The Cranleigh U13 girls’ team went to the IAPS Regional Hockey Tournament at Hurstpierpoint College in good spirits after a positive start to their season. They began the day brilliantly with Isabella P scoring after only 15 seconds of the first match against Brambletye and going on to win comfortably 4-0.
They continued this form into game two to beat Dorset House 2-1 with a double scored by Cara M and then see out a tight 0-0 draw versus a talented Danes Hill side.
A short break allowed the girls to get their breath back and it took them a while to start playing again in their fourth match to finally win 3-1 against Highfield, including a brace from Isabella P.
A nervy game versus the hosts, Hurst, ended up 1-0 in Cranleigh’s favour through a penalty corner rebound from Saffy S and the chance of topping the group was now within the girls reach. This was achieved with a comprehensive 5-0 win over Windlesham with two goals scored by Emily W who had been impressive all day.
A first poor performance of the tournament in the Quarter-Final nearly cost the team against Great Walstead. It took a penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw following extra time to get through, with Phoebe G staring with two key diving saves to win a low scoring shootout 1-0.
A high quality Semi-Final versus City of London Freeman’s was close all the way with chances for both teams coming at a premium. With only one minute left the team passed beautifully out from the back and it fell to Isabella P to deflect the ball into the goal to seal the win and secure a spot in the National Finals.
The Final against Ardingly was also a tight match with the opposition winning 1-0 thanks to a fine penalty corner strike. The girls never stopped pushing for an equaliser, but their efforts throughout the day finally caught up with them. Unfortunately, they simply ran out of time and had to settle for second place and a well-earned silver medal.
Mark Pearn, coach, says “Many congratulations to all the girls involved: Phoebe G, Saffy S, Madeleine R, Isabella P, Emily W, Isobel P, Cara M, Caitlyn B, Amber v D. It was a fantastic team effort and we’ll look forward to seeing what happens at the National Finals”.