Old Loughts girls earn smashing Plate win

�Old Loughtonians under-16 girls were crowned England Hockey National Plate Champions after a 3-0 success over Bowdon.

The Luxborough Lane side had made the trip up to Cheshire for the match, and travelled with just 11 players in their quest for national glory after late injuries to the team.

But first there was a three-team round robin tournament, with their opening match against Oxford Hawks.

The youngsters started nervously and Nicole Hayes had to be at her best to keep the Hawks at bay, but couldn’t keep out one effort as Old Loughts fell behind.

But the girls then rallied and Rayo Ladipo outpaced the Hawks before firing home for the equaliser.

Old Loughts were reduced to 10 after the break, but although their defending was desperate at times they managed to thwart every Hawks attempt and earn a draw.

That meant they had to beat the hosts by two goals to secure the title and Loughts were back to their best in the decider.

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Becki Mead, Beccy Withams and Laura Edwards dominated the midfield battle as they opened up a two goal lead before the half was out through two short corners converted by captain Emily Holmes.

They needed a third to take the pressure off and Kate Batson duly delivered with a clinical strike to seal the win and spark the celebrations.

Old Loughts: Hayes, Dawkins, Menear, Hough, Wroblewski, Mead, Edwards, Withams, Ladipo, Holmes, Batson.

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