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    Posted On: 02/12/14

    East of England U16 Girls Hockey Champions

    After two full days of top class hockey Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport’s U16 Girls Hockey team have emerged as champions of the East of England, an area stretching from Lincolnshire down to Kent.  Having successfully negotiated their pool and a playoff match, on Thursday 20th November in Bedford, they were involved in a round robin event to try and win the Championship and a place in the National Finals on Tuesday 25th November at Redbridge.

    Their first game was against Felsted School. Both teams came out fighting and it was a battle that could have gone either way at the start. However Newport persevered, working hard as a team to put the pressure on the Felsted defence. After several onslaughts by Newport’s attackers; Paris Sterling Hendricks, Adelaide Omitowoju and Hannah Lindsell they managed to score a couple of well deserved goals.

    In the second match against Bishop Stortford College, Joyce Frankland Academy didn’t allow them to get into the game. The midfield, Harriet Barker, Lois Maguire and Victoria Hill worked tirelessly to put the pressure on to the College players to force the mistakes. With the quick rotation of Newport’s players; Lucy Hitchcock, Tia Jackson Owens, Amy Norman and Maddie Ludden meant we could keep the tempo of the game high and tire the College players. This tactic worked and Newport soon settled down to take command of the game. With some fast runs by Lois Maguire down the left side heavily supported by Victoria Hill and Harriet Barker Newport soon made the final score 3.0.

    Newport went into their last match against Perse School knowing that in order to win the tournament and secure a place in the National Finals they could afford to lose the game but with no more than 1 goal. It did not look good for Newport when Perse exerted early pressure and took the lead in the first few minutes of the game. This pressure was felt for much of the first half by the Newport’s defence; Rebecca Dale, Megan Capon, Lucy Dan, Eleanor Outhwaite. At one point Trixie Snow in goal had a 1 on 1 with a Perse forward and was forced to make a fantastic save to keep the team in the game. During half time Newport came together to discuss tactics. The team went out full of confidence knowing that they had 15 more minutes to give it their all. The new formation and man marking worked, Newport were able to take more control of the game and make a few attacks to test the Perse defence. After a few near misses Newport finally equalised to make the score 1.1. The game continued to be end to end with Newport’s other keeper Alice Watts making a vital save this time. On the final whistle Newport were awarded a penalty corner for a stick tackle. Hannah Lindsell injected the ball to Victoria Hill who blasted it past the Perse keeper to score the winning goal, Newport had won 2.1.

    Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport now go on to represent the East of England in the National Schools Finals on 24thand 25th February at Lee Valley, Stratford.  They will be one of eight teams – the champions of each of the five hockey regions together with the best three of the runners up.

    - Donna Anderson