Perse hockey team produce excellent performance at national finals
26 Feb 2020
The Perse School girls’ U14 hockey team produced a fine display in the Investec England Hockey national schools finals at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre.
They finished joint fifth after narrowly missing out on going through to the final four following a series of fantastic performances throughout the competition at the London 2012 Olympics hockey venue.
The team, who made it through to the finals after a 4-1 victory over The Grammar School at Leeds in a play-off last month, were unfortunate to lose their opening match 1-0 in an evenly-fought contest against eventual runners-up Epsom College.
However, they bounced back to beat Dean Close School 1-0 with a confident performance, May Busher finishing off an excellent team move for the only goal of the game.
With all four teams in the pool on three points after their first two matches, having each won and lost a game, it meant The Perse still had everything to play for going into their final pool encounter with Repton School.
May Busher gave The Perse the advantage with a goal moments before the interval following an exceptional first-half display, only for Repton to grab an equaliser during the second half as the game ended 1-1. With Epsom topping the group after beating Dean Close in their final pool game, The Perse were unfortunately edged out of second spot by Repton on goal difference.
Perse Director of Sport Glenn Kirkham, who coaches the team, was delighted with how the girls had played during the tournament.
He said: “To come into a group with hockey powerhouses such as Repton and Dean Close and get so close, I was really impressed by the girls’ performance.
“They’ve had a brilliant season all round and this was really the icing on the cake. This is a great group of hockey players who have performed really well this year and done themselves proud.
“A lot of the team talks beforehand were about not being scared because at that point you waste your opportunities. The worst thing for us is a fear of failure and I think they embraced that.
“Maybe we had a bit of a slower start, but that’s just getting into the tournament anyway and it was still a good performance.
“We really came alive against Dean Close and Repton when it could have been easy for us to go into our shells. We played some fantastic hockey and scored some really good goals, but in the end it just wasn’t quite to be.”
U14 Team: Bibi Elliott, Anabel Kaser, Charlotte Rye, Fenella Clarke, Holly Smith, May Busher, Alex Reimann, Xanthe Farman, Gabriella Zailer-Fletcher, Hannah Scotland, Beatrice Rogers, Grace Bennett, Izzy Rumsby, Eva Chivers, Lottie Smith, Ellena Izzard, Maya Taank.