Play-off victory earns Perse hockey team national finals spot
31 Jan 2020
The Perse U14 girls’ hockey team are heading for the national schools finals following a 4-1 win in their play-off at home to The Grammar School at Leeds.
Hannah Scotland opened the scoring following a neat move before May Busher doubled The Perse’s advantage just before half time with a skilful finish from close range.
As the home side applied further pressure early in the second half, May Busher scored again to make it 3-0. The visitors pulled one back soon after, but May Busher competed her hat-trick with an excellent strike from a tight angle following a quick breakaway.
Perse Director of Sport Glenn Kirkham, who coaches the U14 team, was pleased with how the girls had battled to victory.
He said: “It was really tight in the first half. GSAL were a good team and there was perhaps a little bit of nerves at the start of the game which made it quite scrappy. We got a bit of a break with the first goal, but that settled the nerves and we started to play some nice hockey.
“At 3-1, it was a little bit nervy again, but a calm finish for our fourth goal put the game to bed.”
The Perse are now into the last eight and will meet Epsom College, Dean Close School and Repton School in their pool at the Investec England Hockey schools finals, being held at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre on 25 February.
Mr Kirkham said: “It’s brilliant for these girls to make it through. We talked about the national finals as a target at the start of the season because we think this is a really talented group of girls, but you never want to get too far ahead of yourselves. To get through the play-off to reach the finals is fantastic.”
Meanwhile, the Perse U16 girls’ team narrowly missed out on a place in the last four of the national schools cup following a 4-2 defeat at home to Headington School in their quarter-final.
Their Oxford opponents took a 2-0 advantage before Freya Stafford blasted home from a short corner just before half time.
Bella Izzard equalised for The Perse after the interval as she fired a drag flick into the roof of the net from another short corner, but Headington went on to score twice more to take the victory.
Team coach Dan Cross was proud of how the girls played on the day and throughout the campaign.
He said: “It was tough to lose, but they gave it everything. They trained so hard, played with such passion, commitment and energy, I couldn’t have asked for more. They should all be so proud of their performances over the season.”