IT was a successful day for Bradford Bulldogs’ three ball hockey teams, all excelling at the second qualifying event for the Ball Hockey UK Nationals in Rotherham – and pocketing two trophies in the process.
Winners were the Under-13s and Under-10s, while the Under-16s finished runners-up in their event, all three teams making the Nationals which take place on next month.
The Under-13s were first up in the morning at the Bench Buddy Arena and, in the round robin group phase, they opened up with a 4-0 win against Sheffield Steelers, drew 0-0 against Rotherham Renegades before falling 3-1 to the Nottingham Huskies.
The semi-finals brought them together with the Steelers once again, this time the margin of victory being 5-1 to produce a final showdown with the Huskies, who had beaten the Renegades by the same scoreline.
After regulation ended with the rivals pinned at 2-2, a tense shootout followed in which netminder Jacob Midgley performed heroics by turning away all three Huskies shots, while Daragh Spawforth showed nerves of steel to slot home the winning shot for a 3-2 win that secured the silverware.
The Under-10s and Under-16s then took over in the afternoon, the Under-10s finishing second in a three-team group thanks to two wins over the Steelers – 3-1 and 6-0 – while going down 2-1 to the Huskies before proving their equal in the subsequent 1-1 draw.
The youngest Bulldogs made it a hat-trick of wins over the Steelers in the semi-finals, prevailing 3-0, before finally getting the better of the Huskies in the final, Kyle Bower posting a second successive shutout in a brilliant 2-0 victory.
The Bulldogs Under-16s started with a 2-1 defeat to the Steelers before rebounding in style with a 3-1 win over Huskies Whites.
A 3-1 defeat to the Huskies Blacks team saw Bradford finish the group phase in third but with an opportunity to exact revenge on the Steelers in the semi-finals, which is exactly what they did, winning 3-1 to book a place in the final against Huskies Blacks.
It was to prove a game too far, however, as the Huskies top team ran out comfortable 8-0 winners.
Overall, though, it goes down as a very successful event for the Bulldogs, still in the early days of their first-ever season and having seen the first qualifying event at the end of October cut short due to the Bench Buddy Arena’s leaking roof.