The 1st Hockey team just missed out on a spot in the fourth round of the England Hockey U18 Plate Competition by going out on penalty strokes against New Hall. The much anticipated third round match was played at an excellent tempo on a cold and rainy afternoon at New Hall School. Woodbridge relied on good team play and passing, defending their deep areas against two particularly talented opponents and making good tackles and clearances in the D. A highlight was Sophie’s play in goal, penalty corner defence and the sheer guts and determination shown by the players, with Eleanor and Annabel outstanding. Meanwhile at the other end, Woodbridge had a few scoring chances of their own rebuffed by an equally in-form goalie. Woodbridge tweaked the formation very effectively for the second half, and despite conceding an early goal looked increasingly dominant: Joanne and Flora P injected pace on the right; Flora J was dictating play on the left; and now Woodbridge really opened up the match. Penalty corners…. Ianthe’s drag flicks well saved; a post hit; and at last the pressure told as Ianthe flicked the ball over the GK. With time running out Woodbridge kept pushing, and Poppy and Sophie both offered constant threat, but New Hall held strong. The match ended 1-1 and it was up to a penalty stroke competition: New Hall was absolutely clinical in theirs, and although Ianthe scored for us it was not enough as New Hall won it 3-1. We wish New Hall well in the next round. Woodbridge had some very strong performances. Mollie led from the front, Ianthe was pivotal in midfield, Flora J again had a very solid match, Annabel was influential, Eleanor stepped in front of her player to win the ball every time, and Flora P impacted the match very well in the second half. But ultimately Sophie L’s saves kept us in the game from the start to earn a very well-deserved player of the match.