Success at indoor hockey regionals takes Perse teams to nationals
Girls’ and boys’ teams are through to the National Finals of the EHB National Schools Indoor Hockey Competition, having successfully represented Cambridgeshire in the U16 girls’ and U18 boys’ East Finals.
On Saturday 29 November, the girls travelled to the University of Essex Sports Centre in Colchester, where they took on the County Champions from Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Essex, Kent and Bedfordshire. The day started well with a resounding 10-2 win over Queenswood. Ipswich School, last year’s national semi-finalists, showed The Perse what to expect at the next level, winning 3-0 as Perse chased the game. Strong wins against St Lawrence College (4-1) and then Coopers Coborn & Company School (5-1), left The Perse in a strong position to go through to the next stage. The team ended the tournament in style with a 7-0 win over Bedford Modern. Cambridge City 1st XI player Tess Howard led by example as captain, scoring nine goals on the day, supported ably by Anna Traherne (eight goals), while Ellie Harrison, Emily Russell, Plum Thatcher and Elizabeth Townsend all added to the goal tally. Sofia Baldelli, in goal, played a huge part in the team’s success, with Megan Rice and Sarah Howlett helping her ensure the team conceded only seven goals in the traditionally high-scoring indoor version of the game.
On the Sunday the boys took the initiative early on in the day and secured a 9-2 win over Bedford School, hosts of the boys’ East Finals, with hat-tricks from Freddie Perkins and Adam Crockett. Another emphatic victory followed, this time against Essex champions Forest School. With confidence high, Perse were put under significant pressure in their next two games, against Stamford School and Aldenham, winning both matches 3-2, with Mark Bishop’s hat-trick against Aldenham ensuring the side qualified for the National Finals. The last match of the day saw Perse play Ipswich School for the East crown. A high-tempo match earned great praise from the tournament officials. Having clawed back from 1-0 and 2-0 behind, Perse could not quite manage a third recovery, with Ipswich taking the title 3-2. Captain Conor Magowan was described by the team’s coach as ‘inspirational’ and goalkeeper Jamie Bolt was crucial in helping the team qualify.
Jon Peckett, Head of Hockey at The Perse said:
“I commend both teams for all the hard-work and dedication they have shown in their preparations. We are delighted to be progressing to the top indoor competition for schools, where The Perse has enjoyed success in the past. Our current crop of players are keen to continue our proud record in competing at the very highest level of the sport.”
The National Finals will be held in January, where each Perse team will face nine other teams from across the country. The Perse won four national titles back-to-back between 2007 and 2010.
The School’s U16 boys will be looking to emulate their teammates’ success when they travel to Bedford on Sunday 7 December for their East Finals.