TSW Dawlish Juniors Octopush teams have just returned from a tough international, invitation tournament in Dordrecht, Holland. They took on the best teams in Holland, Belgium and last years Great Britain Under 16 champions, and beat all opposition, lifting the gold medal at Under 16 level. The juniors from Dawlish also took along an underage squad to compete in the Under 16 age group; they lifted the bronze medal.
photo of the squads by their accommodation in Rotterdam Harbour
The strong Dawlish Under 16 squad, who missed out to Batley in the same contest last year, and were also defeated in the 2015 British National Championships, fought back in this season’s opening tournament to reassert their national credentials. It was a wholly dominant performance, but not without a hiccup. Playing at the unfamiliar depth of three metres TSW Dawlish opened their account with a perfunctory dismissal of EPO of Belgium. They went on to crush Astacus and VRB, two of the top Dutch sides. The crunch match in the first round was always going to be against England North. Some technical infringements saw TSW Dawlish reduced to four players against The North’s six, but they held on, to play out a tense 1 – 1 draw. It was enough to qualify in top spot for the final round of matches.
The younger TSW Dawlish squad had tough local opposition. They opened with a hard-fought draw against Argonauta, and an equally tough draw against VZV Njord. Next up was the very strong home team of Dordrecht; but the TSW Dawlish team was now firing on all cylinders, and they dispatched the tournament favourites, before beating Watervirnden.
Both TSW Dawlish squads found themselves in the second round of matches. The first encounter in the second round saw the two TSW Dawlish squads playing against one another. Seniority prevailed and the full Under 16 squad beat their own juniors 7 – 0; it was not as one sided as the result suggested. The TSW Dawlish Under 16’s went on to whitewash all opposition to finish in the gold medal position. Meanwhile the younger squad had to play the full might of England North, who had drawn with their senior colleagues. Surprising all contestants, and possibly themselves, they beat the reigning British National Under 16’s champions 2 – 0. With a further win and a narrow loss in the second round they had done enough to scoop the bronze medal.
This was a totally dominant display by the Dawlish juniors, in an international competition of the highest quality. The prospects for honours in the up-coming season look very promising in the very competitive Under 16 age group. The performance of their younger colleagues suggests that the Under 14’s and Under 12’s should be at least as competitive.
Players: Oliver Curle, Toby Curle, Louis Pyper, Lyndon Beddow, Joe Broom, Joe Smith, Caleb Pullen, Aiden Leigh-Brown, Elliott Wilkinson, Ted Ironside-Smith, Alice Nuttall, Tom Nuttall, Jackson Spry, Joel Davis, Rachel Davis, Sebastian Curle, Morley Atkins, Daisy Wright and Alex Cole