Under 14 National Hockey Finals

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Last Sunday saw the Under 14 Hockey team pack up the mini buses and travel north to Nottingham for the National Schools Tier 2 Finals. 

After arriving at the local Travelodge we ventured out for a pre-match meal and birthday celebration at Frankie and Benny’s. Once we arrived back it was conveniently bed time! The girls eventually settled down despite being excited for the day ahead!

The tournament was held at Beeston Hockey Centre which was a fantastic venue. Play was delayed due to the frozen pitches but we eventually got underway at 9.30am against Bedford Grammar School. This was a close game, we saw a shot go narrowly wide and we also hit the post. We were extremely unlucky to lose 1-0. 

Our second match was against Durham School. The girls began to move the ball and we created space to attack. We controlled this game and thoroughly deserved our 2-1 win. This win really lifted our spirits and we were keen for the next game.  

Due to the high intensity of these games, it was important to rotate players to ensure that players were able to rest and recover before being called on again! Our final group game was against Latymer Upper School. We fought throughout this game and were on top for the majority of it; we camped in their 25 yard area, and dominated play, but the ball just wouldn’t go in the net and in the last five minutes they got a breakaway and scored. 

This meant that we finished 3rd in our group and were paired against Manchester High School for Girls for the 5th/6th play off. This was by far our toughest opposition of the day, MHSG moved the ball well and completely dominated the game. We unfortunately lost 5-0, meaning we finished 6th nationally. 

Despite this, the team had a great day and as a team we learnt many things about game management. We also learnt that at this level when opportunities arise you have to take them. I am sure the team is looking forward to trying to qualify again as this squad has huge potential. 

We were not outclassed by anyone in our group games and to lose only 1-0 to Bedford (who eventually came 2nd) was a great achievement. The team should be immensely proud of what they achieved last weekend and throughout this season. 

Finally, well done to all the players and their fantastic parents who travelled up and supported the players. It was a long two days but I am positive that they all enjoyed the experience and will be back for more! 

Miss Floyd

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