Perse hockey teams enjoy success at national indoor finals

The Perse boys’ and girls’ U16 indoor hockey teams put in great performances to both finish joint-third in their respective England Hockey Schools Super 6s national finals.

It was the highest placing for a Perse boys’ side of any age group in the competition in the last decade as they rounded off their indoor season in style.

They had a tough start against hosts and eventual champions Whitgift, losing 3-1 despite a strong display marked by precise and intense defending and a fantastic solo goal from Thomas Goldsmith.

The boys responded with a 3-0 victory over Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School thanks to a penalty stroke from Henry Denny-Gouldson and further goals by Alex Filionescu and Ethan Smythe, while captain Alfie Piper made some excellent saves to ensure a clean sheet.

Qualification for the semi-finals was assured as they finished second in the pool following a 3-3 draw with The Manchester Grammar School.

Goals from Niall Graham, Henry Denny-Gouldson and Thomas Goldsmith helped the Perse into a 3-1 lead, only for their opponents to come back strongly to level the score. However, resolute defending prevented Manchester getting the winner they needed to go through.

In the semi-final against St George’s Weybridge, the team started well, but found themselves 2-0 down at half time. Thomas Goldsmith scored early in the second half, but as The Perse looked to get back in the game, they were hit on the break twice to go down 4-1.

Perse Assistant Director of Sport (Performance) Ravi Mahendra, who coached the side, said: “Joint-third is a fantastic achievement. The boys should be really proud of how they played on the day.

“It has been an incredibly successful indoor season. The boys have only lost two games all term to eventual winners Whitgift and runners up St George’s.”

Meanwhile, the girls’ team had an agonising penalty shootout loss to St George’s after making it through the semi-finals of their tournament.

They topped their group with Rosabel Clarke in hot form in front of goal, netting her first of the competition in the opening 1-1 draw with hosts Repton.

She added two more in the 3-0 win over Bradfield College, with Lottie Denny-Gouldson also on target, before scoring four in a 6-0 triumph against The Queen’s School, Maia Polonius and Lottie Denny-Gouldson providing the other goals.

Rosabel Clarke struck again in the 1-1 draw with St George’s in the semi-finals to finish top scorer in the finals with eight goals, but the Perse’s opponents edged the resulting shootout 2-1.

Perse Head of Hockey Ross Hayward, who coached the team, commented: “The squad have made superb progress over the course of the indoor hockey season.

“To perform how they did at the national finals is something the whole squad should be extremely proud of. Their achievement in finishing joint-third is amazing.”

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