During the recent summer holidays The Wallace High School Boys’ hockey Development Squad went on tour to Rotterdam.
The squad, comprising mainly Years 9 and 10 pupils, had the opportunity to play against some top quality Dutch opposiition as well as watch the U21 Men’s World Cup at Hockey Club Rotterdam.
The Lisburn lads had three scheduled matches while they were away. Their first match was against the famous Hockey Club Rotterdam on one of the club’s six astroturf pitches. Following a tiring journey the Wallace boys produced a rather jaded performance against a very talented U16 team.Despite excellent dispalys from goalkeepers Richard McNeilly and Mark Hutchinson, Wallace were easily defeated 6 – 2, their goals coming from Patrick Keery and Daryl Holland.
Wallace’s second game was against Hockey Club Victoria on a superb water based pitch. This time a much improved performance resulted in a 2- 1 victory for the Lisburn tourists.
Wallace took the lead when a good run and cross from the right by James Dowling was swept high into the net by Adam McCann. Despite an equaliser from Victoria, Wallace rallied in the second half and were rewarded when Dowling scored.
The final game of the tour was once again against Hockey Club Rotterdam.This match really demonstrated the benefits of being on tour as Wallace produced a tremendous display to draw 2 -2 against the same team from the first match. highlights from this game included the goalkeeping of Mark Hutchinson who made many truly excellent saves. the two Wallace goals were also of exceptional quality, with the first a fine individual run and finish from Adam McCann and the second a sweeping move from defence to attack which resulted in Stephen Hunter scoring.
Overall the tour was a great success and a good learning expereince for both players and coaches. It would be unfair to single out individual players as each member of the squad showed great improvement as the tour progressed.
The squad also learnt a great deal from watching the high level of play in the World Cup.
Leisure time included sightseeing tours of Rotterdam, taking in the Feyenoord Soccer stadium, a riverboat tour and the Euromast. All in all the players were great ambassadors for both Wallace and Lisburn and they are now looking forward to the new hockey season.
Matthew Murphy, Richard Arneill, Stephen Hunter, Adam McCann, Jonathan Dunn, Jonathan Crean, Daryl Holland, Richard McNeilly, Daniel Buser, James Dowling, Richard Johnson, Blair Young, Mark Hutchinson, Tom Harris, Daniel Walker, Patrick Keery, Stephen Doherty and Rory McCann.
Mr G Kidd (Tour organiser), Mr R McKay and Mr N McKnight
Last modified: September 10, 2005