The Under 14s competed in their GDST Hockey Tournament which was hosted very successfully by the Royal High School.
16 teams came to Bath to compete in the competition which was held at 3 venues; RHS, Prior and Kingswood. The first 2 days of the competition were to qualify for the final grouping on the Sunday, where there would be the Cup competition, the Plate and the Developing Group.
RHS got off to a great start with Lola Record scoring early in our first match against Notting Hill. The girls fought hard to hold on to their lead, but Notting Hill managed a comeback goal in the last 5 seconds of the match which finished 1-1. Our second match was against Howells, where again we went 1-0 ahead early on in the match, with a lovely goal from Emilie Kirkwood, but a slick corner routine which was well executed twice from Howell’s put them 2-1 up in the second half and they held on to secure the match.
After the matches on Friday, the girls were given the opportunity to meet Helen Richardson-Walsh, one of our Gold Medal winning Olympic Hockey players. The girls were able to chat to Helen, hold and wear her Bronze and Gold medals together with getting their own items signed. Helen then gave a talk to all schools and shared her experiences of playing hockey from when she started out at a local club in Nottingham, through to winning the Olympic Gold in Rio 2016. She shared important messages, such as knowing your strengths and believing in them. Aiming high and giving it your best and finally the importance of support from family and friends in achieving your goals.
On Saturday afternoon, RHS faced Sydenham and Portsmouth. They got off to a great start against Sydenham, playing some lovely controlled hockey using the width well and looking to move the ball forward. The girls were 3-0 up at half time and, despite a number of substitutions and changes of position, the girls adapted well and held on to their 3-0 lead all the way to the end. The second game was somewhat more difficult and was a feisty affair with great contests opening up across the pitch. Although losing 2-1, RHS scored a great goal from open play, with Portsmouth taking their chances from 2 of their penalty corners. The RHS girls were unlucky when they managed to get the ball in the net a second time only for it to be disallowed, and they also had one cleared off the line – so it really could have gone either way.
On Sunday morning, the RHS squad was slightly different entering the Plate competition, as we lost Amy Lewin our Goalkeeper, Phoebe Wirick and Emilie Kirkwood as they had to attend County training. A huge thank you to Ruby Butterfield, Jemima Honeyborne and Christine Weinhardt for stepping into the squad. A special mention should go to Ruby as she is the year 7 goalkeeper, so was playing up 2 years.
We faced Portsmouth in our first match, who we had lost 1-2 to the previous day. RHS put on a fantastic team performance, playing some lovely hockey and really pulling together as a group. 2 goals from Clementine Gallen and Amy Hutcheson sealed a convincing 4-0 win over the opposition. Our next 2 games were against Shrewsbury and Newcastle, both resulting in 1-0 wins for RHS with vital goals from Ella Powell and Jess Phillips, who took their chances well. The final match of the tournament was against Nottingham and the RHS team were extremely tired playing 2 matches back to back. We went 0-1 down and in a very exciting last few minutes Christine Weinhardt managed to get on the end of a cross at the far post, putting the ball into the back of the net, securing the 1-1 draw and victory in the Plate competition.
Well done to all of the girls for a fantastic weekend and on their fully deserved success in the Plate.
A huge thank you to our previous Director of Sport, Sarah Penny for organising the competition, to Carlijn Tiemens, Ellie Clarke and her catering team and Becky Purchase for their help over the weekend and leading up to the tournament. Huge thanks also to the PE Department, Miss Matthews and Miss Cornick for giving up their time to not only support the girls on the pitch and ensure the tournament ran smoothly, but for assisting with looking after and transporting the GDST schools to their venues and hotels.