Over the past week, it has been amazing to see so many of our King’s girls participating in our annual hockey fixtures against the Royal Grammar School, with every team playing.
All of our Fourth Formers (Years 7 and 8) have taken part across eight competitive matches and it was fantastic to see every girl involved, showcasing their great teamwork, super skills and enthusiasm for the game. The week started with two very exciting games in the U14 age group and it was brilliant to see the progress these teams have made throughout this first term. Both of the senior games were fantastic events, with the squads playing with excellent spirit and teamwork and both teams can be proud of their performances. Thursday saw another excellent day of hockey, with the U15 A and B teams displaying their talents. The last set of fixtures for the week saw the Lower Fourth (Year 7) take to the pitch, which was a superb way to end the week of fixtures!
Director of Sport, Mrs Miller-Symonds comments, “I am delighted to see so many girls involved in the hockey fixtures over the past week. It has been a thrill to watch some exciting games across the week, with end to end action, and great to see the progress all the teams have made so far this season. It has been a great opportunity to showcase the talent on offer from across all the age groups.”
Wednesday saw King’s 1st XI Hockey team put in an impressive performance against the Royal Grammar School. This fixture promised to be a great event, with this being the first year it has been played under the lights with a large crowd in attendance.
Having supported the 2nd XI in the afternoon, where the 2nd XI produced some excellent and well-worked hockey but unfortunately lost 4-1, the 1st XI travelled to Worcester International Hockey Centre.
The girls were excited to perform in front of a crowd and put in a dominant performance. The first quarter proved challenging for the team, as the girls were getting used to the conditions and struggled to settle into their game. Having soaked up the majority of the pressure and enduring a lack of possession, the girls defended valiantly, allowing the first quarter to end 0-0.
Moving into the second quarter, the girls were more composed but still struggled in advancing up the pitch to move the ball from defence to attack. In possession, the girls found it hard to play in the areas of the pitch we wanted to, with the majority of the play going down the left-hand side and the middle of the pitch, playing into the hands of RGS. A well-executed passage of play from RGS allowed them to convert their chance and go into halftime 1-0 up on King’s.
The game was still all to play for, with King’s successfully nullifying RGS’ attacking opportunities. After half time, as a team, their performance improved, as well as their composure on the ball. Playing more down the right-hand side, we increased the number of attacking opportunities we had. Unfortunately, we were still having a hard time progressing the ball up the pitch and playing forwards off our hit outs.
Going into the last quarter, with the score still 1-0, the girls knew there was nothing to lose and so had to put in a gutsy display. Still facing the same challenges as throughout the whole game, the girls were unable to create any successful attacking opportunities. To close the game, RGS were awarded three penalty corners in a row, which were fantastically defended by King’s, who maintained their composure under the pressure, meaning the game concluded 1-0 to RGS.
We were delighted to see that 17 out of the 18 girls attended our Foundation Prep Schools, with 12 of the girls going to King’s Hawford. This is where the girls found their love for hockey and where their knowledge of the game began.
Co-Captain, Jess W says of the experience, “Our determination and perseverance showed in defence and we fought well to shut down the pressure applied from the well drilled RGS attack. We are thankful for all of the support we enjoyed and the help from staff and hope this will be the start of another showcased fixture.”
Congratulations to RGS on their victory and thank you to both teams for delivering such a brilliant game. We are also very grateful to our wonderful, albeit limited, spectators who came along. We hope that next year we will be able to welcome everyone to the game again!
Co-Captain and Head of School, Charlotte M adds, “Although the result was a disappointment, I am proud of the whole team for fighting until the very end. It was also really good to play in front of a crowd and have an opportunity to celebrate girls’ hockey. Well played to RGS; it was a very enjoyable game to be a part of. Thank you to everyone who came to support; it was great to have a crowd!”
Well done to all the girls involved; you’ve done the school proud with a strong performance, some excellent play and great sportsmanship throughout the game.
Headmaster Gareth Doodes was impressed by the team’s performance, commenting, “I was so proud of our girls as they played with enormous energy and skill against an equally brilliant side. A huge thank you to RGS for hosting, and well done on your 1-0 victory. Here’s to next year!”
Congratulations to all the girls involved over the past week; it has been fantastic to see so much enthusiasm and talent on display, and excellent to see so much sportsmanship throughout all the fixtures!