National Hockey Bronze!

News 18.04.2024 Whole School

Back in the middle of November, the 1st XI hockey squad were worthy winners of the Tier 3 Midlands Finals held at Rugby School. This tournament victory qualified the team for the National Finals, held on Monday 5th February at the impressive Nottingham Hockey Centre, Europe’s largest hockey centre outside of The Netherlands.We met at 2:15pm at School on the Sunday and made the straight forward trip to Nottingham in time for a training and familiarisation session on one of the five AstroTurf pitches! Buoyed by an excellent session we travelled to our superb accommodation in the city centre before heading out to Pizza Express for our team meal, where we also got the chance to catch up with recent leaver and hockey coach, Miss Short! Following a good night’s sleep, and breakfast the next morning, we headed back to the hockey centre for our warm-up and official photo shoot prior to our first group game.

At 11:15am we played Brentwood School where we initially struggled to get a foothold in the game, going a goal down at the break. The following 15 minutes provided some of the highlights of the season as we scored three excellent goals to run out 3-1 victors. This provided the necessary confidence boost that we were not there simply to make up the numbers!

Our next game against Wilmslow High School saw us get off to the perfect start with a goal inside the first 45 seconds! From then on, the game was controlled in a professional manner and the squad played some very good passing, team hockey, to eventually run out deserved 2-0 winners. That left a straight shoot out for top spot and a place in the National Final in our last group game against St Mary’s School, Ascot. Our opponents knew that they had to win the game to progress, and they came out fighting hard and deserved their 2-0 win, which agonisingly meant we missed out on a place in the National Final on goal difference!

The whole squad did a superb job of picking themselves up from this disappointment as a bronze medal match against second in the other pool, Caterham School, beckoned. Determined not to leave Nottingham empty handed the whole squad battled brilliantly from first whistle to last, and a superb penalty corner routine saw us emerge as 1-0 winners, taking home a deserved bronze medal in the process! Congratulations to every single player in the squad who represented the School so admirably. The effort and attitude on display throughout the day encompassed exactly what team sport is all about.

Sincere thanks go to all of the staff, parents and OWs who made the trip to Nottingham to support the team on the day. It was certainly a day that will live long in the memory!

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