On a some what inclement day weather wise the Magpies u16 girls produced some scintillating hockey at the Regional Finals at Southgate.
Having been drawn in one of the most challenging groups the country had to offer we knew that we were going to have to produce in all 3 games if we stood any chance of progressing.
A 6 0 opening win against St Albans set the tone with outstanding performances from all 15 in the squad. This was followed up by an outstanding 1 0 win against a very much fancied Canterbury side. As the wind strengthened we had to change our tactics using the conditions to our advantage throwing aerials from defence to find a way through a well disciplined defensive back four.
Having played a game more than Southgate due to Canterbury’s late arrival, we knew that we going to have to dig incredibly deep if we were to progress.
Southgate were a fantastically drilled side who looked liked they had played together for many years. Our defence and keeper for the first time were being really tested. The tired legs began to show as we looked to absorb the pressure and hit them on the counter. This tactic was working well with their coach commenting on how he was starting to feel the pressure. The final whistle came with the score at 0 0. This left us top of the group on 7 points but with the rearranged Canterbury Southgate game to come we knew are hard work may come to nothing in terms of qualification to the National Finals.
This very disappointingly proved to be the case as Canterbury who now had nothing to play for were beaten 3 0 by Southgate meaning that Southgate went through on goal difference.
All the girls though should be extremely proud, undefeated and not conceding a goal to some incredibly high class opposition.
V Spouncer, A Slade, A Collison, E Pope, G Cantrell ( capt), H Lamdin, B Moodie, M Salsby, O Buchanan
A Wiseman, K Wheeler, M Warnes, D Ford, G Gardens, G Nicholls