Witham Hall U11A Hockey to Regional IAPS Competition
02 Nov 2015
WHS v St Olaves: 1-0
WHS v Hereford Cathedral: 2-0
WHS v RGS The Grange Worcester: 0-3
WHS v Fairfield: 1-0
WHS v Solihull: 2-0
WHS v Winchester House: 1-0
WHS v Foremarke Hall: 1-1 in match time, won in penalty shuttles
WHS v RGS The Grange Worcester: 0-2
The Witham Hall U11A girls were quite rightly very excited about IAPS, for 7 of the 9 girls this was their first regional competition. So far this term the girls have made slow starts in every match, and then really found their stride in the second half. With 12 minute matches it is safe to say I was a little worried about this! Luckily the girls hit the ground running on the day, battling from the minute they hit the astro, and truly rising to the challenge. It was a close competition across the 4 groups with many close matches and surprising results. The girls won their first two matches with Bonnie scoring a goal in each match during open play, whilst Ella struck a fantastic short corner. Mia and Luie remained strong in defence, making sure the ball was moved wide. Poppy brought some much needed fresh legs to the field and hassled Hereford really well.
We met RGS twice over the course of the day, the first of which was in the group stages. They were a remarkable team packed with very talented hockey players. The Witham girls maintained their composure and gave RGS a good game but 3 well worked goals made it past Georgina in goal. Our 4th match was against Fairfield who we lost to earlier in the term, thankfully the girls showed Fairfield how much they have improved an a well work ball up the wing from Katie to Bonnie resulted in a 1-0 win. Our final match of the group stages was against Solihull, the girls played really well, Sienna had a particularly good game tackling hard and moving the ball wide up the wings.
Leaving the group stages in second place meant that we faced the top team from group D, Winchester House. They were a strong, physical team but our defence stood strong, despite some nail biting moments, Georgina was the player of the match saving some great goals. Ella scored a great goal fed in from Bella and Bonnie to win the match 1-0. Little did the girls know at this stage but this win was their ticket through to the National Finals! However I wanted the girls to really fight for a spot in the final when they went on to face Formarke Hall in the semi-final. Witham went 1-0 down but a mistake on a short corner resulted in Mia (captain) receiving the ball, she kept her composure and slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner to keep Witham in the game. 1-1 at full time meant penalty shuttles; I thought this was probably a good time to take the pressure off and told the girls they were through to Nationals, they were obviously elated! With nothing to lose Ella, Bonnie and Mia stepped up scoring every single time! Georgina felt the pressure in goal but saved Foremarke’s shot in sudden death putting Witham through to the final!
In the final we met RGS again who had comfortably beaten all of their opponents all day. Witham put up a good fight again but lost 2-0. The girls were an absolute credit to the school all day, not a complaint of being tired, not a slip up of attitude of behaviour, they were a pleasure to be with all day. I am so pleased the girls showed everyone what they can do and earned their place at finals! A huge thank you to Mr Gent for keeping me sane and umpiring all day, as well as the parents for their relentless cheering and support.