Rugby and East Warwickshire Hockey Clubs’ under 12 boys and girls enjoyed a fantastic day at the Midlands regional finals on Sunday at Beeston Nottingham.
After both being crowned county champions a few weeks earlier the girls stormed through the group stages with three wins out of three.
As the knock out opposition were announced it was clear that no easy games would follow but an impressive and well-disciplined win was gained over Leicester to reach the semi-finals.
Worcester were formidable opposition in the semis but with a well drilled team performance Rugby held out and defended resolutely. With penalties looming and the coaches thoughts turning to choosing the penalty stroke takers, Worcester scored in the dying seconds leaving Rugby no time to respond.
A third/fourth play-off followed which saw Rugby take on the might of Cannock and this was a flowing game with both teams creating chances. Stalemate at full time meant penalties and Rugby’s first two were saved but Cannock couldn’t convert either which effectively took it to sudden death.
Rugby’s keeper then pulled off a fantastic save diving to her right leaving Rugby’s final taker to calmly slot the ball in the corner so making the team the third best side in the whole of the Midlands.
This was a tremendous effort from all the girls showing that good teamwork and determination produces results and the whole club is very proud of their achievement.
The boys under 12 team followed in the afternoon and with two comprehensive wins in their first two games they became a little complacent and forgot the team work style of play that had rewarded them so well and suffered a one nil defeat to Burton in their final group game.
However, they still emerged as group winners and subsequently secured two comprehensive wins in the initial knock out stages to set up a semi final against Lichfield. Another impressive display produced a three nil triumph which set Rugby nicely up for a final against hosts Beeston.
After an opening five minutes of Beeston dominance the hosts took the lead through a well struck shot in the corner.
Rugby’s forwards then responded instantly carving their way through the Beeston side with some flowing passing hockey to level the score. A second goal followed and Rugby then comfortably closed the game out to become Midlands Champions and will represent the region in the National Finals this weekend.