Gone in 30 seconds!
The Under18 Girls Travelled to Whitgift School to compete in the Super 6s Girls Club Indoor Finals at the weekend. We were in some good company in the group with Repton, Surbiton, Southgate and Bowden Hightown. No hiding place and we knew we had to play well to get out of the group. The challenge was on and the girl’s performances did not disappoint, the results did and that was the frustrating thing. There are fine margins in indoor and the rub of the green did not go our way – on many occasions.
Our first game of the weekend was against Southgate and it proved to be a very tight affair. After a great first half from both teams the scores were tied at 1-1. This continued to be the case right up until the last 30 seconds when Southgate finished a well taken goal on the break. The frustrating thing was had created enough chances to win – this turned out to be a recurring theme in our games throughout the weekend.
On to the second game against Bowden Hightown. Olivia Hamilton converted a penalty corner in the second minute of the match and we were off and running. We continued to dominate the first half and scored three more goals through Millie Walters, Imogen Hurst and Julie Groos. In the second half Bowden Hightown rallied but we kept our structure and moved the ball well around the court eventually creating more chances to score which Katie Jones and Olivia Hamilton did and we ran out out eventually 6-0 winners at the final hooter.
After our trip in the evening to Pizza Express and Ice cream stop, we went into day two looking to move forward after what was on balance a good first day.
Surbiton were up first, I felt that it was going to be tough as they had lost both their games on day one and they were going to come out fighting. They did and the first half was a tight, although some of the best chances fell to us, we could not convert. We scored first after half time, but unfortunately let them respond with a goal in the same minute. We scored again to put us in the lead only for them to equalise again! In the last minute we conceded a goal that we could not come back from. This was a disappointing result considering we controlled most of the game and played some excellent hockey, creating plenty of chances to win the game but not taking them.
At this stage as all was not lost, if we could beat Repton in the final group game we could still qualify for the semi-finals. The match proved to be a great advert for indoor hockey with some excellent play. In the first half we dominated and created chances but once again could not convert them. The score at half time was 0-0. Credit must go to Katie Mallet who made some excellent saves and to the defensive pairing of Sophie Gorman and Molly Hunter. In fact, our defence and structure was so good, that their first goal only came in the 17th minute and second came when we had our keeper off trying to salvage something from the game. Alas at the final whistle we found ourselves out of the competition with one win and three losses.
I must say that the girls played with pride, passion and a certain degree of tenacity which is highly commendable. I was extremely proud of all their performances throughout the weekend. Annalotte von Velsen and Johanna Bastian played their part in the important role of coming off the bench when players needed a rest.
The two finalists came from our group and the eventual winners beat us in the final 30 seconds of our first game. As I said earlier – there are fine margins and it was a weekend when the ball just did not bounce our way, maybe on another day it would have been different. Finally, I must thank all the players for their effort and the parents who came to support and provide lifts too and from the venue. It was a great experience one that we can take into our outdoor campaign.