Prior Park U18 Hockey do Bath and Avon Proud

04 Dec 2012

Avon County Champions, Prior Park College, went on to qualify through the preliminary round to the last 8 schools for the West of England Under 18 Hockey finals on Sunday 11 November. Prior’s first game was against a very good Dean Close squad who went on to be finalists and may still qualify for the National finals. Prior got off to a good start with early pressure on Dean Close. Prior’s defence was tested and responded well, but Dean Close were clinical in the circle and took their chances. Prior were strong in possession but failed to convert their opportunities. Despite an evenly matched 40 minutes of high octane hockey, the score told a different story with Prior losing a brutal sounding 0-4. Prior then regained their attacking flair to secure a convincing 5-0 win over Bryanston. Prior then had to go straight into their next pool game against Blundells who had some threatening and pacey players who eventually broke through to take the lead. Prior composed themselves well and countered effectively to equalise. Both teams worked hard to try to engineer an overlap or exploit any weaknesses. Both teams had played nearly 2 hours of intense hockey when Prior made a break and executed a beautifully set up cross to take a 2-1 lead to secure their place in the semi-final.

Prior then faced the winners of the other pool, Millfield who are always one of the strongest schools in the West. Prior quickly responded to early pressure and showed how creative and composed they can be in possession. Both teams played some excellent hockey which saw Millfield score first, but Prior soon equalised and were the dominant team in the second half. Prior sustained the pressure on Millfield’s
defence and their goal keeper had to produce some fabulous saves all around the circle to deny several Prior entries the winning goal. Penalty flicks followed and Millfield’s strength and power took them through to the final where they beat Dean Close taking them to the National Finals.

Prior Park College Headmaster, James Murphy O’Connor, was very proud of how well the girls played, their fantastic attitude, determination and skill; “The tenacity of the girls is remarkable. If we have any concerns that the legacy of the GB team at the London Olympics is already diminishing, we need only look at the skill and the determination evident at this tournament to have those concerns allayed.”

Pic Back L-R Alan Hall (Coach), Esther Haskins, Eleanor Gallegos, Harriet Freeman, Mollie Roberts, Connie Redman, Laura Eyles, Olivia Matthews, Harriet Gallegos.
Middle L-R Gabby Chapman, Jenny Dinwoodie, Charlotte Robinson, Mollie Hunt, Eliza Matthews, Lucia Heseltine.
Front L-R Nicole New and Anna Haskins.