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En route to the Nationals!

En route to the Nationals!

On Tuesday 9th October, an excited team of U13 Girls’ Hockey players began their journey to reach the Nationals later this year.

A change of venue for the IAPS tournament this year saw the girls 1st Team travel to Abingdon for the Regional Tournament. The team knew very little about their group opposition and it was nice to play against teams we don't normally meet.  

Despite not playing at our best the team won their opening three group matches and this got the day off to a very good start and they then played brilliantly to beat St. Andrews Prep 2-0 to confirm top spot in the group and a place in the Quarter Finals.  

With the top four qualifying for the Nationals the Quarter Finals were crucial and in a very good game of hockey it was Winchester House who took the lead only for St Hugh's to equalise with the last touch of the game. Golden goal extra-time could not split the two sides so the game went to penalties.  

Both sides scored two out of their first three so it went to Sudden Death. The first two from each team scored and then WHS scored their third, T Flanagan produced a good save to send WHS into the semi-finals and qualification to the Nationals!  

Keen to go home with a medal the team produced an even better performance in the Semi-Finals against a very good Cheam side that had not conceded a goal all day. Despite this it was WHS that opened the scoring only for Cheam to score in the last minute to take the game into extra time.  

During the five minutes of golden goal extra time WHS hit the cross bar twice and like the quarter finals the game went to penalties. This time WHS scored their first three and with the Cheam third player missing theirs WHS took their place in the final.  

The Final v Dragon was a fantastic game with WHS having the best chances but neither team could break the dead lock in normal or extra time and so for the third game running the game went to penalties. Sadly, we could not make it three in a row and we had to settle for Silver and a place in the Nationals at Millfield in November.  

It was a fantastic day, the girls played superbly, showed huge amounts of resilience throughout and fully deserved their place in the Nationals.  

The following were in the squad:   P West (Captain), T Flanagan, G Grovit, L Leetham, E Jones, S Wakeford, S Kay, L Fagan, L Donald and A Richmond-Watson