U16 Outdoor Hockey Team Reach National Finals
The U16 outdoor team have achieved the unbelievable and qualified for the outdoor National Finals in emphatic style. They started the day with a game against Wellington, last year’s National Champions at U14 level (now their U16 team), and after some excellent play with scoring chances at either end the game finished 0-0. Next up was Reigate and we took the lead early on with Imi Relf tipping the ball past the goalkeeper. Some excellent defending and goalkeeping by maintaining our 1-0 lead until some fine individual play from Reigate’s star saw the ball crash in, 1-1.
The remainder of the game was a tense affair with both teams pushing to get the 3 points but also knowing that a loss could see them out of the competition with a game still to play. Bodies were falling all over the pitch but the girls kept fighting and with a couple of minutes left on the clock we accepted a draw was better than a loss and made sure not to leave ourselves light at the back whilst trying to score. The game ended 1-1, another great result given the standard of hockey. With many compliments coming from officials and spectators about how well our girls play as a team and how outstanding their hockey was their teams spirits were still good knowing everything was still in their hands. A 2-0 win in the next game would see them through to National Finals no matter what happened in the other game but if either team won the other game (Wellington v Reigate) then we only needed a 1-0 win! The game started and the team were all over Epsom but the ball would just not go in the net, we wondered if it was going to be one of those games but we kept believing. 0-0 at half time but the other pitch was 2-0 so we knew a 1-0 win could do it and finally with 9 minutes remaining Maddy Peacock lifted the ball over the goalkeeper and the net rippled. 1-0 BHS, 9 minutes to go, a very tense 9 minutes at that but with some excellent game management and strong defensive work they saw it out. The game ended 1-0 in favour of BHS and their place in National Finals and hockey history was confirmed!
As you can imagine the team went crazy, there were tears, screams and general euphoria. I cannot express to you what an achievement this is and how much hard work the girls had to put in leading up to and throughout the day - they had to dig deep when they were hurt and exhausted and fight for everything. Beaconsfield High School at Outdoor Hockey National Finals, something that has not been said in many years and a state school at outdoor national finals - again something that has never happened for many years (exact years to be confirmed).
The team is now top 8 in the whole country and the only state school remaining in the competition too, as they have been since the regionals. This truly is massive, well done to all those involved.