Queen's were crowned National U16 Tier 2 Champions this week. It took a lot of hard work, grit and skill and our congratulations go to them all! Here Coach Martine Green explains how the two days unfolded..
"To play at the National Hockey Stadium at Lee Valley home to the London 2012 Olympics is truly a dream come true for any young aspiring hockey player. To go there score 12 goals, concede only 2, have 8 different players score from a fit squad of 13 players and then get crowned National Champions is simply amazing! This talented group of girls have worked incredibly hard throughout the season, playing in different positions and understanding their significance to a team performance, and as their coach I could not be more proud.
"Our semi-final was scheduled against Sherborne School from Dorset. Never before have I led a team talk where the girls sat in eerie silence listening to my every word, taking on board the points to action in the game. From the start Sherborne found it difficult to gain possession as we dominated play. It was clear that the girls needed to lose some nerves as chance after chance was missed in the first half. However after 12 minutes Meg Illingworth put the team ahead, then before half time Esther Smellie and Jasmine Higby added to the score. As the game resumed the girls were more settled with some superb passing throughout the team, enabling Amy Banim, Cara Henshall, Esther Smellie and Ella Dimbylow to get on the score sheet and have their names announced over the loud speaker. One goal was conceded towards the end of the game but it was already job done, it was clear we would be playing in the final and on the Olympic pitch.
"On finals day, the formality of the occasion saw the teams being led out by the officials, past the famous Investec zebra. With the stadium stacked with proud parents the game began, once again Queen's dominated the possession, playing in the attacking half of Altrincham's pitch. After only 7 minutes and our second short corner Ava Dempsey rocketed the ball into the back of the net; once again we were up and running. This settled the nerves once more and the game began to flow, the ball being controlled though defensive players, through the midfield and into our fast running forwards. By half time Lucy McBurney scored, giving us a comfortable 2-0 lead. The girls were raring to go after a motivational half-time team talk. There was an instant response from captain Cara Henshall as she immediately collected the ball, drove through the midfield and passed the ball into the D, finding Amy Banim who put the ball in the net with great composure. Lucy McBurney and Cara Henshall added further goals ensuring the win and our crown. We conceded a late goal but I was delighted with 40 seconds left to get both Mica Hird and Lowri Huxley on the Olympic pitch, whose seasons have been cut short by injury but have remained important members of the squad."
Mrs M Green
Teacher and Hockey Coach
Goalkeeper Bethany Griffiths said: "Our team work was amazing and the defensive work was so impressive, watching it from the back was so good."
Amy Banim said: “ It was an amazing experience, one to remember forever“
Mica Hird said: “A great experience, I wish I hadn't been injured."
Annie Canning added: “You gotta believe..”