On a gorgeous autumn day, the girls travelled to Bede’s for the U13 IAPS Girls Hockey Qualifier. They were placed in a group against Dulwich Prep, Westbourne House and Cargifield, who had come all the way from Scotland.

It was an excellent day of hockey, which enabled the girls to show off their skills of collaboration and resilience. Against Dulwich the girls started their campaign with a determined win. The most pleasing part of the game was the pace with which the girls started the tournament in this game. Next up were the unknown quantities of Westbourne and Cargifield. Against the former, the girls found themselves second to all of the loose balls and struggled to keep hold of the ball for long periods of play. The 2-nil loss was a fair result and was a lesson in determination. Despite going 1 nil down against Cargifield the girls really raised their game noticeably, to draw level and gain a valuable point. Sadly, the point wasn’t enough, so we didn’t progress through to the cup competition.

Buoyed by the possibility of a medal in the plate competition the girls played some of their best hockey of the day against Edgegrove. 4-1 was a super result and saw the girls progress comfortably to the plate final against Dulwich Prep in a strange symmetry to the day. 

Finishing the final 0-0 in regulation time, meant it was time for the agony of penalties. Mia G, Isabella F and Willow A bravely stepped up, but after the barrage of 3 penalties per team the scores were still level. The game moved to sudden death.  With the pressure mounting and the nerves jangling Willow A stepped forward, scored, leapt for joy, but her shot was adjudged to have been a ‘slap’, so was disallowed. Dulwich just needed to score to win the final, which they did. 

The girls did themselves proud and played some excellent hockey, but of equal importance were the lessons that can be learnt. Game management and competitiveness are two which the girls can reflect upon.  It was a delightful day and further improved when the umpires came over at the end of the day to tell us we had the best playing kit.