By Mariela Walton, Teacher of Girls’ PE & Games
On Thursday the U14 girls’ hockey team made the long trip to Burgess Hill to participate in the UKSA 7-A-Side Hockey Tournament.
Looking at our opposing teams, we knew it would be a tough day, and our first game saw us facing Benenden School. Bedales dominated the game from the outset and an early goal from Ottilie Douglas gave us the lead we needed. A brief lapse in concentration gave Benenden all the opportunity they needed to sneak a quick goal, which saw the scores tied. Our second goal came from an excellent short corner strike from Sage Bidwell, which she hammered into the bottom left corner, giving us our first win of the day.
After a brief rest, we then faced Caterham, who were also strong. An extremely even end-to-end game was played with both teams trying – but failing – to convert numerous goal scoring opportunities. In the final minutes of the game, Izzy Land gave us our winning goal, with a textbook strike from the right post.
For our final match in the pool stages we faced Burgess Hill. They were an excellent side, and despite our best efforts, they were able to walk away with a 2-0 victory.
As the runners-up in Pool A, we then played the winners of Pool B – St Bede’s. They proved to be too strong for us, and although we put up a good fight, the three time winners of this tournament were able to walk away with the win.
This left us to play in the bronze medal match against Sevenoaks School. Within the first five minutes of the game, Sage Bidwell took a hockey ball to the face and was therefore unable to play for the rest of the game. However, her teammates stepped up to the challenge and played their best hockey of the day, with Greta Stillwell and Ottilie Douglas scoring two fantastic goals which secured our bronze medal for the tournament.
An excellent performance from all of the girls achieving third position out of eight, and displaying some brilliant hockey. On Friday, the team (plus a now recovered Sage Bidwell) travel to Southampton to participate in the Hampshire Trophy Competition – best of luck to them all.