National Hockey Finals Report
16 Nov 2017
Witham 1 – 1 Derwent Lodge
Witham 0 – 1 St George’s
Witham 0 – 0 Blundell’s
Witham 0 – 0 Abberly Hall
Witham 1 – 0 Sutton Valence
Witham 0 – 1 Holy Cross
The Witham U11A hockey team travelled to Millfield for the IAPS National Hockey Finals, along with 27 other schools, beating off some fierce competition at the regional events to win a place at the finals. We were the first team to arrive and with Little Mix blaring, we had a good warm up and the girls felt confident going into their first match. Derwent Lodge were on the back foot after Rose scored a goal within 2 minutes of the game. They came back fighting though and scored an equaliser in the second half.
Our second match was incredibly close throughout, with attacking play from both teams. Unfortunately, one lapse in concentration and our defence standing and watching St Geroge’s pass the ball around at the top of our D, and they slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the goal. St George’s went on to win the group, and eventually won the whole tournament to become National Champions – making 1-0 not a bad score at all!
Next up were Blundell’s who were fiercely competitive and very quick on the ball. Despite this Witham maintained the majority of the possession and looked really strong against a school over twice the size of Witham. Our girls came off the pitch with their heads held high after keeping Blundell’s to 0-0.
We really needed a win at this point and we were certain Abberly Hall would be the one. They came out stronger than ever and defended really well, once again stopping Witham from scoring. Sutton Valence had won all but one of their matches so it would be a challenging match; luckily the team pulled together, kept possession and Eliza managed to score a goal! Winning the 3 points was a real boost and put up back in contention for a spot in the top 4!
With no break before our next match the team had 2 minutes to grab a drink before facing Holy Cross who were the only team to have beaten St George’s. The Witham girls fought really hard but Holy Cross managed to break through our defence and score a goal, despite Charlotte’s best efforts, saving several impressive shots beforehand.
This put us in joint 4th place with Derwent Lodge. It was incredibly close, with both teams having the same goal difference, but Derwent Lodge scoring 2 more goals than us throughout the day. The girls should be immensely proud of their achievements both on the day, and in the lead up to Nationals, putting in a great deal of extra training, effort and time, and placing 19th in the country. Thank you also to Mrs Morgan-Jones and the wonderful parent support team, including Witham alumni!