The girls headed off to Lancing College on Monday 25 September for the U11 Seven-a-Side Hockey Tournament. The tournament commenced at 13:30 and consisted of 3 groups with 4 teams in each. The girls were placed in group 2 along with Brighton Hove, Windlesham and St Christophers. The pool games were played with 10 minutes one way and the semi-finals were played 15 min one way.

The first game of the afternoon for the girls was against St Christophers. The girls were slightly nervous for their first game, but after a few minutes they settled in quite nicely and scored the first goal of the game. Annabelle and Biba played extremely well together in the centre and Zara assisted the first goal, scored by Biba. Unfortunately St Christopher’s also continued to score a goal, which resulted in a 1-1 tie. Amreet had a superb defensive game for Copthorne.

The second game, was the girls best game by far. As a team they worked wonderfully together in creating opportunities and their passing was what gave them the upper hand. The girls played Brighton and Hoveand walked away with a 3-0 win. Kiera and Robin played creatively on the righthand side, resulting in three great runs down the line that resulted in short corners. Amelie also saved two shots at goal which prevented the opposition from scoring any. Zara was awarded man of the match by the Lancing umpires as her and Biba worked fantastically together in the D to score goals. Zara scored two goals, assisted by Biba and Robin and Biba scored the third goal. Robin had a particularly fantastic game, working back on defense as a forward and stealing many balls from the other teams possession.

The last game of the pool stages was against our toughest opposition, Windlesham House. They, like us, were unbeaten in the pool games. The girls had a fantastic defensive game and worked extremely hard to keep the Windlesham players away from our D. The game resulted in another tie, of 1-1 with the goal being scored by Biba. It was an absolutely delightful match with both teams being equal on the playing field.

Because both Windlesham and Copthorne finished tied in the pool, the placing came down to goal difference. Windlesham had one more goal than us and so therefore proceeded to finish top of the pool. The girls nonetheless went on to the semi-finals to face Burgess Hill. Unfortunately the girls lost the semi-finals but put up an extremely good fight and can be recommended highly on their tenacity. Burgess Hill went on to win the tournament after facing Windlesham in the final.

The tournament provided an exceptionally organized atmosphere with an opportunity for the girls to get extra match experience and learn to play with each other this early in the season. There is lots of room for improvement but the tournament was a great learning experience for the girls. I am extremely proud of the girls for finishing in the top 4 out of 12 teams. Well done girls!