Royal Grammar School

Newcastle

U16s compete at national indoor hockey finals

U16s compete at national indoor hockey finals

The Under 16 girls' hockey squad flew the RGS flag at the recent National Schools' Indoor Hockey Finals which saw them compete against some of the top schools in the country in an intense weekend of competition held at Bromsgrove School.

Under 16 captain, Kirstin Gerrand, tells us how the competition went for the girls:

"Having qualified from the North of England indoor competition, we made the five-hour journey down to Bromsgrove School for the Under 16 National Schools' Indoor Hockey Finals. We were as prepared as we could be after a week of intense training and were excited for the weekend ahead. 

"A spot of bowling provided some ideal team bonding activity before the competition started the following morning.

"Thanks to a late start for us in the competition, we had a nice relaxing morning and felt energized and ready for the day ahead. The venue was a fantastic facility, ideal for the competition. After a pep talk from Mr Wood and a warm-up brightened up by Jemima Barreto's less than graceful fall, we were ready for the first game. Wellington College (the eventual winners), were our first opponents and they were tough! The 7-1 scoreline reflected their skill and organisation, but not our continuous efforts and tenacity. A fantastic goal from Megan Cottee was some compensation for our tireless hard work.

"Next up were the infamous Millfield. We surprised everyone by scoring first - Sarah Carluke with an impressive deflection! Unfortunately Millfield came back fighting, hero goalkeeper, Holly Wilson, stopped a penalty, to rapturous applause. The game ended 4-1 to Millfield, but there were plenty of positives for us to take away from the first two games and we were excited about what day two might bring.

"9am Saturday morning, we were ready to face Trent College. Despite a 3-0 loss, it was the closest game yet. Another stunning performance from our hero in goal, Holly, left us unrewarded, as we failed to turn our shots on target into goals. We worked so much better as a team, getting the ball to the forwards a lot more. Our youngest player, Sarika Nadkarni, showed her pace throughout, really testing the Trent defence. A few errors in our own defensive game led to penalty corners, leaving us practically helpless against Trent's lethal penalty flick-taker.

"Queenswood were our final opponents of the tournament. We found ourselves 2-0 down very quickly, made more difficult due to a green card and a penalty flick for Queenswood. Luckily, Holly pulled off an exceptional save and we were still in touching distance. Filled with determination, we fought harder and Megan found the back of Queenswood's net. The final half of the match we showed our resilience. Having had two goals disallowed, we were left somewhat disappointed, but very pleased with our persistence. The final score 3-1 to Queenswood.

"The competition was a hugely positive experience. We all enjoyed the challenge of competing against some of the best schools in the country and learnt a lot about the game and ourselves. The team was solid and mutually supportive throughout. The defence, made up of Abbie Peyton, Jemima Barreto, Trudie McCarthy and myself, never failed in giving our best efforts. Fran Southwood, Sarika Nadkarni, Sarak Carluke and Megan Cottee, fought hard all the way to the end. As ever, Holly Wilson was a star in goal, despite the scorelines. 

"We are extremely grateful to Mr Wood and Mrs Barlow for giving up their weekend to be with us and remaining such inspiring coaches throughout the tournament."