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Trent will bid to reinforce our claim to be one of the country’s top schools for girls' hockey after our Under 16 and Under 18 teams were crowned Midlands Indoor Champions to qualify for next month’s National Finals.
Never before have both our girls' teams won the regional title in the same year, with this being the first year the U16s have ever lifted the trophy. The U18s were previously Midlands Champions in 2015-16.
At the regional finals in Wolverhampton on 3 December, the free-scoring U18s hammered in 17 goals in their four pool games against Wellingborough (6-0), Rugby (2-0), Malvern (1-5) and Uppingham (8-0) en route to the semi finals. Here they inflicted defeat on local rivals Repton 2-1, thanks to goals from First Team Captain Georgina Hampson and Nina Apoola, to set up a final clash against Bromsgrove.
With the Midlands crown at stake, Hampson and Apoola secured victory, both scoring with instinctive finishes from excellent team moves. As captain of the team, Hampson stepped up to calmly convert a penalty stroke for her second goal of the game in the closing moments of the final.
Repton were also the U16s’ semi-final conquest, the Trent girls edging a 1-0 victory over our Derbyshire adversaries, courtesy of a great first time Emma Weston finish, to progress to a final showdown with RGS Worcester. They had earlier picked up three wins out of four over Uppingham (3-0), Kings High School, Warwick (3-1) and Worksop (2-0) to progress through their pool.
The final against RGS was a thriller. Goalkeeper Sofie ter Kuile made a string of fantastic saves from three early penalty corners before captain Sarah Spooner scored to settle the nerves. RGS equalised and then took a 2-1 lead, but the girls never lost belief and Weston scored two quick goals to close the game out and secure the trophy for Trent.
Both teams now travel to Bromsgrove for the national Super 6s Championships Finals from 12-14 January, already putting them amongst the top 10 schools in the country in each age group. However, with both Trent teams having finished as national runners-up in 2015-16, they would love to go one better and return to Long Eaton as champions this time round.
Mr Randall, our Head of Hockey, said: “I'm absolutely delighted for every player in both the U16 and U18 squads. They have been an absolute pleasure to coach as they have such a strong desire to improve all the time. They have all worked extremely hard all year and fully deserve the success they are having. Hopefully there is more to come from this fantastic group."
It has already been a record 12 months for girls' hockey at School with the U18s, U16s and U14s all qualifying for the National Outdoor Finals in the spring - the first time all three age groups had made it through in the same year - and the U14s claiming a historic bronze medal, while the U18s also finished in the top four schools in the country.
With heavy snow in Wolverhampton causing the postponement of the boys' Midlands Finals last week (10 December), our U16s missed out on the chance to qualify for their Nationals as they went out at the pool stage of their rescheduled regional finals hosted at Repton on Wednesday (13 December). The date and venue for the U18s boys' regional finals are to be confirmed.