Last Thursday, the Under 16 Girls rounded off an excellent week for Cranleigh Girls’ Hockey. Playing in the South Heats they qualified for the South quarter-finals next Wednesday when they will play at Epsom. Playing the strongest team, Beaconsfield, in the first game they fell behind by 2 goals in the first 6 minutes, but then outplayed their talented opposition creating 11 circle entries against just 2 by their opponents, but just couldn’t score. However, a 3-1 victory against St Edwards followed by a 2-0 victory over Hampshire Collegiate, when we were down to 13 players after injuries, ensured progression to the quarter-final.
Two days earlier had seen the Under 18s play their South heats too. A bizarrely lacklustre start left us 0-1 down against a strong Ardingly side after 10 minutes, but a second half rally saw us get the equaliser and then the winner from a dragged short corner by Autumn Brown in overtime! Wellington and Peter Symonds put up much better performances than we expected, but we managed 2-1 and 1-0 victories respectively to earn a home quarter-final against The Abbey next Tuesday.
Finally, later that day the Under 14s were at St George’s for the Surrey finals with a really tough game at St George’s themselves in the semi-final. An unbelievable rearguard action saw us continuously repel the opposition’s attacks and then a short corner from a slightly unplanned routine by Floss Esplen gave us a lead. The whole squad then combined to deal with an even greater amount of pressure to record a famous victory and guarantee our participation in the South heats next Tuesday at Cranleigh. The final against Reigate was another game in which we did more defending than attacking but we looked dangerous on the counterattack and a 0-1 loss was dramatically closer than the result a month ago when we played them – a huge improvement in a short period of time.
Next week sees the next stage of these National competitions for all the three sides.
Director of Hockey