Witham 1st VII Girls Win Through to National Hockey Finals!

22 Oct 2014

Well done to the 1st VII who provided much excitement at the end of last week when they won through to the IAPS National Hockey Finals. Thanks to Mr Gent and Miss Stanton who have coached and guided them on their way.

Group Stages

WHS 2 vs St Anselms 0 (Felicity Bridges Webb x 1, Sophia Ktori  x 1)

Witham started their first match strongly but it still took a while for the first goal to come. A smartly worked short corner was powered into the corner of the goal by Felicity Bridges Webb before Sophia Ktori slammed home another to cement the win shortly after. The girls played some very smart hockey down the flanks with Hattie Grace in particular impressing with her sharp movement.

WHS 0 vs St Olaves 0

After a short break off, the girls started slowly against a compact and deep sitting St Olaves’ team. The Witham attacks were snaffled each time and the girls were caught on the break on numerous occasions. Strong defence from Poppy Chatterton and smart saves from Jenna Lloyd kept it to a stalemate.

WHS 2 vs Wellingborough 0 (Hattie Grace x 1, Maria Morris x 1)

The third group match against Wellingborough was a different story. The girls were firing on all cylinders and split the defence every attack. Sophia set up Hattie who smashed the ball to the backboard with real intent to get the lead. Maria Morris, playing in her first game, dominated the midfield and charged forward to slot home a second. The girls pressed forward for a third with Lottie Bingham and Isabella Manara working particularly well together down the left but the match finished with the score 2-0.

WHS 2 vs Moor Park 0 (Hattie Grace x 1, Felicity Bridges Webb x 1)

The last match was against a stubborn Moor Park team and the girls once again started well. Hattie Grace got the scoring underway with another sublime finish and Catherine Swanston sent a smart ball forward which found Felicity who drilled home the second. A quarter final placing was secure and Witham was confirmed as top of their group.

Quarter Final

WHS 1 vs Bromsgrove 0 (Philippa Hix x 1)

It was Bromsgrove who knocked Witham out of the quarter finals in the previous year in devastating fashion – on flicks. The girls knew this and were determined to take a win forward for the previous year. Witham flew out of the blocks and pressed forward creating havoc amongst the Bromsgrove defence. Sophia Ktori tormented the defence and set up Philippa Hix who slotted a calm and composed finish into the corner of the goal to take the lead. Felicity Bridges Webb commanded the midfield all game as she always does tackling hard and driving forward with the ball. Poppy, Maria and Jenna stifled any attack that came their way and the match finished with a truly memorable win and one that secured a National Finals spot. This really was one of the best games of team hockey I have seen from Witham, with the work rate second to none. It was a very physical game and the girls just kept on going, duly deserving the victory.

Semi Final

WHS 1 vs Dean Close 0 (Isabella Manara x 1)

The semi-final was played in similar fashion – Witham battling to the end. Philippa Hix ran riot down the left flank with Catherine Swanston solid at the back. It didn’t take long for the ball to be worked from the right by Sophia after fine work from Felicity with Philippa there to finish coolly. The girls held on and secured a finals’ spot – absolutely fantastic!

Final

WHS 0 vs Foremarke Hall 1

With tired bodies on both teams, the final was set to be a slow affair but as soon as the first whistle blew, it was clear it was not going to be the case. Both teams played with real intent. Witham sat deep and soaked up the Foremarke pressure, counter attacking down both flanks with real speed. The girls battled ferociously all game but with two minutes remaining, a ball was hit well from the top of the ‘D’ deflecting off a stick and crept agonizingly into the corner. The match finished 1-0 but the girls held their heads high in the knowledge they had a truly memorable day of hockey. The fight the girls showed all day was simply a pleasure to watch, never giving up and working right to the finish. What a day. What a performance. What a group of girls!

Thank you to all the parents for their support and to Miss Stanton for all her help over the day.