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In2Hockey Regional Finals 26.04.18

U11 In2Hockey Regional Finals, Cannock Hockey Club, Friday 20 April 2018

Despite still being on their Easter holidays and looking well relaxed, the girls arrived at the tournament with plenty of energy and enthusiasm. Drawn in a pool of seven teams from across the Midlands, it was evident that the girls were going to need to work hard and with good teamwork to ensure they progressed into the semifinals. They got off to a terrific start against Abbotsholme and secured a well deserved 4-0 win.

With confidence levels raised, they then played a more competitive game against Croft and despite taking a little while to get going ran out 3-0 to the good.

The third game against Linby and Papplewick allowed the girls to work in a variety of positions whilst still maintaining their shape and their efforts were justly rewarded with an excellent 6-0 victory.

With their confidence ever growing the girls now played Shrewsbury School who offered little in the way of attack and allowed our girls to penetrate the D on numerous occasions to give a score line of 3-0 to Fairfield. With no goals yet conceded and sixteen scored the girls’ mood was buoyant and with only two pool matches left looked to be well placed.

However, their last two games were against two strong schools, namely RGS Grange and Spratton Hall. The girls had played RGS at in the IAPS competition earlier in the year so they were prepared for a hard game. Despite numerous attempts and continuous pressure on their defence, the girls could not get the ball in the net and on the only occasion that RGS got into the Fairfield D they took their chance and scored, giving them the 1-0 win.

Undeterred and focused, the team then faced Spratton Hall who proved to be the strongest team of the day. We had limited attacking chances and were well marked by the opposition who pressed our players well to overturn possession. Sadly the girls could not turn the game around and lost 1-0 to a well taken goal. Although the girls had scored more goals and conceded less than any other team in the group, they were just two points short of qualifying as a result of the last two games and it was Spratton and RGS who went through.

Although we all felt a little deflated at not progressing to the semifinals, the girls should feel justifiably proud of their performance. They played some excellent hockey and worked hard for each other, never letting their heads drop and giving plenty of encouragement. They have been a delight to coach this year and I wish them all the very best for their hockey yet to come. A word of appreciation too to all the wonderful parents who gave up their time to give the girls such wonderful support.

Heron