U14 Girls – Regionals

April 2nd, 2017,

U14 come up short @ regionals

There are a couple of things you really need at this level - goal scorers and your full squad who have played consistently together. School holidays and various trips meant we were short of a few key personnel, and this was the main difference today at a hot Epsom College. Having said that I cannot fault the effort and general play, and those who came into the squad did really well - we just couldn't score!!

We were in a group of four, the winner would go through to nationals at the Olympic Park. Our first game - each match was 30 minutes - against ISCA from Exeter saw us on the back foot from the start and our stout defence did well to hold them out. It was no surprise when they scored early in the second half, however we then got rid of the cobwebs and had two corners, plus two or three other chances. Given ISCA eventually won the day this was not a bad effort, but we still felt we could have scraped a draw.

The second game v Epsom saw an early goal given away within 5 minutes. We then attacked incessantly but just could not finish - several far post shots were missed and corners went begging. I think that the girls are sometimes a bit too nice and just lack a killer instinct in the D. They were scoring for fun in practice.... So another loss, 1-0, against the run of play.

Despite a large wait, and both teams unable to qualify, it was still felt we should play the dead rubber against Fareham. The girls had great fun as a whole team - sums up the friendship they've struck up this year - kicking a football around whilst we waited for ISCA to win the group. ISCA had previously beaten Fareham 3-0 so we were hopeful of a result. That Daisy our keeper, who played splendidly all day, didn't touch the ball in the match shows our dominance. But that's no good when you don't score!! I think there were 6 or 7 gilt edged chances that went begging. But it was a cracking match and we did play some really good hockey, so well done to the girls for keeping playing when it would have been easy to have not taken it seriously.

It was a great boost for WHC U14 to get to the regionals - I'm very proud of their achievement, just wish we could have seen our full squad in the tournament I hope the girls enjoyed it and learned from the experience. At least the sun shone and we had fun!!

Squad: Daisy(GK), Chessie, Grace H, Emily B, Ella, Finty, Sarah, Polly, Flora, Elspeth, Bea, Anastasia, Aggy, Pippa.

Kind regards

Dan