Silver lining for Perse hockey team in national cup

The Perse girls hockey 1st XI rounded off an excellent season by finishing runners-up in the England Hockey U18 Tier 2 National Schools Cup.

They narrowly lost 1-0 to Alleyn’s in the final at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre, having come through six rounds to reach this stage.

In the early stages of their cup run, they beat Felsted 4-0, Gresham’s 8-0, King’s Ely 7-0, and Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School 6-2.

The Perse then defeated Bedford Girls’ School 4-0 and Loughborough High School 2-0 at home in the quarter and semi-finals respectively to set up their encounter with Alleyn’s.

Among the squad for the final was Holly Smith (Upper Sixth), who was playing her first school fixture for two-and-a-half years following a long-term injury.

Playing with energy and purpose, the team started well and created some good opportunities as the game remained goalless at half time.

Alleyn’s put The Perse under pressure in the early stages of the second half, but the girls remained defensively resilient.

With both teams standing firm at the back, the match looked to be heading for a penalty shootout until Alleyn’s broke the deadlock with four minutes to go.

The Perse pushed hard for an equaliser and won a penalty corner late on but were unable to convert the chance.

Perse Head of Hockey Ross Hayward said: “The whole squad have been fantastic all year. They have played some excellent hockey and been a great group to coach and support.

“They fully deserved to be in the final of the competition and on another day, the result could have gone in our favour. Several of the squad are in Upper Sixth and they have dedicated a huge amount towards Perse hockey over the years. I’d like to thank them for the effort and commitment they have given during their time at the school.

“I hope the player group looks back on the season with fond memories. The squad have set some excellent standards for future Perse girls’ hockey teams to follow.”

National Final squad: Bibi Elliott, Charlotte Rye, Fenella Clarke, Anya Stafford, Hannah Gordon, Eva Chivers, Xanthe Farman, Rosabel Clarke, Millie Ely, Amelia Smith, May Busher, Lottie Smith, Verity Valentine, Constanze Topel, Izzy Rumsby, Holly Smith, Ella Davidson

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