U 16 Girls East Regional Indoor Finals
The u16’s travelled to Oakland’s College in Hertfordshire for the East Region Indoor finals.
After the late addition of Seven Oaks the schedule was extended making it an all day tournament with each team playing 5 games.
Up first was Canterbury who on paper appeared to be the toughest test. This proved to be the case although Magpies had the better of the possession and created more chances. Due to difficulty with getting all the girls in one place in the run up to the tournament we were a little undercooked and were undone by 2 penalty corners and some wayward shooting. A goal towards the end that the umpire didn’t see meant that we hadn’t made the dream start that one always hopes for.
Next up were a very lively Sudbury who took control early on but after a rousing halftime team talk were soon pegged back and Magpies were on level terms. A well worked goal as the hooter sounded would have given the girls their first win but it was decided that the ball had crossed the line during the hooter not before it started resulting in the goal being disallowed and the game ending 2 2.
The girls were however now flying and Old Loughts were on the receiving end of any frustrations that they had from the previous two games. Seven well crafted goals followed with all members of the team contributing and Magpies getting their first three points of the day.
We had sorted out our penalty corners both defending and attacking and Chelmsford were the next to be on the end of another good team performance with the score finishing 4 0.
This now made things interesting as a final match of tournament saw the Magpies take on Seven Oaks for the runners up spot and a place in the national finals. The situation was made more exciting by us playing with 6 outfield players. This though only proved to spur the girls on even further with the team operating a high press pinning Seven Oaks back and not allowing them the chance to capitalise. 3 1 up with 7 minutes to go became an uncomfortable 3 2 with 4 minutes to go and the showing of a yellow card after an over enthusiastic challenge meant the girls hung on for the last 2 minutes with only 5 players.
The sound of the final hooter was greeted with jubilation as girls against the odds had achieved a remarkable victory securing their place with Canterbury in the Nationals which take place in Wolverhampton on the 20th and 21st of January. It really was a fantastic effort by all of them who grew in confidence and ability as the day progressed playing at times some breathtaking indoor hockey.
Squad: Cantrell, Eglington, Farrow, Gardens, Herschel-Shorland, Salsby, Warnes, Williamson