On Sunday April 2nd, the U13 Girls represented Shropshire at the Midlands Stage of the National Mini Hockey Championships at Cannock Hockey Club. With 10 teams in the tournament and 9 different Midlands Counties being represented this was going to be a challenging day for the Ellesmere Girls. They were playing on a water-based pitch which is faster than Astroturf.
Ellesmere were in a group with teams from Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire and Bedfordshire. We started off quite slowly and had two close matches with Trent College from Derbys and Southwell Hockey Club from Notts. Both games finished 0-0. From the start we knew we weren't out of our depth and we could compete with the standard of the hockey being played. We also knew we had to step up a gear. Our third game was against Bedford High, which we knew was going to be hard. The girls played well and the two teams having their chances to score. Unfortunately for us, Bedford scored twice.
We were fortunate that many of the matches in our group had ended scoreless so it wasn't over yet and a win in the last game could give us a semi final place but we would have to score goals. With the girls knowing this, they should determination in their last game against Bromsgrove and played their best Hockey of the day, if not the year! Within the first minute, we put a lot of pressure on the Bromsgrove's defence and slotted in the first goal. From then on, we were all over the Bromsgrove Girls and went on to win 3-0.
After an agonising wait to see who would go through to the semi finals. There were 3 teams all on the same points. Fortunately, with the 3 goals we scored against Bromsgrove meant we got through to the semi finals with a better goal difference. In the semi's we played Belper Hockey Club. They were good and well drilled in their play. We never gave up but they went on to win 3-0.
Ellesmere should be proud on how they played at the Tournament. To reach the Midlands Tournament is an excellent achievement but to actually reach the semi finals and finish in the top best 4 teams in the Midland Region, for a small school like Ellesmere is remarkable. The U13's have worked with commitment all year and hopefully next September, with the prospect of training on a Wednesday Afternoon at Lilleshall on their water-based turf, the girls will only get better. Well done to all the girls!
27th April 2006 Back to News