U14 Girls A reach Tier 2 National Finals with convincing 3-0 win over Devizes

Match Report by Georgie Castle

The U14A’s went head to head with Devizes Hockey Club in the semi-final of the Tier 2 Cup in Southgate’s glorious Sunday sunshine.

The girls (off of their own backs) arrived ahead of the scheduled time to practise short corners and long transfers round the back and flirted with the idea of shuffles should they end up in a draw. The atmosphere was positive amongst them even though there were nerves simmering away under the surface smiles.

The girls began play convincingly and pressured Devizes from the outset. The press by the front line (Martha, Goo, Isla and Ava)  was magnificent and worked beautifully – Devizes were rattled and struggled at every 16 yard. Chances at goal came early for Southgate but the back of the box seemed to elude them (not helped by the fact that the Devizes Keeper had immense presence and was fantastic). After pure grit and determination Isla scored the opening goal and the balcony erupted. Devizes made an impressive counterattack which saw the only proper shot on goal go wide of the post much to Southgate’s relief.

Half time came and strategies were communicated by Matt to how to win the second half. A short corner came early on but sadly the lifted Genevieve goal was disallowed as the ball hadn’t been received by Annabelle outside the dotty circle (one to practise)! The girls continued to dominate the match with epic work going in from the midfield (Genevieve, Lucienne and Annabelle) they tirelessly fought for every ball and some phenomenal drives and passes were made. One such period of play saw a scrappy but successful goal scored by Goo 2-0 to Southgate. Another short corner was won and another goal was disallowed! Devizes began to look defeated and weren’t being allowed to play the game they wanted to. Southgate kept on pressing and were rewarded by an Annabelle goal to secure their 3-0 defeat over Devizes.

The girls now skip their way to the final in Nottingham against Khalsa Leamington.

AN ENORMOUS CONGRATULATIONS goes to the U14A squad and Matt for such a tremendous achievement – joint top of the table in Tier 1B with Surbiton (missing 1st place on goal difference) and Tier 2 National Cup Finalists.