Once again, Dean Close U18 girls have qualified for the National Hockey Finals taking place at the Olympic Stadium, Lee Valley, later this month.
To win their place, the girls faced Kingston Grammar School at the end of last week in front of a large and noisy home crowd. In a tight first 20 minutes, the team had to defend well with Grace Greaves and Grace Starling both being outstanding. Dean Close created chances through Danielle Gibson and midway through the first half, after a good run from Danielle, Katie Humphreys took the shot scored from close range. The team then scored a second goal from Maddie Pendle to go 2-0 up. After this, Dean Close began to have more possession and after a great run and pass from Jess Thomas, Danielle Gibson scored an excellent reverse stick goal to make it 3-0. The second half took a similar pattern, with no goals for the first part of an even half until Danielle Gibson scored an excellent individual goal to make it 4-0, following up with another brilliant run to complete her hat trick and a 5-0 score line. Towards the end of the match Kingston managed to grab a goal making the final score 5-1. This meant the Dean Close girls were through to the National Finals at Lee Valley alongside the U14s team too, an amazing achievement for all the girls.