Hockey national champions!

Huge congratulations to our U16 and U14 players on their outstanding performances at the England national finals.

The U16s are now the Tier 3 national champions while the U14s finished third.

The national school hockey finals are pretty much the pinnacle for any young player at school level where all your preparations come down to a few precious moments. For teams to also have the chance to play on the pitch where many internationals have played is also a very special end to the season.

This year Sevenoaks School U14s and U16s reached nationals for the U14 Tier 1 and U16 Tier 3 competitions respectively, and where snow had fallen a year ago, the sun shone brightly at Lee Valley.                                 

U14s

First up were the U14s who faced a tough group of Repton, Sedburgh and Kingston Grammar. Repton being the favourites weathered a fair few attacks from Sevenoaks in the opening pool game; a missed chance from Sevenoaks saw Repton smartly pounce at the other end to take the lead. This was quickly followed with a stunning Repton reverse stick strike to add to their scoreline, with Sevenoaks pulling a consolation goal back at the call of time.

First-game nerves out of the way, Sevenoaks found full stride as they tore apart Sedburgh in their second game, with Annabel Cheveley (captain) netting an impressive four goals and Jess Fleming adding a fifth to finish off 5-0.

With all to play for in the final game against Kingston Grammar the game ebbed and flowed for the first half. Sevenoaks arguably had the lion’s share of chances in the first half but were unable to capitalise, Kingston taking their chances in minutes 27 and 28 to send themselves into the third/fourth playoff.

The Sevenoaks U14s finished third in the pool and should feel incredibly proud of their performances as one of the best eight teams in the country. They have an exciting future.

Squad: R McDeigan-Lee (G), O De Pury (GK), K Clyne, B Galloni (vice-captain), S Walker, I Whitefoord, S Knight-Thompson, E Watson, G Talbot, A Cheveley (Captain), L Stephens (vice-captain), J Fleming, T Green, A Tsang, P Gough-Cooper, I Moran, E Adcock, E Allen

 

U16s

The following day saw the U16s compete in the Tier 3 competition – new to England Hockey this year.

A fine start against Altrincham saw them comfortably win 3-0, with two goals from Captain Venetia Barker and one from Abi Scott. 

A wobbly first five minutes against Wrekin then saw Sevenoaks hit their stride, with all players contributing very well to the team performance – in-form striker Abi Scott giving Sevenoaks a 1-0 lead and Venetia Barker doubling it in the second half to win 2-0.

Last up were Truro who threw all they had at Sevenoaks. Elena Tsang got Sevenoaks off to the perfect start with a four-minute goal – only to see Truro level just two minutes later. However, Sevenoaks had their eyes firmly set on the final as Grace Reeve, Sasha Kelly and Rose Spurling all netted to secure victory at 4-1.

The round robin format saw the top two teams play a final – a re-match of the tight earlier contest between Sevenoaks and Wrekin – would Wrekin seek revenge?

With both teams now playing on centre stage, the walkout adding excitement to the already electric atmosphere; Sevenoaks found the perfect start as they won a corner in the first minute. Cue a super strike from Venetia Barker and the score hit 1-0 to settle the nerves.

A few passages of play and five minutes later Venetia Barker doubled the lead with a lovely finish close to goal to give Sevenoaks a 2-0 lead. Half time came and went; Sevenoaks searched for more goals as Wrekin searched for a reply, Alice Reeve expertly denying every chance and eventually the final whistle blew.

Sevenoaks were delighted to be crowned U16 Tier 3 National Champions 2019! They look forward to the journey beginning once again for next year.

Squad: A Reeve (GK), L Bullock, R Talbot (Captain), K Bassett, I Osborne, E Petry, M Wise, V Barker (vice-captain), G Reeve (vice-captain), E Langford, E Tsang, A Scott, D Friend, S Kelly, R Spurling, K Lavercombe

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