Winchester under 16 boys travelled to Nottingham for the England Hockey Championship final and ended as worthy winners with a 6-2 victory against Bowdon Hockey Club.

There were no signs of nerves as the boys savoured the experience of finals day and took care of the pre-match photo shoots.

Indeed they looked so relaxed, it was hard to image this was anything more special than the countless other games these boys have played together.

But, when the umpires signalled the start of the game, Winchester were ready and what a start.

In the very first minute, a defensive mistake from Bowdon handed Winchester possession, and after a couple of incisive passes and a cross to the back post, Wedderburn crashed the ball home.

Almost straight from the restart, another Winchester attack and Wilson deflected in a bobbling ball. Less than three minutes gone, and 2-0 to Winchester. Bowdon stunned and Winchester supporters jubilant.

Bowdon are a very good team though, and they quickly regained their composure and started to display their talents.

They pulled one back from a well executed short corner and as the 1st half wore on, it was Bowdon dominating possession and creating chances.

Loveridge in goal dealt with these confidently and it was 2-1 to Winchester at the break.

In recent weeks we have seen the resilience in this group of boys, winning close games and holding their cool when their opposition were losing theirs.

And so it was in the final. Winchester quickly regained the momentum and started to dominate again. Gianni, now on as keeper for Winchester, made some important saves, but after a few near misses, the goals started to rattle in at the other end.

Crompton, magnificent all game in defence, stepped forward to deflect in a powerful Wedderburn shot from a short corner, and then a trade mark Lander drag flick from another made the game well and truly safe.

Despite a consolation Bowdon score, the boys were loving it now, and playing with the freedom of a playground knock about. Bowdon heads were well and truly scrambled, and the umpires were left with no choice but to show a red and 2 yellow cards.

Lander crashed another in from the top of the circle and Marsh struck home a rebound after a rapid Winchester attack.

The team has been generously sponsored by Forghetti over the last couple of years, and the boys have developed a close bond.