The RGS Under 12 and Under 13 Hockey team captains have been describing their recent experience of playing in the Regional Finals.
“Having qualified for the Under 13 Hockey Regional Finals as County winners, our Year Eight Under 13A Team set off to Cannock on Friday 22 March full of anticipation for a good afternoon of Hockey. The first match of the afternoon was against Trent College. We had a slow start, and with matches lasting only twelve minutes, we didn’t manage to get into our stride before the whistle blew. Fortunately, the opposition had a similar start, and the game ended in a 0-0 score.
Shortly afterwards, we faced Loughborough High School, always a strong contender. After some great saves by our goalkeeper, Lucy Garrard, Loughborough dominated the game with RGS losing 0-3 but leaving us determined to score some goals. We went straight into the next game against Wrekin College. After a well set up cross, Sophie Rouse, scored a great goal, giving us our first goal of the day and our first win of the day, 1-0 to RGS.
Growing with confidence, we went into the next game against St Edward’s School full of fight, and the goals kept coming, three from Teyah Farmer, and one from Tia Hall, giving us a great 4-0 win. By now we had settled into the tournament and a 2-0 win followed against The Minster School, and a 2-0 win in the final group game with Tia Hall against King’s High School.
We had not conceded a goal in four matches thanks to a strong defence, so we eagerly awaited the scores from Miss Walton and Miss Bennett, who then confirmed that due to goal difference, RGS were in the semi-final against Oakham School. The game started at a fast pace with Oakham scoring three goals in quick succession early in the game. Despite a valiant effort from all of the team, RGS finished equal third in the region.
We had an excellent afternoon of Hockey, well done to all of the teams who played.”
Teyah Farmer, Under 13A Captain
“After winning the Under 12A County tournament, our team of Year Seven pupils was filled with excitement and motivation to do well. We were undefeated in every pool game, beating Shrewsbury High School 5-0, Stafford Grammar School 3-0, King’s High School 1-0, and Oakham School 5-1. This meant that we had finished as winners of the pool, and we were then drawn to play against our local team, Bromsgrove School, in the semi-finals.
As the horn sounded to mark the start of the game, we knew it would be the toughest match we had played that day. Amelia Bentley-Hughes received the ball from Ana Nicholls and shot a straight strike into the corner of the goal. With our hopes high, the RGS defence of Ana Nicholls and Orla Larkin guarded Bromsgrove School’s striker, with Keira Higgins working hard in goal to prevent the opposition from scoring. Lottie Nicholls and Ruby Collins scored another goal, to confirm our place in the finals against Loughborough High School.
We had given our all and we were getting tired, unfortunately, unable to score but, thanks to our talented defence, we did not let their striker have a single shot on goal. In the middle, Alex Friend, Mya Walford, Katy Pitt, Sydney Blanchenot and Lottie Nicholls, stayed strong and kept us going by passing up the wings and driving into space.
Eventually, as the game played on, nobody scored and it went to penalties. First up, Ruby Collins scored into the bottom left corner and filled us with hope. Next Alex Friend and Amelia Bentley-Hughes attempted to score but unfortunately missed. Keira, our experienced and talented goalie, knew she would have to save the next goal in order for us to be crowned regional champions. As we all watched, the Loughborough player stepped up to the penalty spot. Shaking with excitement we watched as she missed the shot! We had done it.”
Amelia Bentley-Hughes, Under 12A Captain