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U18 T3 National Semi-finals

On Friday 27th January, the girls U18 outdoor hockey team played the T3 National Cup semi-final vs Pangbourne School at the Great Marlow home pitch. The team had played and beaten Haileybury and St Edwards School to get to this position. Mabel Daw wrote this match report for the website.

“We walked onto the pitch, with a crowd of supporters cheering us on, ready to play Pangbourne; we were determined to win as this is the furthest GMS hockey has ever achieved in this competition and after our hard luck in the indoor this season, the team was fixated on making Miss Porter proud.

The game started with GMS having most of the possession and D entries, as our full backs, Alba and Kesia, prevented the ball from entering our half, but Pangbourne had a breakaway, which left a 1vs1 between their forward and our goalkeeper, Milly. As the ball hit the backboard of our goal, we kept our heads high as we knew it was only the first half and we could bring it back in our favour. We kept fighting and with Rachel’s strength, Alba, Kesia and Ash’s composure at the back, Tilly and Mabel’s speed up the wings, Colette, Kiera and Zoe carrying the ball through midfield supported by back-up from Flo, Erin, Charlotte, Lara and Erin, we knew we could win.

With that in mind, our midfielders distributed the ball wonderfully so when our forward, Lena, entered the D, saw an opportunity to score on target and her shot hit the target by deflecting off a defender’s stick, into the right corner of the goal, none of us were surprised. Celebrations were in order and offered a welcome boost to everyone’s morale: the crowd and players didn’t disappoint. The half-time whistle blew, and it was 1-1.

After the motivating and tactical half-time talk by Miss Miskell, Miss Porter and Mrs Porter the entire team was ready to build up the intensity and bring the game to them, so we did.

One minute into the second half Lena succeeded in completing a 3D skill around the defenders and keeper, which led to her second goal! GMS was in the lead and intent on keeping it that way. With almost all the possession and a pressurising forward line, Zoe intercepted a pass between the Pangbourne full backs and used all her skills to negotiate around the goalie. We were in the lead, but we wanted more. Zoe received the ball in the D and negotiated around their defenders again to reverse tap the ball past the goalkeeper’s right foot.

With a goalscoring streak, GMS was winning. A number of ‘short corners’ were nearly winners, but some were saved by the keeper, others stopped by the Pangbourne back four. Yet Kiera saw an opportunity. She hit the ball towards the top net of the goal, and it sailed in, but was, unfortunately, disallowed due to the height.

Although we were three goals up, Pangbourne still hadn’t given up – they won a penalty corner, which they scored from after a rebound off our goalkeeper. We were definitely not disheartened by this goal leaving the game 4-2.

Immediately after we entered into their D, the next shot on target was saved but Lara collected the ball on the rebound and shot it into the backboard for the fifth time.

The full-time whistle blew leaving us and the spectators cheering enthusiastically after the hard-earned win. It was a fantastic team effort; everyone had an impact and should be proud of their performance!

We have now qualified for the Tier 3 National Final, which is on the 1st of March at Lee Valley Hockey Centre (the London Olympic Park). We are all so grateful for the support from the younger years, friends, teachers parents and carers on Friday. Be in no doubt, we will play our absolute best in the final.

  • Captain: Tilly
  • Coach: Miss Porter
  • Assistant Coaches: Mrs Porter, Miss Miskell
  • Goal scorers: Lena x 2, Zoe x 2, Lara
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