On Wednesday 22 February the boys' hockey team played in a very competitive match against The Downs School, Malvern. This was a new hockey fixture as the schools had not competed against each other before.
The match started at a quick pace and both defences were soon being stretched. Enzo was positioned in midfield for this match which enabled Ben to move out onto the right wing. This was beginning to pay dividends as our attack was showing much greater width than in previous weeks. It was from one of these attacks when Charlie found himself free in the circle, only to shoot straight at the opposition goal keeper.
The Airthrie defence was standing up to pressure from The Downs and Ed dominated his area as usual.
At half-time the match was goal-less and it was not easy to see where the first goal was coming from. Both sides were showing some strong wing play and it appeared that the gaps in both defences were showing at the flanks.
Airthrie were the first to take the lead. Ben attacked repeatedly down the right side and eventually he found space to deliver a well weighted pass to Charlie in the circle. Charlie raised the ball sufficiently to beat the outstretched boot of The Downs' goalkeeper and Airthrie took a 1-0 lead.
There followed a frantic final five minutes and Airthrie could so easily have extended their lead to 2-0 when Enzo's shot hit the post and re-bounded free.
It was at this vital stage that the midfield lost concentration. From a harmless situation, The Downs' centre-forward won a loose ball that should have been cleared and equalised with a firmly hit shot.
The match was now in the balance and a break-away goal was going to prove the winner. Unfortunately for Airthrie, it was the well co-ordinated Downs' forward line that took the upper hand in the final minutes, scoring with less than sixty seconds from the end.
This was one of the season’s best performances so far against a large, and well-coached Downs' ’A’ team.