Rydal Penrhos’ U18 Boys’ Hockey side made it a memorable double for the school after defying the odds to secure a national title.
The squad made the trip to Newtown on Thursday, April 26 for the Welsh Schools’ Championships, where they faced a very strong Christ College Brecon outfit.
After a dramatic afternoon of action, Rydal Penrhos held on to their slender advantage in the closing stages to secure a 3-2 win and secure the coveted crown.
Despite the eventual result, it was Christ College who began the brighter and went ahead early on, but the Rydal Penrhos side regrouped and levelled matters just before the break.
The second half saw the North Wales champions gain the lead for the first time when a sustained period of pressure resulted in Joe Gardener finding the target.
This was swiftly followed by another well-worked effort to double their advantage, which was even more significant as the school were down to ten men at the time following a series of infringements.
Brecon managed to get themselves back into the tie late on when they found a way past Weslh youth international Josh Thomas, but the stopper managed to keep them at bay for the remainder of the game to give Rydal Penrhos a deserved success in Head of Hockey Phil Mather’s last game coaching the side.
The feat made it a double on the day for Rydal Penrhos, with the school’s U16 squad also winning the national championship for the third consecutive year.
Mr Mather, said: “It would be a lie to tell you I could remember a single thing about the events of last Thursday’s National Hockey Finals.
“I can tell you it was one of the most stressful three hours coaching I’ve had in many a year, I can also tell you a paced up and down to the tune of 7,500 steps.
“Thank you to all the players who took part, it was a very tense day, but you made an old man very happy, and to Mr Rippon, Mrs Jones and Mr Boyd for keeping me sane on the sidelines.”