For the fifth successive year, the Cheltenham
College U16 girls’ hockey squad has retained the County Title and will now go
through to represent Gloucestershire in the West Preliminary Finals, to be held
in early November. Meanwhile, a step ahead of the U16 girls, the girls’ U18
squad enjoyed success at their own West Preliminary Finals and have qualified
for the next stage: The West Finals.
For the U16s, the day began with a comfortable
3-0 win over St. Edwards, followed by an almost perfect display of hockey against
Wycliffe College to result in a 5-0 win. The final pool game was a closely
fought match against Pates, punctuated with superb defense and a 1-0 win for Cheltenham
College. A motivational chat from team captain Fran Ball and the coaching staff
ensured the squad was well prepared and focused for their semi final against
Balcarras. From the outset the Cheltenham girls dominated, notching up an
impressive 6-0 score line.
With qualification secured to the regional
rounds, the honour and title of county champions was at stake in the final.
Standing in the way was local rival Dean Close and once again the girls went
about the game with a sense of purpose and determination. This saw them take a 3-0
lead and only with the last hit of the game did College goalkeeper Bethan
Morris finally concede a goal. The final score was 3-1; a well deserved victory
for the talented team.
The squad now goes through with great
confidence to the West Preliminary Finals which will be held on 8 November.
The U18 girls had a slightly tougher time on
the pitch in their West Preliminary Finals, with some fierce opposition denying
them many opportunities at goals. The girls started strongly with a well
deserved win (1-0) over Prior Park but a closely contested second match had the
Cheltenham girls only drawing 0-0. In order to qualify, they had to score a
goal in their third and final match against Marlborough College. Captain
Georgie Gunn rose to the occasion however and succeeded in finding the back of
the net right in the closing minutes. The girls now go on to the West Finals on
Gwyn Williams, Head of Hockey at Cheltenham
College commented: “Both squads fully deserved their wins and played some excellent,
consistent hockey on the day. The U16 squad was particularly impressive and the
girls should be commended for their commitment and teamwork to each game. To
win this County title five years in a row is a remarkable achievement and we’re
very much looking forward to competing at the next level.”