Local roller hockey team take on stiff competition in the Barcelona Sparta cup and bring home silver.
As sponsors of the superstar Leicestershire roller hockey team, we couldn’t be prouder to see them bring the silver medal home from Barcelona in the prestigious Sparta Cup. Competing against high ranking countries as well as being two levels younger than their competition, the Mooseheads brought it. We caught up with Mooseheads coach Neil Jepson to get the round up on the state of play which earnt them a spectacular medal position.
Mooseheads v Sparta (4 – 3)
Slow start to the first game from Mooseheads, Sparta taking a very early 3 0 lead in the game. Team quickly re-adapting to a very different European style of play to the Home UK Hockey scoring four unanswered goals.
Mooseheads v Edera Trieste (0 – 5)
Poor discipline within the Mooseheads kept them chasing the game and never really got into their style of play. Not something that you can afford a very talented select side from Italy.
Mooseheads v Sopa Black Halcones (5 – 1)
Team Lunch and reflection on the Trieste game, a re-energised Mooseheads fell straight into their game from the first puck drop. Sopa Black Halcones a mixed Finnish/Spanish side, giving the Mooseheads a headache in identifying two different games in one. Finnish style of play similar to UK, whilst the Spanish adding the European flare.
Pool B Midland Mooseheads seeded 2nd to the 1st Place in Pool, Edera Trieste. Knockout stages Pool A 3rd Seed (Ireland) v Pool B 2nd Seed (Mooseheads)
Mooseheads v Ireland (6 -1)
Irish National Squad development at Junior Men. A talented side that Mooseheads couldn’t afford to let into the game. Mooseheads doing just that scoring two goals within the first 30 seconds of the game (16secs and 30secs), maintaining discipline and control throughout the game.
Mooseheads v Sopa Black Halcones (4 – 1)
Up against a Pool A team that having played before, would not be an easy game, proving to be the case. 1 x 30min period and score line sat at 1 – 1 with nine minutes remaining in the game. Sopa Black Halcones adapting and changing their lines to complete. Seven minutes left, and timeout call for Mooseheads, re-enforce team strategy. Four minutes remaining Mooseheads 3 – Sopa Black Halcones. Inside the last minute of the game Sopa Black Halcones pulling their Netminder to give the man advantage, Mooseheads taking the opportunity for an empty net goal.
Mooseheads v Edera Trieste (1 – 2)
A very different game from the earlier Pool B clash. The u18s final being the Peluches game. The first goal in the game saw a shower of teddies, (Peluches), thrown onto the rink for a Charitable cause. A very well fought game, Edera Trieste taking the lead at the halfway mark in the game (15:41). Catching the Mooseheads on the back foot and slotting a second goal home at 17:14. Not a team willing to sell the farm, Mooseheads maintaining offence pressure spent the last 13 minutes camped out in front of Trieste’s goal, Trieste Netminder playing a sensational game to keep all but one Moosehead shot out of the goal.
Proud of the team and their results, Neil reflected on their performance, “We are all immensely proud of the result that we got, it was no easy feat and the whole team really brought it to each game. Of course, there is always room for improvement and we will learn from the experience in all sorts of ways!”
Their successful streak continued on home soil with their first gathering seeing Mooseheads crowned BIPHA Central U16s Leagues Champions for the third Season, having only played three seasons in U16s. Mooseheads will be going into the National Finals as defending Champions in June playing against all the top teams from all the BIPHA regions in a ‘playoff” style competition.
Of course, the team were disappointed not to have won the final, but Neil is keen to ensure that lessons are learnt rather than dwelled upon. “Team decisions, coaching decisions, we are all learning and developing as a team, as coaches, players. I think there are things that we could have done better and as long as we reflect, analyse and build on those opportunities then we all will improve as a team, coach, player and as an individual, so that we will be better and stronger for next time.”
The first gathering of the team outside of Sparta return on the last league day, saw Mooseheads crowned BIPHA Central U16s Leagues Champions for the third Season, having only played three seasons in U16s. Mooseheads will be going into the National Finals as defending Champions in June playing against all the top teams from all the BIPHA regions in a ‘playoff' style competition. Neil is sure the Sparta success will ring loud and proud with the team and the lessons learnt will give them a great start.
He added: “Can they retain their Championship trophy? It’s a tough competition, it’s a tournament style format, and mistakes are exposed with little time to put them right. It’s all down to the team’s honesty and discipline now and I have learnt never to underestimate them.”