Lightning failed to strike twice when Trent College did battle at the Junior National Indoor Hockey Championships at Whitgift School last weekend.
Two years ago, the Long Eaton college’s U16 boys’ team were crowned national champions at the same venue in South Croydon, meaning that they held both the indoor and outdoor national titles at the same time.
And the current U16 team were hopeful of repeating that success after finishing runners-up in the Midlands finals last month.
However, their hopes were dashed in a richly competitive qualifying group, in which they won one, drew one and lost two of their matches to finish fourth of the five sides.
Trent’s attack was spearheaded by Carl Prier, who scored five goals at the regional finals, and their line-up also included captain Adam Bashir, a member of the squad that forms part of England Hockey’s player pathway system.
But a narrow 3-2 defeat in their opening match against Millfield School, of Somerset, cost them dear. They bounced back bravely to hammer Bishop’s Stortford College, of Hertforshire, 5-1, only to crash 7-1 in their last match of the first day against the hosts, Whitgift, who went on to top the group with a flawless record. In their final game before returning home, Trent drew 3-3 with Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, of Wakefield.
The winners of the groups progressed to the semis before a final in which Whitgift lost 4-2 to Repton School.