Perse girls’ hockey team reach U13 national finals for the first time
The Perse U13 girls’ hockey team have been crowned East champions after winning all their matches at the regional finals.
Their reward for claiming the title is a place in the national finals of the English In2Hockey Schools Championships next May.
They set the tone for the East tournament at Redbridge by beating Norwich School 3-0 in their opening game with captain Bella Howarth scoring twice and Bella Ely also on target.
The Perse followed it up with a 2-1 success over Sevenoaks School, with a brace from Emma Harris, and topped their pool after defeating Felsted School 3-1 courtesy of goals from Bella Howarth, Bella Ely and May Busher.
Bella Howarth then grabbed the only goal as the team won 1-0 against Queenswood School in a qualification match to make it into the last four, but they also had goalkeeper Thea Ancliff to thank for making a couple of good saves during the game.
The remainder of the competition took the form of a round-robin tournament and the Perse got off to a great start with a 3-2 triumph against Framlingham College, with Bella Howarth, May Busher and Bella Ely on the score sheet.
They then edged out Gresham’s School 2-1, thanks to strikes by Emma Harris and May Busher, before beating Orwell Park 3-0 (Bella Ely 2, Bella Howarth) in their last match to take the overall honours.
Assistant Director of Sport and Head of Hockey Jon Peckett said: “They did brilliantly. It was a phenomenal effort and every player made a big contribution.
“This is a fantastic achievement for the squad and it’s the first time that a Perse girls’ team has reached the national finals in this age group.”
Perse squad: Emily Martinez-McCune, Amelia King, Eliza Massey, Emma Harris, Bella Howarth, Bella Ely, Alice Ede, Thea Ancliff, May Busher.