King's Worcester

22 November

King’s Hockey Goes From Strength to Strength

It has been an exceptionally busy couple of weeks for all the hockey teams, with six regional tournaments, two cup games and junior hockey festival. It has been fantastic to see so many girls representing the school and playing with real teamwork, enthusiasm and commitment.

The U18 Indoor team travelled to Rugby to play their Midlands Zone. They had a real intensity to their play and put an experienced Oakham side under a lot of pressure.  A missed penalty stroke and conceding a corner goal after time, meant they lost the first game but there were many positives to take from the game. Eccelsbourne were up next, and a slow start cost the girls, as despite vast improvements through the game, they were unable to take their chances to get the three points. It was excellent to see the girls learn from the first two games to put in their best performance of the day against Rugby, earning them a well-deserved victory. They were reliant on results to go their way in the final group game to put them through to the Midlands finals but unfortunately missed out on qualification on goal difference. The girls should all be very proud of their performance and can take the positives into the rest of the outdoor season.

The U16 indoor team were a blend of players from Lower Fourth to Fifth Form and it was fantastic to see such a wide range of ages, playing together and helping each other develop their skills. They started the tournament against a strong Malvern side.  They defended very well for large phases of the game and showed the work rate that is required in the indoor version of the game. Unfortunately, they conceded a well worked short corner and were unable to make the most of their 1v1 opportunity. Next up were Bromsgrove and the girls improved their tactical play, applying pressure higher up the pitch causing numerous turnover opportunities. A fantastic team goal was scored, which included six pinpoint passes before the ball was played into an open goal. The final game of the tournament saw them face RGS, knowing a draw would put them through to Midlands finals. Despite lots of pressure and many opportunities saved through fantastic goal keeping, the girls conceded a late goal to knock them out. Despite their disappointment, the girls learnt so much from the experience and the importance of taking chances in tournament hockey. They are looking forward to applying their low barriers in to the outdoor season.

The U14 A and B team had to brave the horrendous weather conditions, when most were sheltering from the winds and floods on Thursday. The B team started the tournament well, with an action packed end to end game against Lichfield School. The girls worked hard and it was great to the see the team work on display. Their second game against Alcester Grammar was shortened due to the worsening conditions, but the girls should be very proud of the resilience they showed. The A team played some of their best hockey of the season against Denstone College, but unfortunately they could not score the goal they deserved and conceded one on the break. The lessons learnt from this will make all the girls better players and it was excellent to see their teamwork and support of each other as they progressed in to the next game. Repton are one of the strongest teams in the country but the girls matched their intensity and work rate, never giving them any time to pick their pass. All of the girls should be very proud of their individual performance, but most importantly how they have progressed as a team.

The 2nd team qualified to the Midlands Tier 4 Finals for the first time and produced some superb hockey throughout the day. The group was decided with a penalty shoot out, after identical results for King’s and Leicester Grammar School. The girls showed excellent composure under pressure, scoring three of their four flicks and Fleur saving three out of four, sent them through to a semi-final. They were unable to replicate their best hockey in this game and lost to a strong Rugby side. The girls should be very proud of their performance, finishing joint 3rd in the Midlands, which is as a result of their dedication and commitment throughout the season.

After an undefeated run in the County Tournament the U16s qualified for the Midlands Tier 3 Finals. The team faced tough opposition in their group and conceded late goals in both games, which meant they faced Kingsley in a 9th-10th placed play off. The girls were determined to learn from missed opportunities in the group and upped their intensity. They played with more width, which meant they had more space to play and gave them more attacking chances. A well taken goal with just two minutes left on the clock meant the girls finished the tournament on a high. The girls loved their day out and have developed both as individuals and as a team.

The first team faced Rugby in their third round ISHC cup match.  After playing them earlier in the week in the indoor competition they knew it would be a very even game. It was fantastic to see them implement their low barrier defending, from indoor, so effectively which led to so many turnovers. The girls played with so much passion, reflected through their intensity and winning every 50:50 contest and it was excellent to see everything they have been working on come together so effectively. They will now travel to Reigate for the next round, hoping to continue to build their performances.

The U15s faced Princethorpe in their ISHC cup match. The lessons you learn when facing tough opposition, can help you develop and the girls certainly developed throughout the game. They never once lost heart and improved their individual defending, showing the resilience and character that epitomises this team.

The U12 and U13 teams travelled to a Hockey festival at Cheltenham Ladies College and again had to battle the elements. Both teams showed excellent spirit throughout their matches and responded well to feedback from their teammates and coaches. This enabled them to make huge improvements throughout the day. The 12s were undefeated all day finishing with a tight victory against The Elms in the final. The U13s missed out on the final, but should be very pleased with their impressive defensive display throughout the tournament.