A Rotherham junior school is celebrating a famous victory after its boys’ hockey team became the toast of South Yorkshire - for the third year running.
The youngsters, from Listerdale Junior Academy, in Beech Avenue, have proven themselves to be the best Under-11s players in the region following their triumph at the South Yorkshire In2Hockey Tournament last Friday (feb 8).
In2Hockey is a seven-a-side version of the game played on half a pitch and the Listerdale team had earned their place at the event, which was held at Hill House School in Doncaster, by beating all-comers from across Rotherham in a previous round.
This time, they were the town’s sole representatives and took on teams from Sheffield, Barnsley and from Doncaster, in the shape of Hill House themselves.
In a fiercely fought contest, which included a penalty shoot-out, the Listerdale team held their nerve and eventually ran out 1-0 winners in a tense final against Hill House.
They will now go forward to the North-East regional final next month, but their win is tinged with sadness because all of the boys, who are aged 10 and 11, are in their final year at Listerdale and will never get to compete wearing in the school’s colours again.
David Sills, a PE teacher at Listerdale Junior Academy, said: “The boys displayed great commitment, teamwork and talent to win the tournament against schools with much better hockey facilities and pedigree than our own.
“It’s a fantastic achievement and these lads are showing the rest of the school what training hard and working together as a team can achieve. They’re a fantastic group who deserve their place in the regional finals, where they’ll be very much going out on a high.”