Our hockey 1st XI capped a tremendous season by winning the Greater Manchester schools U18s tournament at the weekend.
The late withdrawal of one school from the competition meant that Stockport Grammar had to play four games without a rest, but the girls took that extra challenge in their stride by opening with a 4- 0 win against Withington followed by a late 1-0 victory against Altrincham Grammar.
The two wins meant the girls then went into their game against Cheadle Hulme knowing that the victors would lift the trophy later in the morning.
The game was a real end-to-end battle. Martha Watson, who received the news this week that she will travel with the England U18s to the European championships, pulled off a triple save to keep Cheadle at bay, before, at the other end, the ball broke to a Stockport player who slotted it into the back of the goal.
A nerve-wracking five minutes remained, but the defence held tight and the 1-0 win secured the trophy. And despite their tired legs, the girls took to the pitch once again to score a 2-0 victory against St Bede’s to round day off nicely.
After seeing Charlotte Bailey lift the trophy to the cheers of the team’s proud parents, Miss Sharon Withington, the teacher in charge of hockey, said:
It has been a tremendous season for the 1st XI and perhaps winning this trophy will help to erase the pain of missing the national finals after twice being defeated on penalty stokes.
I’m very proud of the way that the girls have played and I wish those leaving us for university the best of luck and would like to thank them for their hard work and commitment.
Elsewhere this week, our U13s squad head to Leeds for the north final of the national mini hockey tournament.
The girls breezed through February’s Greater Manchester round before winning the next round in Rotherham to qualify for the north final.
The U13s have only lost one game this season and have scored, on average, more than six goals a game. Good luck!