Gee Cross crusade to Greater Manchester School Games
Monday 1st December 2014 @ 13:23 by Mark Phillip
Denton & Audenshaw Sports

Thirteen Schools from across the borough assembled at Astley Sports College last Wednesday to compete in the Tameside School Sports Quik Stick Hockey finals.

Champions! Gee Cross Holy Trinity Hockey team

Champions! Gee Cross Holy Trinity Hockey team

The competition’s preliminary rounds gave rise to some spectacular performances but only thirteen sides were lucky enough to make it through to the highly anticipated finals.

The teams that congregated on the Astro turf during the frosty evening included Greswell, Manchester Road, Canon Burrows, Yew Tree and Gee Cross Holy Trinity.

The squads, thirsty for success, battled it out in the early stages in a bid to reach the semi-finals but only four had the privilege in doing so.

Yew Tree took on Canon Burrows in the first encounter and gave a good impression of themselves on the night, running out 3-0 winners against their yellow counterparts.

Greswell followed suit in their fixture against St Peters and set the benchmark for the tournament.

The 9-0 thrashing secured their place in the semi-final against a buoyant Manchester Road outfit who recently secured their place in the Greater Manchester Tag Rugby Finals.

The two sides faced each other prior to the semi-final though in a match that had all the ingredients to be a cracker.

Manchester Road battled back from three goals down to ensure they shared the spoils in a 3-3 draw.

Nathan Bell, who was instrumental in Manchester Roads earlier success, continued to set the standard in the semi-final that saw his side run out 3-1 winners.

Maisie-Leigh sured things up for her side and scored two on the occasion which eased the nerves slightly when Greswell pulled one back.

The final, contested between Gee Cross Holy Trinity and Manchester Road, was a tight encounter to say the least.

Bouts of exceptional technical ability were showcased during the finale but it was Ben Leigh who ensured his team triumphed on the evening when his effort at goal was ruled to have been deliberately blocked by a foot and a goal was awarded.

The final whistle was met with shouts of joy from the Gee Cross ranks and handshakes all round.

Speaking to reporter Sport following the victory, Rob Thorpe detailed his delight on the team’s performance.

The PE teacher said “The team demonstrated brilliant teamwork as well as some brilliant individual skill.

“I can’t wait to watch them playing at the School Games!”

Other comments following the success came from winning scorer Ben Leigh who stated “We enjoyed playing against the other schools and are happy that all our hard work paid off.”

Ben’s sentiments were echoed by Katie Haddow who is already relishing the opportunity to play with the new hockey sticks they received for winning the final.

She said “We are looking forward to using our new hockey sticks and we will put twice as much effort towards the school games.”

Josh Rowson’s comments exemplified the spirit of the tournament, with the Captain telling reporter sport “We are delighted that we won the hockey tournament and we are extremely excited and proud that we will get to represent Tameside in the Greater Manchester School Games.”