Girls make history with first regional tournament win
The U14 girls’ hockey team have made history by winning the Midlands Schools’ Hockey Finals. After beating Denstone College 2-0, Ellesmere College 3-0 and a 1-1 draw with Bromsgrove School, they proceeded to play a semi-final against hockey powerhouse Repton School.
The semi-final was a tense affair with Rugby taking a lead midway through the first half. They then proceeded to defend very well as a team, restricting Repton to only a handful of chances, whilst creating plenty more opportunities to score themselves, but ultimately coming through victorious with a 1-0 scoreline.
In the final, they played against a Trent College side which they had beaten earlier in the term. Trent had played some great hockey during the tournament and were worthy rivals, but the girls stepped up another gear, in their fifth game of the day, producing a very fluid attacking performance and winning 4-0.
This is the first time that any Rugby team has won a regional hockey championship, with previous teams finishing runners-up before now. This is also the first time that Rugby has produced a girl’s team who will perform on the national stage in a major team game. The National Hockey Finals will take place on 27th February.
Master in charge of hockey, Mindy Dhanda, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for this group of girls. Having first won the county championship tournament and then their zone round, to come through the entire national schools tournament so far unbeaten is a real credit to the hard work of the girls and coaching team, and the commitment and enthusiasm that they show. “Our commitment to hockey has been shown in the past twelve months with the appointment of David Ames as our hockey development officer. He, alongside coaching company MT13 and the hard work of our GK coach Paddy Smith of Spartan Hockey, have helped to improve the skill level and hockey capability of all our hockey players, and this will continue to lead to success in the future.
“It has been a remarkable success story for girls’ sport this term, with five county championship titles won from the six that have been contested. Rugby are now the county title holders for U18 hockey (third year in a row), U16 hockey, U14 hockey, U19 netball and U14 netball.
This is also the first year that the U19 netballers have won through to the West Midlands Netball Finals which will take place in January. On the back of such a historic year for girls’ sport, we are planning to keep pushing hard and producing success such as this on a regular basis.”