Regional Finals Success

On Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th April the Blue Hornets sent five teams to the Regional Hockey Finals playing for coveted places in the National Finals. The U12 girls and U14 boys were both successful, winning the tournament and going through to the next round against the biggest teams in the UK. 

The U12 girls had a very strong start with two tough group games at the beginning of the day, drawing against Ipswich (0-0) and defeating Canterbury (2-0). As runners up of their group they faced host side Harleston Magpies in the semis, a strong team who won their group. Despite immense pressure for much of the match and stoic defence from Blue Hornets the semi-final ended scoreless. The ensuing penalty shoot-out carried on to sudden death until Hornets’ keeper Jasmine Kenny stepped up, made an incredible save, giving the Hornets’ victory. They emerged deserved winners in the final against Ipswich (2-0 ) to take the title. Performances of note came from Phoebe Cracknell, whose defence never faltered and the courage of the penalty takers Affrica Hamilton, Lizzy Bull (Capt) and Ellie Barlow. However the clear Player of the Tournament was Jasmine Kenny in goal who didn’t let in a single goal in open play. It was a great team performance and every single squad member deser ves credit.

The U14 boys had travelled to Leicester knowing that they had to beat three strong teams from Norwich City, Stourport and Leicester. The day started well as they dispatched Stourport (3-1), only regretting that the goal tally should have been a lot more. Then came local rivals Leicester who initially made it difficult for the Hornets but were eventually no match, Hornets emerging as winners (1-0). The final match against Norwich City needed a win or draw to complete victory. With nothing to lose, Norwich went up a goal by half time. This was the vital catalyst for the lads and, with the realisation of a potentially glorious season coming to a premature end, they excelled brilliantly to claim back a vital goal and take the Regional prize. There were many brilliant individual performances on the day. Jonny Hoile and Barnaby Stoner were immense in breaking down the opposition and creating scoring chances, Ollie Stonham's short corners were also vital and Player of the Day went t o Peter Hall who defending well at left back and created so many opportunities for his team-mates. The boys now look forward to the Nationals with a lot of confidence.

The U10 girls and boys each played very well in their respective tournaments making it out of the group stages and into the semi-finals. Each achieved a very credible third place. Both of those sides boast very young talent, many of whom will be playing in the same age group next year. The U12 boys who had also made it through to the Regionals struggled to make it out of the group stages despite playing hard. They lost out to eventual winners Saffron Walden.

Posted on April 22, 2015 .