After an early start and a long drive to Wakefield, the U14 National squad were raring to go and determined to reach the National Finals!
During the first game against Cundall Manor, KGS started well and scored an early goal. Kirkham pressed to have majority of the possession and produced a great first half of hockey. After a solid 3-0 first half, the girls sat back a little and absorbed some pressure resulting in a 4-1 win.
The second game saw us meet Ampleforth College. The girls had a slow start against a physical team. However, KGS played the better hockey and came through as 2-1 winners.
To progress to the semi-final stage as group winners, KGS needed to secure a win against Hill House School. From the start KGS applied pressure, creating chance after chance on goals. A great team performance resulting in a 2-0 victory, lead KGS into the semi-finals against Wakefield High School for Girls.
The semi-final demonstrated a similar story: KGS had majority of play and numerous opportunities to score but Wakefield made it difficult with a solid defence. At the full time whistle, the score line was 0-0 resulting in a series of 5 penalty strokes. However, KGS kept their cool, and cruised through to the final beating Wakefield 4-2 on strokes.
In the other semi-final Hill House also beat Queens Chester on strokes which resulted in a Kirkham, Hill House final.
After a gutsy tournament so far, Kirkham now had to play for a place in the National Hockey Finals. From the start it was clear that this meant everything to every individual on the Kirkham team. In the first half, from a well worked penalty corner, Beth Dowbiggin scored the one and only goal of the match. The girls continued to apply pressure and battled to the end whistle to maintain the lead of KGS 1-0, which secured a place in the 2018 Investec U14 National Hockey Finals at the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.
A huge congratulations to Kirkham Grammar School U14 team!