HOCKEY: Loughts Under-16s win National Championship (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
Send photos, video and news by texting GUARDIAN SERIES to 80360 (cost 10p), or email us
Old Loughtonians Under-16 girls win National Indoor Championship
5:50pm Thursday 23rd January 2014 in Sport
Old Loughtonians Under-16 girls emerged victorious from the National Indoor Championship in Wolverhampton last weekend.
The first day got off to the perfect start with Loughts winning both pool matches, 2-0 against Wycombe and 3-2 against Isca in an edgy match which they had led by two goals twice but ended with some frantic defending.
The girls returned the following morning to play Wakefield first who were left shell-shocked with the girls' explosive start swhich saw two goals in the first 90 seconds.
Although in control and dominating possession the girls couldn't add any more and 2-0 was the final result.
Nine points from three games though was still not a guarantee of a semi-final place with Wycombe looking good to secure nine points and Lichfield knowing a win in the last pool match against OL would send them through.
With a semi-final place on the line the girls were not going to be denied and again stepped up the pace and intensity against Lichfield, racing into a 3-0 lead and then keeping possession and controlling the tempo of the game to ease through to a semi-final place with a 4-1 win.
Runners up in Pool A were Bath Bucaneers who enjoyed impressive wins against Surbiton and Beeston earlier in the day to secure their semi-final place.
The girls were again on the front foot and took the lead after five minutes when Alice who had just subbed on picked the ball up at the top of the D and fired a perfect shot into the bottom left corner.
Tash added a second and the girls eased through 2-1 with Bath, grabbing a consolation goal in the last 20 seconds.
In a re-match of last year's final the girls were to face holders Beeston who had looked impressive in their 4-2 semi-final win over Wycombe.
The OL girls again pushed their game to new highs with an intensity and workrate that Beeston couldn’t match.
The girls opened the scoring with Alice deflecting the ball past the Beeston goalkeeper. Beeston were soon back on level terms but the girls were not to be fazed.
Sian, Megan, Izzy and Annie were putting in suicidal shifts to force Beeston back and break up their smooth build up play. With Tash and Chloe dictating the tempo from the back the girls were soon back in control with Tash slotting in a short corner and Izzy making it 3-1 at halftime.
Hannah and Naomi were outstanding in goal to deny Beeston any chance to get back into the game. A cool finish from Izzy after Tashs surging run down the boards made it 4-1 sealing the win and the title.
A special mention to Emma (Sharpie) who had played magnificently the first day but had had to sit out most of Sundays action due to a suspected fractured toe but was hopping around and cheering the girls on.
Team: Tash (C)(5), Hannah (GK), Naomi (GK), Chloe (4), Izzy (4), Megan, Annie (1), Alice (3), Sian and Sharpie.