Dean Close U14 girls have achieved a county double this season by winning the championship titles in both hockey and netball. This comes just a couple of weeks after the boys’ hit the national press for their rugby and hockey success.
The U14s County Hockey Cup was played at Dean Close School with Cheltenham College and Cheltenham Ladies College also entering. The first match was between Dean Close and Cheltenham Ladies College. After a slow start, an outstanding move and individual skill and finish from Caitlin Thompson put Dean Close 1-0 up. The team continued to dominate and scored two more goals to eventually win 3-0. Dean Close then played Cheltenham College and after a cagey first few minutes, the girls began to dominate. With a demonstration of good team play, the team took the lead and continued their domination to finish 5-0 winners and so become County Champions. The whole squad played very well and worked hard for each other. Four of the goals were scored by Lorna Wilmott with Ella Taylor, Caitlin Thompson, Lara Hill and Bella Chihota scoring one goal each. This was an excellent performance from this talented bunch of young women.
Inspired by the hockey and with seven members from that squad, the U14 netball team was ready for the next challenge, held at Cheltenham Ladies’ College. The girls maintained their focus throughout the group stages winning matches against Pates Grammar, Chosen Hill, Bournside, Archway and Stroud High. As winners of their group they progressed to the semi final which was against Cheltenham College. A strong start saw Dean Close take control of the game, winning 11-7, with confident shooting from Ella Taylor and excellent defensive play from Connie Davies and captain, Emily Cox. In the final, the team met Cheltenham Ladies’ College where the girls secured a rewarding win of 4-2 to take the County title and secure their place at the Regional School Finals as the top Gloucestershire team.
Director of Sport, Greg Baber-Williams, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the success of the hockey and netball teams and the girls’ involved within. It is just rewards for not only their hard work and commitment this year but also their overall progression within our prep schools. In addition, the Dean Close U13 girls’ have just been crowned IAPS Hockey champions for the first time and this again demonstrates just how well the girls’ are thriving with the opportunities and coaching available to them. A fantastic few weeks for girls’ sport for which we are immensely proud.”
Hockey Squad: Lorna Wilmott (c), Ella Tayor, Serena Ihle-Matthews, Connie Davies, Macy Williams, Lara Hill, Ffion Hillman, Connir Britton, Bella Chihota, Emma Howitt, Caitlin Thompson, Olivia Thomas, Livvy Mason, Amelie Lindsay, Elizabeth Houghton-Souness
Netball Squad: Emily Cox (c), Serena Ihle-Matthews, Connie Davies, Lara Hill, Connie Britton, Lorna Willmott, Ella Taylor, Kate Lily-White, Elizabeth Houghton-Souness, Amelie Lindsay