We're thrilled to announce that both our Boys U18s and Girls U18s Hockey teams have successfully qualified for the prestigious National Indoor Hockey Finals, set to take place on Thursday, December 7th. It's a testament to their exceptional skill and determination.
The Boys U18s team will be competing at Whitgift School, Croydon, embarking on a challenging day with matches scheduled as follows:
- Kickoff against Peter Symonds at 11:15 am
- Clash with Ipswich at 12:55 pm
- Face-off against Yarm at 2:10 pm
Simultaneously, the Girls U18s team will be showcasing their prowess at Repton School, engaging in equally exciting matchups:
- Opening game against Wellington College at 11:15 am
- A challenging encounter with Repton on their home pitch at 12:55 pm
- A final group stage match against Kings Chester at 2:10 pm
The anticipation builds as both teams aim for victory to secure a spot in the Semi-finals, scheduled to kick off at 4 pm. The pinnacle of the competition, the Finals, is set for 5:30 pm. We wish our talented athletes the best of luck as they represent Dean Close in this highly anticipated and competitive event! 🏑🏆 #DeanCloseHockey #NationalFinals #RoadtoVictory
Below is the individual competition reports for the teams winning the West Indoor Finals, taking them to the National Finals:
U18s Girls Hockey Report on the West Indoor Finals
Dean Close's U18s Girls' Hockey team showcased exceptional skills and determination as they secured a spot in the National Finals by triumphing in the West Finals at Wellington School.
In the group stage, they faced stiff competition from Monkton Combe, Exeter, and Kings Bruton. After notching up two impressive wins, they drew the final group match against Kings Bruton 1-1, with Olivia Thomas and Lara Hill demonstrating outstanding defensive prowess. This achievement secured Dean Close's position at the top of the group, leading them to the Semi Final against Clifton College.
The Semi Final proved to be a fast-paced and skillful encounter, with Clifton initially taking the lead. However, Dean Close, led by the dynamic trio of Lorna Wilmott, Fluff Howitt, and Caitlin Thompson, turned the tide in their favor. Two short corners executed by Caitlin Thompson secured a hard-fought victory, earning them a place in the Final against Millfield.
The Final was a tightly contested match with both teams delivering stellar performances. Dean Close took an early lead and soon extended it to 2-0, firmly controlling the game. The team's success was attributed to the impressive goalkeeping skills of Sophie Bowcher and the solid defense led by Lara Hill and Flo Mckinnes. This victory not only secured the West Finals title but also a well-deserved place at the National Finals.
The achievement of Dean Close's U18s Girls' Hockey team in this highly competitive tournament is truly commendable, reflecting their skill, teamwork, and determination. Congratulations to the team on this remarkable success! 🏑🏆
U18s Boys Hockey Report on the West Indoor Finals
Dean Close traveled to Wellington School in Somerset to compete in the West Indoor Finals. Their first group match was against Taunton School, a fast and frenetic game that Taunton won 2-1. In the second match against Kings Bruton, Dean Close secured a tight 2-1 victory, with Henry Swan playing exceptionally well and scoring. The third group match against West Buckland showcased a solid performance from Dean Close, resulting in a 4-2 victory, followed by the last match against KES Bath. Dean Close demonstrated improved indoor hockey skills in this match.
In the semi-final, Dean Close faced Katherine Lady Berkeley School, the previous year's competition winners. The hard-fought match ended in a 0-0 result, leading to penalty shuffles. Dean Close's goalkeeper, Seb Friessener-Day, was outstanding, saving all three shuffles, and Henry Swan scored, securing their spot in the final against Millfield.
The final was a challenging match, with Millfield taking an early 2-0 lead. With Jack Thomas, Ed Smart, Ed Waltham, Julius Splittgerber, and Henry Swan putting pressure on Millfield, Dean Close started to dominate. Jack Thomas scored two outstanding goals to level the scores, leading to penalty shuffles once again. Seb Friessner-Day saved the first Millfield penalty, and then Henry Swan scored a remarkable goal in the top corner after an initial save. Seb saved another Millfield penalty, and it was left for Will Waltham to score the winning goal, securing Dean Close's spot in the National Finals.
This achievement is truly outstanding in such a tightly contested competition!! 🏑🏆
Good luck to both teams in the Finals!!! We are so #DeanCloseProud of you all.
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