The Beeston U14 girls travelled to Wakefield to play the England Hockey Cup Northern Finals Pool B. The squad knew it would be tough from the moment the first whistle blew.
The first match was against Northern League 1 winners Alderley Edge. Both teams attacked from the start with Alderley Edge taking a very early lead from a well-worked and quickly taken free hit. The team settled and responded with an equaliser from Esme Thompson which was quickly followed by a second from Maddie Penty who lobbed the ball calmly over a diving goalkeeper. Alderley Edge responded in the second half with an equaliser with the important opening game resulting in an attacking draw 2-2.
A change of pitch saw the girls settle down and play some lovely flowing hockey against the home team Wakefield. A goal mouth scramble resulted in a penalty stroke which was calmly slotted away by Becca Malyon . Beeston dominated the second half to secure a second goal from a well taken strike from the top of the circle by Phoebe Emmans.
With one game left any of the 4 teams could have statistically won the group. Beeston knew a win would secure a place in the National finals. Deeside Ramblers were well and truly up for the match . Beeston had a bout of penalty corners but failed to convert. Deeside seized the opportunity with a well-taken penalty corner to lead 1-0 going into the second half. A well aimed half time talk by coach Matt Fildes saw the girls firing on all cylinders and Eloise Penty got the final touch on a well orchestrated penalty corner to level the score 1-1 with 8 minutes left. This was quickly followed by a lovely individually taken goal from Esme Thompson who calmly slipped the ball past the GK after a gliding run. A tense and defensive last few minutes followed before the final whistle confirmed qualification for Lee Valley.
Huge congratulations go to the whole team who really earned their place in the National Finals in May. The group was a very competitive one, requiring the players to be on top of their game. Many thanks and congratulations go to Wakefield, Alderley Edge and Deeside Ramblers for ensuring a superb day of excellent hockey.