U14s impress at National Finals

Category: Hockey, General, Sport

The U14 girls’ hockey team made their inaugural appearance at the U14 Investec Schools Hockey National finals yesterday, held at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis centre on the Olympic Park.

The opening group game saw Marlborough face Trent College, winners of the Midlands region. The girls struggled to gain any composure in the game and ended up coming out on the wrong side of a 1-0 result.

The girls then faced Cheadle Hulme, winners of the North region, with the incredible support of the parents reverberating around the stadium.  Marlborough showed much more intent when going forward with the ball, with Eloise Fanshawe (NC) finishing off a well-executed penalty corner to take the lead just before half-time.  The second half was full of twists and turns, with Cheadle Hulme getting back on level terms via a penalty stroke, closely followed by a missed stroke for Marlborough and several other chances squandered.  The game ended 1-1; a frustrating outcome for all concerned.

Marlborough went in to the last group game knowing that they would need to beat group leaders St. George’s College if they were to stand any chance of reaching the 3rd/4th play-off.  The girls finally reached their potential in this game, showing that they were more than a match for the eventual runners-up of the competition.  Ariana Jones (IH), who was the player of the day, put Marlborough in front with five minutes remaining however once again, the girls could not shut out the game, with St. George’s equalizing near on full-time.

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It was a day of frustration for the girls, having not played to their potential and not getting the rub of the green on several occasions.  However, for this group of girls to compete against sides who have attached prep schools is a credit to the way they have come together as a team since September.

They have set the standard now for future Marlborough sides to aspire towards and I believe that this is only the start for this special group of girls.  They have ended up joint fifth best in the country and should now be motivated to return to Lee Valley in the near future.

Many thanks to England Hockey and Investec for a superb event along with the support of the Marlborough parents; a key contributing factor to the success of the side this year.

Will Heywood
U14 Hockey Coach

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