Magpies battle well at Beeston
HARLESTON Magpies U13 girls travelled to Beeston HC in Nottingham to play in the National Mini Hockey Finals and finished a very creditable third. Magpies as East regional winners were up against opposition from Dean Close School (West), Lichfield HC (Midlands), Wakefield GHS (North), and Kingston Grammar School (South).
HARLESTON Magpies U13 girls travelled to Beeston HC in Nottingham to play in the National Mini Hockey Finals and finished a very creditable third.
Magpies as East regional winners were up against opposition from Dean Close School (West), Lichfield HC (Midlands), Wakefield GHS (North), and Kingston Grammar School (South).
The format of the competition being all teams playing each other with games lasting 24 minutes.
Magpies first game was against Lichfield HC and from the start Magpies took the game to the opposition dominating possession but failing to take any of the numerous chances being created. These missed opportunities game back to haunt the girls as Lichfield scored with their first real chance.
Although Magpies continued to push for the equaliser it wasn't to be and a 1-0 defeat was disappointing in a game that should have been won.
A real test of character was now needed and although Magpies went behind early in their second game against Dean Close Prep the girls responded by scoring four goals.
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Holly Baker fired in a quick-fire hat-trick and Sarah Brook ran past three defenders to score from close range giving Magpies a fine 4-1 win.
Magpies had to win their remaining two games to stand any chance of being crowned champions and were next up against Wakefield.
This proved to be Magpies' best and most solid performance and two goals from Sarah Brook (one being a tremendous lifted strike from the edge of the circle) enabled the girls to go in to their last game against Kingston needing one more win.
Kingston had won their three previous games and were in confident mood sitting top of the league.
Magpies got off to a dream start and were 2-0 up within two minutes through Holly Baker. Kingston soon replied through a short- corner strike however Magpies again responded through captain Sarah Brook. Just before the interval Kingston scored their second leaving the score at half-time 3-2 in Magpies favour.
The Championship was finally won by Kingston in a frantic five-minute period at the beginning of the second half which saw Kingston produce some excellent attacking hockey scoring three goals.
This really hit Magpies hard and although Holly Baker scored her third Kingston scored again right at the end to become worthy winners 6-4.
This has been a truly remarkable season for Magpies' U13 girls who can be proud of what they have achieved.
In a fitting finale Magpies' very impressive captain Sarah Brook was selected as player of the tournament. She has led the team superbly all season, scored goals at regular intervals and has the potential to play hockey at a very high level. It was an award thoroughly deserved.
Magpies Holly Baker with six goals finished as the tournaments highest goal scorer.
Team: Sarah Brook (capt), Katie Rudd GK, Katherine Ridley, Kira Wooltorton, Elizabeth Jones, Holly Baker, Saffron Wilford, Rosie Chubbock, Jemima Jacobs, Georgia Pearson.