It was great to see this sporting fixture back in the OP calendar for the first time in two years. With staggered start times to give the ladies the option of playing both netball and hockey, the event was well attended by players and spectators alike.
The morning started with the OP v School netball match at 9.15am. The OPs fielded a strong side which tested the School in a closely fought and fast-paced encounter. The School took an early lead 8-5 in the first quarter but the OPs came back in the second to make it level pegging at half-time, 16-16. The OPs continued their upward trajectory to go ahead 30-26 at the end of the third quarter but in an exciting final-quarter finale, the School snatched victory to win the match 43-36.
Lucy Hornby (02-04), i/c Netball and Head of Co-curriculum commented: “The OP netball match was a wonderful event for both current and former students to come together and enjoy the game with some friendly competition going on too! The standard on display from both teams was the best yet and we're already looking forward to next year's event. Thanks to all the OPs who made the trip back to Pock for the game – it was great to welcome you back.”
With the netball done and dusted, the focus switched to hockey, with matches starting at 10.30am. The OP ladies were out in full force with an impressive squad of 15 players despite some late dropouts through injury and Covid. RAF and City of York player, Laura Horne (01-08), captained the side and was ably supported by an OP team comprising several experienced regulars from Pock Ladies, Hull Hawks and University sides. Despite continued pressure from the School, the strength and depth of the OP ladies was telling as the match progressed, with OPs achieving a comfortable 8-2 win over the School.
Although the OP men struggled for numbers this year, they managed to put out a decent side to take on the School. However, with no subs to call upon and having not played together as a team before, the OPs were on the back foot from the start finding themselves 3-1 down at half-time despite being first to score. They rallied to score again in the second half, but despite determined efforts from OPs, the School maintained their edge to secure a convincing 6-2 win.
Of special note was Bruce Masson (83-92) who took to the hockey pitch to mark 30 years since he played as the School’s 1st XI hockey captain. Similarly, John Skinner (75-82) returned to mark 40 years since he captained the 1st XI hockey for the School. Sadly, due to injury, John was limited to supporting from the sidelines, but hopefully he will be back in action another year!
Charlie Lambert (01-08), OP Vice President, said: "It was great to see such a well-spirited game played by all in attendance. The boys were tough opposition for the OPs; we are looking forward to next year already and reversing the scoreline. The fast-flowing pace of the game was perhaps a step too far for the OPs and credit to the School who kept attacking until the end. Thank you to all players and officials without whom the day would not have happened."
Following a successful morning of sport, everyone headed to the pavilion for refreshments and a good catch-up with friends and staff.
Thank you to the umpires and supporters who generously gave their time to support the event and enable it to happen. They were: David Byas (Current staff, Hockey), Martin Davies (Current staff, Hockey), Peter Horne (Former staff, 82-18, Hockey), Richard Bond (Former staff, 93-21, Hockey), Lucy Hornby (Current staff and OP 02-04, Netball and Hockey), Beth Rees (Current staff, Netball), Lydia Walker (Current staff, Netball), David Broadbent (Current parent, Hockey), John Skinner (OP 75-82, Men’s Hockey Team Manager) and Goldie Cosby (Current staff, Ladies’ Hockey Team Manager).
A big thank you also to everyone who came to play and please do come again next year. The provisional date for next year’s event is Sunday 26 March 2023!
OP Netball team 2022:
Emilia Couttie (13-20), Angela Curtis (10-17), Hannah East (08-20), Evie Hirst (13-20), Rebecca Mann (10-17), Lydia Pike (née Kemp, 95-02), Kate Pratt (05-14), Lottie Simpson (13-15), Kate Sweeting (née Henderson, 97-02).
OP Ladies’ hockey team 2022:
Millie Barnes (09-18), Grace Beckett (12-21), Bella Byass (08-20), Ali Casselden (18-20), Alice Cullen (08-15), Angela Curtis (10-17), Emma Falkingham (07-19), Emma Gleadow (née Rawson, 90-99), Millie Goode (17-19), Evie Hirst (13-20), Laura Horne (01-08), Natasha Stageman (99-10), Ellie Stephenson (06-14), Libby Rhodes (15-17), Rosie Whitfield (née Clappison, 91-98)
OP Men’s hockey team 2022:
Will Broadbent (09-14), Ben Byas (08-15), Marcus Chacksfield (14-20), Harry Heywood (09-18), Henry Kay (13-21), Charlie Lambert (01-08), Bruce Masson (83-92), Samuel Moore (89-00), Ethan Pym and Charlotte Evison (GKs on loan from School), Sam Ryan (09-17), Michael Smith (09-20)
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