Sevenoaks Hockey Club girls reach two national finals
HAVING emphatically won the Kent and East tournaments already this season the Sevenoaks under 12 girls hockey team travelled to Nottingham Hockey Centre for the National Clubs IN2 Hockey Finals on Saturday.
The start did not go according to plan when they conceded an early goal in their first match against the Midlands champions Beeston. However, the team showed great strength of character and composure to turn the match around and win 2-1 with both goals from captain Lottie Bingham.
Next up were Yeovil and Sherbourne (runners up from the West). Sevenoaks cruised to an 8-0 victory in the 18 minute match with goals from Josefina Hippe, Anna Faulstich (2), Phoebe Gough Cooper (2), Olivia Breed (2) and Lottie Bingham.
In the third group game Sevenoaks beat Alderley Edge from the North 4-0 with Hippe, Gough Cooper, Breed and Jessie Gale all getting on the score sheet.
The final group game was against Teddington and Sevenoaks won 2-0 to win the group convincingly with maximum points. Both goals were scored by Breed.
The final was against Surbiton, the winners of the other group. Surbiton scored first but Phoebe Gough Cooper equalised soon after. Surbiton went into the lead again before Lottie Bingham levelled the game at 2-2. Despite continued pressure the scoreline remained the same at the final whistle and so the competition was decided by penalty flicks. Surbiton emerged as the victors and Sevenoaks had to settle for the runners up medals.
The whole squad should be congratulated on a fantastic season and although it ended in huge disappointment the girls should be proud of being in the top two teams in the country. Special mention to Duncan Parnis the coach whose dedication and commitment has made the girls so successful.
U12 Girls Squad: Pascale Pottier ( GK), Jessica Lewis, Anna Faulstich, Camille Poracchia, Lottie Bingham, Olivia Breed, Josefina Hippe, Evie Hemming, Phoebe Gough Cooper and Jessie Gale. Coach – Duncan Parnis. Assistant coach/ manager – Ruth Bingham
SEVENOAKS Hockey Club U14 girls travelled to Lee Valley Hockey Centre on Sunday for the National Finals where the best eight teams in the country were competing for the top spot.
Over the last seven months the team had successfully come through the County and Regional rounds.
Sevenoaks’ first match was against Reading and after a tentative start the players settled down and started to display their hockey skill. Just before half time Sevenoaks were rewarded with a calm finish from Tiss Grice following a surging run from Ryana MacDonald-Gay. The second half saw both sides have opportunities to score but the Sevenoaks girls held their nerve and the match ended with a 1-0 win.
Next Sevenoaks faced Repton and midway through the first half found themselves 1-0 down but responded almost immediately to level the score to 1-1 with the final touch again coming from Grice. The tension continued throughout the second half but neither side could get the winning goal and the match finished in a draw.
The third and final pool match was against Harleston Magpies. Sevenoaks were the only team not to have a loss by this stage and knew therefore that a win or a draw would see them through to the final.
Despite dominating the game right from the start and having the large majority of possession Sevenoaks could not quite find the back of the net due to an outstanding performance by The Magpies keeper. At the final whistle the 0-0 draw was good enough to see Sevenoaks into the final against Surbiton.
Sevenoaks defended magnificently throughout a sustained early period of pressure and then began to launch their own counter attack. Despite opportunities to score from both teams the first half ended 0-0.
Surbiton began the second half strongly and eventually scored the first goal. Sevenoaks pressed hard trying to find the equaliser but with 10 minutes to go, Surbiton scored again from open play.
Sevenoaks took off their goalkeeper and went with a kicking back. With the clock ticking down in the final minutes they pushed hard and through Annabel Cheveley managed to score a well worked goal. But the time ran out with the final score 2-1 to Surbiton.
Overall it is a fantastic achievement for this group of girls to end their successful season as the second best team in country and to come away from the National Finals with silver medals.
It is a credit to the whole squad for their impressive level of commitment and dedication since September and it is the first time that Sevenoaks has won silver in the U14 age group.
U14 girls squad: Amelie Allen, Venetia Barker, Keira Bassett, Annabel Cheveley, Jessica Fleming, Tilly Fox, Tiss Grice, Bea Jones, Natalya Keller, Elloise Paler, Lottie Peachey, Ryana MacDonald-Gay, Abi Scott, Alex Sewell, Lulu Stephens, Tilly Strand-Ford, Millie Thompson.