Hockey: Hall Cross take the honours

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The Independent Online
THE World Challenge Oxford Public Schools Festival has come a long way since it was started by masters at St Lawrence College in 1948, writes Bill Colwill. It has been quick to accept the trend to hockey on artificial surfaces while keeping the festival spirit alive, the win-at-all-costs mentality not being the ultimate goal.

A game which typified this spirit was the first appearance of Hall Cross, a comprehensive school from Doncaster, against Grey High School from South Africa. The South Africans, who earlier in the day had beaten Kent College 4-0, were shocked at conceding a goal after 36 seconds, when David Auld's cross was deflected home by a defender. Seven minutes later a Ben Bailey cross from just inside the circle was deflected past their bewildered goalkeeper, Chris Hibbert. Worse was to come in the 19th minute when Simon Lockwood stretched the lead to 3-0.

The South Africans explained their loss of touch to a heavy and liquid lunch, but fought back in the second half to pull a goal back through Ryan Reid. They were still attacking at the end, but had to settle for a 3-1 defeat against a side which included four of Doncaster's PizzaExpress National League players.