Our hockey 1st XI suffered penalty heartache in the north final of the national schools U18s competition last week but will have one more chance to qualify for the national finals in a playoff next month.
The girls, who qualified for the north finals last month, stayed overnight near the venue in Leeds which proved to be ideal preparation as they thrashed Hymers College 5-1 in their first match.
The second pool game came against Greenhead College who named three England players in their team but were unable to control the game against our girls. A 1-1 draw didn’t tell the full story of the match after Stockport Grammar failed to convert a number of good chances.
A victory against local rivals Wilmslow High was needed to see the girls into the semi-final of the round and, despite the atrocious conditions of driving rain and gale force winds, a 5-0 win was the least they deserved after a determined performance.
A 1-1 draw against Pocklington in the semi-final saw the tie go to penalty strokes, but with Charlotte Bailey, Emma Woodhead and Angharad Smith slotting home with aplomb and Martha Watson saving all three of Pocklington’s efforts, the girls progressed through to the final.
Facing Kirkham Grammar in the final, a disallowed Stockport Grammar goal was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock. Another set of penalty strokes was required to settle the round which left our girls devastated as Kirkham triumphed in the flicks competition.
Despite the defeat, the 1st XI can be very proud of their progress in the competition and have another chance of progressing to the national finals in a playoff series against the other regional runners-up after Christmas.
Miss Sharon Withington, the teacher in charge of hockey, said:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the girls for all of their hard work, Mr Stanhope for his tactical input and Miss Topping for her encouragement and help on the day.
An army of parents made the trip over to Leeds to watch along with a number of Old Stops who are studying in Leeds and braved the elements to support the 1st XI. I would also like to thank the school for their support in making the whole day possible.
Let’s hope the girls play as well as they did in Leeds when we play in the runners-up tournament – if they do I’m sure we will see Kirkham again in the national finals and hopefully beat them in normal time there!