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Four Trent College sports teams have the chance to prove they can compete with the country's best after qualifying for their respective National finals.
The U13 girls' tennis team travel to Bolton this Saturday (10 December) for their national showdown, while the girls’ U14 and U18 hockey teams and the boys’ U16 indoor hockey team will all contest their national championships in the New Year.
They could also be joined by a fifth Trent College side - the U16 girls hockey team - who face a play-off to decide if they also qualify for their national finals having finished as runners-up in the Midlands regional competition.
The U13 girls booked their place in this weekend’s National Schools Aegon Cup Team Tennis final after clinching the Midlands title at the Tipton Sports Academy last month. The team of Hannah Gale, Eva-Lily Ellingham, Daisy Banks, Olivia Corfe and Ellie Fitzsimmons secured a regional semi-final whitewash against Shropshire's Moreton Hall, before overcoming Bedford Girls School 5-1 in the final.
The U14 hockey girls were also crowned Midlands champions without conceding a single goal in their five victories en route to regional final glory. Having beaten Loughborough High, Bablake and Malvern in the round-robin, Charlotte Pavis scored what would prove to be the decisive winner as Trent College defeated Oundle in the semis before Lily Morris and Niamh Johnson were on the scoresheet as the girls beat Loughborough again in the final.
They now travel to the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre at Olympic Park for the 2017 Investec National Schools Championships for Girls Finals on 28 February.
They will be joined by Trent College’s U18 girls, who will do battle for national honours on 1-2 March having themselves finished runners-up at last month’s Midlands finals. The U18s secured a nail-biting regional semi-final penalty flicks win over Rugby, with goalkeeper Phoebe Badcock making some match-winning saves, before missing out on the overall title to Repton in the final.
The U16 girls also reached their regional final but narrowly missed out 1-0 to Repton in the deciding match. As a result they now face the runners-up in the Northern region to seal a place at March’s nationals. If the girls are successful in making it through, it will be the first time that all three Trent College girls teams have qualified for the National Schools hockey finals in the same year.
Meanwhile in indoor hockey, the U16 boys will fly the Trent College flag at their nationals, which take place at Whitgift School on 13-14 January, courtesy of claiming runners-up spot at the Midlands finals in Wolverhampton on Sunday (4 December). However there was disappointment for the U16 and U18 girls and the U18 boys who all narrowly missed out on qualifying for their nationals with semi-final defeats, both girls’ teams on penalty strokes.
Adam Benstead, Trent College Director of Sport, said: “We are Midlands champions in the U13 girls tennis and U14 girls hockey, regional runners up in three others and semi-finalists in three more. That is an impressive performance across the board from our tennis and hockey players this term and we can’t wait to see what can be achieved by those teams who have qualified for the nationals, starting with the tennis on Saturday. We wish the girls well."
Mark Wadsley, Trent College Head of Hockey, added: “This is always a phenomenally busy time of year for our hockey players with many of the same players competing both outdoors and indoors, contesting county and regional honours in a bid to win the right to challenge for national titles. To have three, potentially four teams qualify, and for the chance of school history to be made in the process, it has certainly been a rewarding few weeks."