Royal Grammar School


U14s at North of England Finals

U14s at North of England Finals

On the 24th of November, the U14 girls hockey team travelled to Leeds University to compete in the North of England finals. We had qualified from the North-East semi-final, after winning the county competition. We were one of eight qualifying teams from across the North of England. 
The team faced Wilmslow, Kirkham Grammar School and Queen Margaret’s in Pool A. We started well with a convincing win against Wilmslow, with goals from Sass Carluke, Hannah Lee and two from Izzy Potier-Godhino. Following this, we played Kirkham Grammar School. At half-time, the score remained 0-0, but we approached the second half with determination. Our efforts paid off with a last minute goal from a short corner; a straight strike from Hannah was saved by the opposition’s keeper, but Grace Varley was there to score from the rebound, giving a final score of 1-0 to RGS. Our final pool game was against Queen Margaret’s. Goals from Kirstin Gerrand and another from Grace meant a comfortable 2-0 win. Throughout, the defensive quartet (Abbie Peyton, Trudie McCarthy, Jemima Barreto and Martha Harris) worked incredibly hard to prevent us conceding any goals.  As we finished at the top of the group, we went through to the semi-finals.
Our opponents in the semis had finished as runners-up in Pool B, but had not lost a game. We faced Cheadle Hulme, knowing that they were a strong side. Every RGS player gave 100%. Unfortunately, we came to half-time 1-0 down, following a penalty stroke against us, given for foul play in the D. We remained determined and fought hard. With a few minutes to go, having put pressure on Cheadle all through the second half, we scored from a penalty corner – a fantastic strike from Grace.  This meant we had to go to penalties, to decide who would make the final.
Grace started, followed by Hannah, Kirstin, Izzy then Fran Southwood. After the first five strokes, the score was even, with Holly Wilson making two tremendous saves under extreme pressure. This meant sudden death. Sadly, it was not our day and our hopes to make the final were not realised. We were all very disappointed but the team effort all day had been extraordinary, meaning we finished 3rd in the whole of the North of England. Our team also included Amelia Ikwue and Jasmine Metters, and Megan Cottee, who played up a year and did a great job.

Huge thanks to Miss Barnes and Mr Wood, for all their hard work with us this term and for their inspirational talks on the day. Also, thanks to all the supporters who travelled to Leeds to watch us play and encourage us.

Kirstin Gerrand