Wessex U15s in National Cup action
Wessex Under 15 Boys played in the Divisional round of the National Cup on Sunday having qualified by winning the Regional round in January. Fielding a very young and inexperienced team the boys showed tremendous courage, team spirit and ability against the best teams in the country to finish 3rd.
One of the favourites were Richmond fielding a team full of overseas players. Accurate passing allowed Joshua Honeybun to set his older brother and captain, Luke, up for early point winning smashes. Backed up by penetrating serving from Dan Lakeman, both Luke and Jack Midgley dominated the middle. Kian Safaee served into the corner to get a few more points as the sides kept level. Finally the pressure from Richmond told and they drew away to win the first set 25-19. Wessex’s passing unit struggled in the second set which meant that Joshua couldn’t control the attack. Dan made an excellent diving pickup but Richmond powered ahead to win the set.
ABS from Devon were the next opponents and missed serves cost Wessex dear in the first set. Rhys Lambert and Kian got in several hits and blocks but the team couldn’t turn the set around as they lost 19-25. It needed a momentum shift to get Wessex back into the game and the introduction of 12 year old Harry Midgley was the spark that did it. He showed good composure on his serve but it was his drive and enthusiasm that gelled his team again.
Passing was better now which allowed Luke and Jack to win with big hits through the middle. Any attack from ABS was met with committed backcourt efforts to retrieve the ball as Wessex won 25-13. It was more of the same in the deciding set with Luke and Joshua dominate but ably assisted by all their team mates.
Wessex were into the semi final but were up against the tall, powerful and older Greenhouse team from London. Wessex started competitively but Greenhouse soon demonstrated their ability to draw ahead. Despite being overpowered Wessex gave everything throughout both sets. Blocks from Jack, Luke, Joshua and Rhys. Serving from Harry and Kian. Several point winning backcourt smashes from Luke. All the team were diving to retrieve balls that looked dead. The sets were lost 25-12 25-11 but the team spirit remained to the end.
Parents and coaches were proud of the boys and the future looks bright for the team.
Squad – Luke Honeybun 14, Joshua Honeybun 13, Jack Midgley 14, Dan Lakeman 14, Rhys Lambert 14, Kian Safaee 13, Harry Midgley 12 Jasper Morgan 14.