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Home > News and Events > Brilliant bronze medals for hockey champions

Brilliant bronze medals for hockey champions

11 Feb 22

Mrs Rix reports on the championship finals in Nottingham.

The Girls 1st Hockey team set off on Sunday afternoon for Nottingham to take part in the England Hockey U18 T4 Championships Finals!  Ella W and Esme still had the small task of all day rehearsals for Grease, and got on the road a bit later to join the team for dinner.  (As an aside we can’t wait to see Ella and Esme perform on a completely different stage next week!). It was great to finally be on our way after starting the journey back in September, winning the Suffolk County Cup. Then getting through the Regional Qualifying rounds, before winning the East Finals to have the honour to represent the region at the finals.  The team continued preparing, training twice a week, through mocks, starting their netball season, Year 11’s playing at the Regional Netball Finals a weekend before, two great training games against the 1st team Boys and the U15A boys… Finally our the day had arrived. 

The tournament day started with frosty pitches, delaying the team practice time and the start of the event.  Everyone was keen to get going and when the short practice time was finally allowed every player looked in good form.  The first match saw Woodbridge dominate their opponent, Oxford High School, but just not getting the ball to go in the goal.  Great goalkeeping at both ends kept things very close.  Woodbridge kept peppering the goal and stuck to their principles, showing good midfield and defender transfers, getting lots of balls up to the forwards early and defending with structure and discipline.  Finally the work and persistence paid off when co-captain, Clara slotted the goal which proved to be the winning one. Woodbridge showed composure to run down the clock and take a close but well deserved win. 

Next up was Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  Woodbridge again dominated, but kept being denied throughout the first half.  In the second half it was Woodbridge who had to defend a bit more.  The match was intense and you just felt more time was needed, but in the end the clock ran out and a draw still left us in a very good position.  It was all to play for in the final pool game against Hill House.  The early exchanges again belonged to Woodbridge, again being denied by the post, good goalkeeping and luck to the opposition.  Hill House scored against the run of play, before Woodbridge came back when Molly swept a reverse stick effort into goal.  The match became more and more physical with all players pushing the limits.  Hill House was awarded a surprising penalty stroke, but Issy was up to it!  What a save! And we were still in it.  Another decision went against Woodbridge late in the game, resulting in a penalty corner, which ended in a goal after a few phases.  No time left to get back into the game despite the team working so hard in the dying seconds.  Sport is such that you sometimes feel you have been robbed, but the true team of character they are, the players stuck to their principles of humility and integrity and took their loss and got ready to give their all in the Bronze medal match. 

Enough has been said and written, so lets just say it was a match to remember for all who were there and a part of it.  The hard work the team put into that game, like it was their first of the day and no sign of fatigue, is still unbelievable.  Too many magic moments to report on (match winning tackles, saves, passes, presses – and Molly’s drag flick!), and ultimately pure joy for a group of players who have been through so much this season: won and lost together, laughed and cried together – and who now own a Nationals Bronze medal. 

Well done to each and every player.  Thank you to the parents for the fantastic support in Nottingham and from back home.  Thanks to the staff who have supported the players and helped them to manage all that they do.  Three cheers for the 1st team who have shown us excellence, character and respect in everything they have done on and off the pitch.  We say farewell to our Year 13’s who leave a legacy and a bit of history behind.   

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