Our U13s have achieved the amazing honour of being ranked in the top three in England after finishing third in last week’s national schools mini hockey championships finals.
The girls had successfully progressed through the Greater Manchester, north-west and north rounds of the competition earlier in the year, and travelled to Cannock hockey club as the first ever Stockport Grammar hockey team to reach a national final in the U13s age group.
But the tournament opener didn’t quite go to plan. In a tight match against Cranleigh Preparatory, our opponents took a two goal lead which our girls couldn’t quite claw back despite a goal from Lily Wolstenholme and a couple of other efforts coming close.
After tasting defeat in the opener, the squad had a pep talk and quickly turned things around. Despite going a goal down against Malvern, the girls simply didn’t panic and took control of the match with two goals from Lauren Hunt and another from Lily securing the win.
A 5-0 win against Queen’s College followed (with a hat-trick for Lauren and a brace for Lily) before the girls faced Felsted, who had fared well in the competition so far. They forced Rachel Fitzsimmons into making a couple of good saves, but as the game progressed Stockport Grammar piled on the pressure with Lauren and Lily scoring once again to seal a deserved win and a runners-up place in their section.
A third place playoff against Hymers College – who’d defeated the girls in the north finals – awaited, but revenge was sweet as Lauren, Lily and captain Francesca Bailey scored the goals to secure the hugely impressive top three finish.
Speaking after the girls were presented with their medals by Ali Wilson, who will play for Team GB in the London Olympics, Miss Sharon Withington, the teacher in charge of hockey, said:
It was a fitting end to a wonderful day.
My thanks go to Angie Jones and Lara Acott for their coaching and management of the team this season, to the parents who have attended every round, and to SilverFX for their kind sponsorship of the girls on the day.
With the U13s ranked third nationally, the 1st XI twice just missing out on reaching national finals and our U18s and U15s both being Greater Manchester schools tournament champions, it has been another simply wonderful season for hockey at the school. Well done to the girls and thank you to everybody who has been involved.