Match Report
Sherborne Preparatory School Girls-1st Team vs  U13 In2Hockey Girls Tournament
On: Wednesday, 22 Nov 2023
Venue: Away

In2Hockey Tournament AKA Dorset County Hockey Tournament.

Winners in 2021, 2022, 2023

Another trip to Bryanston School to play a tournament which was run very well by the hosts and Clayesmore. We started on time and finished on time which is very difficult when there are 120 girls as well as staff and parents to organise.

Our day began with a sluggish departure from Sherborne and an uneventful journey to Blandford, it should be noted that the girls were in good voice on the outward trip! We quickly got ready and with just the minimal of fuss took the field to play Clayesmore. Another sluggish start which gradually changed gear into a very efficient performance with a 2-0 result. There followed matches against Parkstone Grammar, Gillingham, Hanford and Leweston all of which were comfortable victories. Top of the group at the start of the knockout stages means nothing if you don't continue to perform in the latter stages of the competition. Bryanston Prep were our semi final opponents and four early goals put that game to bed quickly enabling one or two players to rest for a few minutes. Dumpton also made the final and we already knew that they would be tough opponents, and so it proved. A very hard fought match with chances at both ends was settled by a single goal scored by Rosie from a penalty corner, but it required a superhuman team effort from all the girls to keep their best players from finding a route to goal.

Now those are the facts of our afternoon, what it misses is the amazing effort, determination and skill from all ten of the girls who came with us. In a 10 player squad everyone has a role to play and this happened to the max with this lot. Esme and Hattie were excellent in goal in spite of the long periods of inactivity they both kept their concentration and did exactly what they had to do and didn't concede a goal all afternoon, not one! Three girls shared defensive duties with Bella and Alma taking the lion's share of the workload and with Ava stepping in and impressing us all with her shadowing, tackling and fantastic passing. These girls provided the solid base on which the rest of the girls thrived. In front of these rocks the midfield ran the show; Martha was excellent on the left and also occasionally on the right. Rosie was awesome in the centre with Beatrix deputising. Beatrix was fantastic as a reluctant right wing as well as her preferred centre forward role Celina stepped in to the left wing and did well there with energy and a desire to win the ball. Alma too played well on the right wing setting up and scoring goals. Tilly played mostly up front as our main striker and scored a load of goals because she made excellent runs and moved well into space, she also made space for others to score with her intelligent movement in the D. I've hardly mentioned Rosie, she is absolutely the heartbeat of this team, but without the excellent support around her we would be a one girl team and we are very much not that.

Beatrix gets my award for the goal of the tournament; Rosie had possession of the ball 25m fron the goal and passed left to Martha on the left side of the D, Martha crossed to the far post where Beatrix timed her run perfectly to tap in to the net from 1m out. There were a number of other occasions when the girls played a series of passes to each other and as a result created goalscoring chances. I am so proud of these girls, two winners medals and a fourth at the IAPS event in Taunton is a wonderful achievement and we will now have the regional competition in the spring to look forward to. A few more weeks to Christmas, lets smash it all the way to the end girls.

And the singing was even louder on the way home...

Mr Reid