Oxford Wildcats, a combined boys team from the Oxford and Wallingford clubs, finished third at the Mercian Cup finals day at Guildford HC.
Oxford faced Canterbury, ranked No 1 in the country, in their semi-final and put up a battling display against the powerful Kent outfit containing a number of England players.
Wildcats were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty stroke in the first few minutes when Jona Boender was pushed in the D when clear on goal, and Canterbury went ahead when they scored from a controversial short corner.
The second half was dominated by Oxford, who allowed their opponents just one shot on goal, but they could not find the equaliser. Canterbury were reduced to hitting the ball anywhere to run the clock down, and eventually succeeded.
Oxford went on to beat Wimbledon 2-1 in the third-place play-off to finish the season on a high after winning promotion last month to the U16 Mercian Premier League.