U14s reach National Play-Off

The U14A hockey team competed in the newly revised England Hockey Tier 1 Regional finals yesterday at Clifton College, which involved the top eight schools in the West of England.

The opening group game was a nervy affair vs Canford with Marlborough making the decisive breakthrough in the last play of the game via a penalty corner. Despite the girls leading 2-0 at half-time in their next group match vs Red Maid’s,  a run of ill-discipline in the second half coupled with individual excellence from the opposition led to Marlborough surrendering their lead, succumbing to a 3-2 defeat. In the final group game, the girls showed good composure in front of goal to run out victors versus Cheltenham College.

Finishing second in the group meant that it would be a semi-final clash with Millfield, who topped Group A.  In another tightly contested match, the girls rose to the occasion displaying a great sense of grit and determination to frustrate a talented Millfield side but also enough quality going forward to take the lead 5 minutes into the second half.  Marlborough worked incredibly hard on and off the ball to see the game out with some outstanding penalty corner defence.

The final saw Marlborough go up against the hosts Clifton College, a team well known having played against them twice before already this season.  Despite a resurgence from the girls in the second half, it was not to be for the girls with Clifton sealing a 3-1 victory

There was the obvious disappointment of losing in the final however the team should be immensely proud of their efforts across the day and still have the opportunity to reach the national finals with a play-off match to come in the New Year.  If successful, this would be only the second time that Marlborough has ever reached the girls’ hockey National Finals; the inaugural occasion being experienced two years ago.

Will Heywood
U14A Hockey Coach

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