Recently the senior boys’ hockey team in The Wallace High School went on tour to The Hague and spent four very enjoyable days in the city. Whilst there they played two tough matches against the HGC under 18 side, these were always going to be competitive games against the club whose senior team were the second best team in Europe last year.
In the first game the Lisburn lads went two goals up early in the game, Peter MacDonnell and Stephen Hunter with an excellent strike apiece. Despite dominating much possession and territory thereafter they somehow found themselves 4 – 2 down before a late Daniel Buser goal made for a tight finish.
The next game was almost the exact opposite with HGC going two up before a flurry of Wallace goals left the final score line 4 – 2. For the record the scorers were Peter MacDonnell, Glenn Halliday and in their final game for the school, Upper Sixth pupils Tom Harris and Captain Daniel Buser. Michael Keery also impressed with an assured display in an unfamiliar left back position whilst Stephen Hunter was his usual magnificent self in centre midfield.
Whilst in Holland the boys were also fortunate to take part in a coaching session with international players Iain Lewers and Barry Middleton who was recently voted into the World Hockey X1 for 2008/ 2009. They also got to meet the world’s best goal keeper Gus Vogels who was more than happy to sign autographs and chat to the players.
All in all this was an extremely enjoyable tour for staff and pupils alike. Having the opportunity to mix with and be coached by world-class hockey players was a superb experience for all concerned and we all appreciated their modest approach to what they have achieved within the game. Whilst there the tour party also enjoyed several enjoyable meals out, as well as ten pin bowling and other excursions.
It was a particularly memorable way for the Upper Sixth pupils to end their school hockey careers and all involved in Wallace hockey would like to wish Daniel Buser, Tom Harris, Peter McIlrath and Mark Hutchinson (as well as Daniel Walker who was unable to tour) all the best for the future.
Tour Squad: Peter McIlrath, Mark Hutchinson, Daniel Buser (Captain), Tom Harris, Richard Arneill, Stephen Hunter, Peter MacDonnell, Adam McCann, Michael Keery, Seb Buser, Glenn Halliday, Chris Rowland, Paul Maguire, Stephen Murray, Glenn Reid, Connor Kelly and Timothy Crean.
Over Easter three Wallace pupils also represented the Irish under 18 squad in Belgium. Stephen Hunter, Richard Arneill and Peter MacDonnell all performed well and are still training towards the European B Division tournament to be held in Austria in August. Final selection has yet to be made and all three boys will be hoping that they make the cut.
Last modified: May 11, 2009