Murphy who arrived early to help set up, worked tirelessly with numerous tasks from registration and organising teams and was more than happy to take some snaps to capture the day! Overall a super day out blessed with incredible sunny weather and awesome hockey - perhaps we will do this again in June again next year. €800 was raised for LauraLynn! Thank you!

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