East Under 16 Girls Club

East Under 16 Girls Club and School Indoor ChampionshipFOLLOWING on from their victory in the Essex Indoor Tournament, Chelmsford Hockey Club U16 Girls were selected to represent Essex in the East Region Indoor Championship.

East Under 16 Girls Club and School Indoor Championship

FOLLOWING on from their victory in the Essex Indoor Tournament, Chelmsford Hockey Club U16 Girls were selected to represent Essex in the East Region Indoor Championship. The competition comprised a mini league in which each team played each other once during the day - and what a day it turned out to be.

The Chelmsford team was slightly below strength on the day, with two of our players having to leave after the first two matches, and Martha Jenkinson and Izzy Hare feeling unwell. It was going to be tough to qualify from the outset, but there was further drama to unfold.

With a full squad to start, the team played really well against Herts. They were a strong squad but we proved too powerful for them with great attacking play led by Sophie Nehammer and solid defending. Chelmsford confidently scored six goals.

The second match against Suffolk followed the same pattern with a very effective attacking partnership between Sophie and Phillippa making many of the goals. Jenny had twisted her ankle but the drama really unfolded in the second half with Katie taking a stick blow to her throat forcing her to retire from the game. This was closely followed by Phillippa who, after scoring, turned quickly causing a severe muscle spasm that led to her retirement and a trip to A&E! It was like being in a war film with soldiers dropping like flies! The rest of the team stood up strongly to these rapid blows and managed to finish the game 8-1 up but with only six players!

Sophie had to leave after this game, but both Jenny and Katie made good recoveries during the break. Martha, who had felt unwell all morning, slept through this entire break and woke up feeling better. So, on we went with seven battle weary players!

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The next game against Cambs was an edgy affair, with reduced squad numbers. It was a nervous but gritty performance with one Chelmsford goal proving enough to win the match.

Norwich were up next, and they had won all their matches with a large strong squad. Our girls played with determination, but with only one sub and stiff competition, were not able to stop Norwich scoring three goals and winning the match.

The final scene was set in the last match of the tournament against Kent. They were also a strong side, and if they won by more than three goals, would have moved into second spot in front of Essex. After extensive confidence building by Hilary beforehand, the girls really raised their game in this match, playing out of their skins with good passing hockey. The parents nerves, already stretched to breaking, were reduced to wrecks as Georgia got sent off for stopping the ball accidentally with the back of her stick, The girls held on for an interminable two or three minutes before the full team was back on the pitch. In the end the team outplayed Kent and won 3-1.

Final scores: Essex 6 Herts 2, Suffolk 1 Essex 8, Essex 1 Cambs 0, Essex 0 Norfolk 3, Kent 1 Essex 3.

Norwich won the competition with 15 points, Chelmsford were runners-up with 12 points. Both teams go through to the National Finals in January.

Every one of the girls played well and thoroughly deserves their place in the finals. Best wishes to Phillippa who we hope makes a speedy recovery and our thanks to Hilary, our coach, for another stunning result. Finally, a big thank you to the parents and supporters, who kept the girls spirits high throughout a long day.

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