Hockey - 1st XI IAPS Tournament at Bishop's Stortford (A), Friday 5 October 2012

Wow what a day! I have never felt so drained after a day of hockey coaching. The girls were amazing from the moment we got there to the moment we left. The Tournament consisted of 19 schools divided into 4 sections.  Our first match, against Culford, was far too close with leadership changing every few minutes.  Alex W scored twice but unfortunately our defence was not tight enough and we ended with a draw.  Next we faced last year's National Champions and this year's winners, Gresham's. They were huge!  The Holmwood girls held their own from the start and, thanks to goals from Alex W and Rosie M, were even 2-1 up at one point.  Gresham's soon found their rhythm though and the final score was 2-5.  However, the girls found solace in the fact that they were the only team to score against them all day!
Luckily the next two games were slightly easier, beating Feltonfleet 1-0 and Maidwell 3-0.  This meant that we were through to the quarter finals as second place in our section and had to play the winners of another section.  Again, the girls pulled out all the stops and beat Danes Hill 2 - 0 with both goals from Alex W.  Finally we were down to the last 8.
Having packed up all our belongings and traipsed to the other (brand new) astroturf, we found out we had to face the hosts, Bishop's Stortford.  Despite having played 60 minutes of hockey already, the girls now had 9 minutes each way, which resulted in a draw, followed by an extra 5 minutes' golden goal.  No goal was scored so this was followed by penalty flicks!  I think we all felt sick with nerves and I have such admiration for Alex W, Abi M and Molly R who volunteered to shoot, let alone our trusty keeper Daisy G who had saved so many shots during the day.  We lost 2-1 which meant that Bishop's Stortford were in the finals and we had to play again to decide 3rd and 4th places.
With the knowledge that only 3 teams were going through to the Nationals, we had to win against Felsted or go home with nothing.  Unfortunately, by now the girls had run out of both physical and mental strength, but not once did their heads go down as Felsted slipped several goals past us.
The final result of 4th out of 19 schools was a tremendous achievement and the quality of hockey they played under such stressful conditions was outstanding.  As mentioned before, these girls were a credit to the school and themselves and stuck together both on and off the pitch - they were a delight to be with.  The squad consisted of Abi M (Capt), Molly R (Vice Captain), Alex W, Georgia G, Chloe R, Daisy G, Rosie M, Rebecca B and Lara C.

Mrs Goldring
Head of PE & Games