Winchester U14 Hockey Girls reach Hampshire Cup Final for the first time with a record seven girls chosen to represent Hampshire
A successful season for the Winchester U14 Girls team will finish in a first ever final against Trojans on 6th May in the Hampshire Cup, following a 10-0 romp to victory in the semi-final against Southampton on Sunday. This followed their 9-2 victory over Romsey in the quarter finals. Whilst Winchester have made the semi-final twice in the last five seasons, this will be their first final.
On a bitterly cold Siberian Sunday afternoon at the Kings School the girls showed great teamwork, blood and tears, as well as clinical finishing.
With resolute defence from Southampton, it was 18 minutes before the flood gates opened with five Winchester goals in eleven minutes. Flora Lloyd set things off converting a cross from the right and then there were well taken goals by Claudia Thompson and captain Sophie Ridley. Kitty Lloyd scored from a shot backwards through her legs - circus style, and then Claudia finished off the goal fest with what can best be described as a hard hit tennis volley into the corner.
Intelligent passing from Mia Hamblin and the Ridley sisters helped control the midfield and, with able defence from Rosie Monk, Clare Mitchell, Miranda Dibden and Georgia Hoile, all superbly marshalled by Nevi Phelan in goal, the result was never in doubt after half time.
In the second half Vicky Diaper converted another cross, Alice Ridley put two strong shots past the goalkeeper, Kitty added her second and Claudia, showing great predatory instinct, smashed it into the goal for her hat-trick.
With the season drawing to a close the team has now played all their games in the U14 Hampshire Division 1 and are likely to finish fourth, following victories over Romsey (5-0), Havant (2-0) and Southampton (1-0) as well as a tense 3-3 draw against Haslemere.
The U14 Development team also enjoyed victories over both Trojans and Salisbury Development teams.
The U14 Winchester squad goes from strength to strength with over forty registered players this season, of whom a number joined the Hampshire Junior Development Centre and went on to the Junior Academy Centre, from which a record number of seven girls were then selected to represent Hampshire County at the U15, U14 and U13 levels.