Old LoughtoU14 GIRLS RUNNERS UP IN HOME COUNTIES LEAGUE FINALS:
On a hot, sunny day at Woking the Girls u14s played some outstanding hockey to claim the runners up spot in their league finals. They ran tirelessly and produced some lovely passing hockey and they were a credit to the club! After a strong display in the semi-final match against old adversaries Surbiton, they just failed to convert their chances in the D in a tense final against Reading. With only one goal in it the title could have gone either way, but Reading were too strong for them.
The girls started strongly in the semi-final against a good Surbiton side. The clubs had already faced each other twice this season and with the Loughts girls having won the previous two encounters. But the Surbiton side this time were very well organised and prepared. Jordan Homman the OLs playmaker, was man marked throughout the encounter, a compliment for her previous performances against them. Gaining possession early on the girls pressed hard with Katie Petyt looking dangerous down the right and Chloe Stack going close, but the Surbiton keeper was outstanding and made some impressive saves. Finally forcing a short corner, Jordan had a great shot well saved. Continuing with the pressure, Jordan and Beth Davies looked threatening and were unlucky not to be given more short corners. In the second half the OLs team remained on top and midway through the half, a quickly taken free hit found Beth Davies whose inch perfect cross found Melissa Brooks in the D who calmly flicked it into the net. Surbiton pressurised in the last few minutes but the OLs defence held firm; Olivia Corry marshalling the defenders beautifully.
In the final the girls found themselves facing a fast, well drilled Reading side. This was to be their hardest test of the season yet. The girls started cautiously and a tense midfield battle ensued. Eventually the OLs girls found some space - Daffodil Dhayaa and Jordan combining well. But the Reading keeper pulled off a fine save. With the scores still level, just before half time, a free ball found the most impressive Reading midfielder who carved her way through the Loughts defence, before releasing the ball into the path a Reading forward, who managed to slot into the net - a timely lesson for the young OLs defence.
In the second half, the Ols girls came out determinedly and soon created some chances. Jordan had a shot saved from a penalty corner, Maisy deflected the ball onto the post and Emily Lord went close. However Reading kept pressing and Phoebe Menear made a fantastic save from a Reading breakaway when the rest of her team were focused at the other end. Despite some late pressure the OLs girls could not get the ball in the net. Disappointment all round - but still a very creditable result. Next weekend they head to the National U14 Finals in Wakefield where they face City of York, Bournemouth and Beeston. Good luck girls!
Squad: Phoebe Menear, Charlotte Collier, Georgie Batt, Bethan Davies, Emily Lord, Daff Dhayaa, Stevie Southall, Katie Petyt, Melissa Brooks, Chloe Stack, Maisy Howson, Olivia Corry, Imogen Cayley, Annabelle Carver, Caitlin Black, Jordan Homman.