Windsor and Slough Knights Under 14’s roller hockey team put on a courageous battle of their own at the Bordon Roller Rink on the Centenary of Armistice Day on Sunday 11th November.
Facing three formidable gargantuan opponents from well established schools of in-line hockey, the fledglings were not prepared to lay down their sticks and surrender quietly! Not only were the junior Knights lacking the physical prowess of their competitors, they were also short benched with just one line and one extra player compared to two full lines on each occasion in the opposing trenches.
Galvanised by the addition of two new debutants in 9 year old Len Eeles and loanee Finn Hambridge (from Banbury Bulldogs Under 12’s) in between the pipes, game one against Bordon Warriors was a pulsating encounter. Swift interplay and a well timed assist from Vas Lymperis set up a trademark snipe from Robbie New to put the scoreline at a respectable 5-2 in favour of the home team during the second period. Some breath taking saves from Finn ensued but alas, fatigue set in for the stretched junior Knights and 6 goals in the final four minutes for the Warriors saw the game out to rapturous applause from both sets of supporters. Final score Bordon Warriors 11 Windsor Knights 2.
On the stroke of 11am hush descended on the hitherto boisterous rink as two minutes silence was impeccably observed by players, coaches, referees, time keepers and spectators alike to honour the fallen heroes on this centenary Armistice Day.
However there was little peace and compassion on display in game two against a powerful Panthers team. With newly appointed captain Alex Fry and Tyler Collins orchestrating some determined power hockey, the Panthers very quickly became exasperated at their inability to breakdown their younger opponents. Some crunching challenges were thrown at the Knights but this seemed to inspire the team even more. Len was unphased by the aggressive tactics, Finn was pulling off NHL style saves in goals and Robbie dusted himself down to score a cheeky deke in the third period. The final score line being Panthers 7 Windsor Knights 2.
Assistant captain, Callum Goodman arrived for the final game to bolster the troops and the impact was noticeable in the early exchanges. Alas, the Banbury Bulldogs displayed real Churchillian fighting spirit and deservedly rolled out victorious by seven goals to nil.
All of the junior Knights left the battle arena with their heads held high, new friendships forged and the prospect of further encounters on the hockey horizon.