Spring Sports Reunion 2019
Thursday 11 June 2020
It was a sunny, warm, blue-sky day ON THE SATURDAY, but for the OCA Sports Reunion on Sunday 31st March the day dawned with the traditional cold grey sky and biting wind. But did that dampen OC spirits? Of course not!The reunion got underway with the traditional veterans’ hockey match between Hillier and Lawson’s XIs. Playing purely for pride it was a tremendously serious affair with no quarter being given by either side. The first half started with Hillier’s team looking the stronger, but a goal for Lawson against the run of play gave them the shot of adrenalin they needed to go on and win the match. Both keepers went to ground to make key saves and, to the relief of spectators, managed to get to their feet again. Special mention must go to the firm but fair Philip Thompson as umpire. The netball up at Scott finished 34:25 to Cranbrook’s 1sts, but the score line doesn’t tell the story of how close the match really was. Well done ladies, you fought hard against a Cranbrook 1sts team who had come second in the National Finals just the week before.Back on the astro the OC 2nds gave Cranbrook a lesson in power and pace with an 8:0 victory. Captain James Watkins limped off at half time with a rather colourful and bloody knee, but thankfully this was the only real injury of the day.Then it was the turn of the ladies’ hockey team and with Maddy Fox in goal, (Cranbrook’s best goalkeeper in the last 10 years according to experts on the sidelines), Cranbrook’s 1sts didn’t stand a chance, but managed to limit the OCs to a 4:0 win which took some doing. In the Sports Hall the basketball was a fast-paced and well-matched game – at least for the first few minutes, but in the final quarter the OCs started to flag and Cranbrook edged it with a final 48:42 scoreline. So as the day concluded with the final match between men’s 1sts hockey teams it was all to play for with Cranbrook and OCs with two matches each. OCs took the early lead but Cranbrook fought back to produce a 2:2 draw and so a penalty flick decider. Spectacular flying saves by both keepers ended with the final glory going to the OCs – a very fitting end to a tight and hard fought day.Jeremy Barham Hockey TrophyThe 2019 Old Cranbrookian sports reunion fell 50 years and 6 months after Cranbrook was first able to boast an Olympian; Jeremy Barham (Horsley and then Crowden 1952-1960) who represented Great Britain for hockey. To mark this wonderful achievement and special anniversary Cranbrook School created the Jeremy Barham Hockey Trophy for the school’s 1sts teams and OCs to compete for annually at the OCA Sports Reunion.Jeremy did us the honour of dedicating the award in the company of many OCs and friends who have also made notable contributions to Cranbrook and UK sport, hockey in particular. Fittingly a 3:0 win across the hockey matches made the OCs the very proud and fitting first winners of the Jeremy Barham Hockey Trophy.