Within the last few days, Dean Close U14 girls have reigned supreme in both hockey and netball, qualifying for the nationals and regionals respectively.

Last Thursday the girls played in the U14 West Finals and won for the first time since in over 15 years, qualifying for the National Finals in February.

The tournament took place at Clifton College and in the group stages, the team played Taunton first in a tough match which they managed to win 1-0 with a goal from Millie Watkins. The second match was against St Mary’s Calne and Dean Close won comfortably 5-0, then in the last group match against Hereford Cathedral School also won, this time 3-0, putting them into the quarter finals. Next they played Exeter School and in a competitive match, Dean Close ran out 2-0 winners. The semi final opposition was to be Marlborough and Dean Close got off to a good start and went 2-0 up with goals from Fifi Russell and Susie Carter but Marlborough fought back. Near the end of the match, Marlborough had a short corner which Helena Montgomery saved superbly on the line. A good match ended 2-1 to Dean Close. Making it into the final, Dean Close played Blundell’s and after a excellent performance from the whole squad at the end of a long day, ran out 3-0 winners and became West Champions and National Finalists.

Uplifted by the success on the hockey field, yesterday the U14 Netball Team won the County Tournament held at Cheltenham Ladies’ College crowning them County Champions. It was an excellent day of netball with the talented group remaining unbeaten all day.

They held their own in the group stages beating Stroud 9-7. They then went on to play a talented Archway side which saw the tenacious Dean Close team come back from 6-7 down to win 8-7. The two final group games were against Cotswold School winning 12-1 and Dene Magna winning 11-4. By topping the group the girls progressed to thequarter finals to play Gloucester High School for Girls and a confident performance secured an 11-7 win. With the two top teams of the day progressingto Regional Finals it was all about winning the semi final which was against local rivals Cheltenham Ladies’. Under great pressure from the home team, the girls went 3-0 down. Dean Close were definitely on the back foot. However with grit and resilience the girls got the score back to 3-4. Dean Close were getting back to their best and scored two goals in succession levelling things out to 5-5. With it all level at full time Cheltenham Ladies’ were in possession for golden goal. Showing great athleticism Alice Howitt gained possession with a superbinterception. Dean Close showed composure and the winning goal was claimed by Susie Carter. The final was against Farmor’s School and riding high after a nail-biting semi final, Dean Close played smart and won 12-7.

Congratulation to all our talented U14 girls who have had an incredible week.