Old Loughtonians youngsters win National silver
PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 January 2012
Loughts under-16s girls finished runners-up at the National Indoor Finals
The Old Loughtonians under-16s girls’ team were in sparking form at the weekend as they finished runners-up in the National Indoor Finals.
The youngsters were one of three colts’ sides from the club that had qualified for the national finals, but it was the girls under-16s team who flew the flag for the club.
They travelled to Wolverhampton and just failed to clinch the title as they finished runners up to Harleston Magpies as the East teams dominated the finals.
The girls played some fantastic attacking indoor hockey as they swept all before them in a very tough group.
Victories over Ashmoor 8-2, Doncaster 4-1, Wycombe (last year’s winners) 2-0 and Beeston 4-2 secured top spot in the group.
The semi-final was a titanic struggle against Horsham, the girls came from behind to equalise through an Emily Holmes penalty corner and were the dominant team, but they could not secure the winning goal.
Penalty strokes were then required and thanks to three brilliant saves from Nicole Hayes the score was still deadlocked at 0-0 as Holmes stepped up for the final stroke which she coolly converted to send Loughts through to the final.
The girls had no break before the final and with Chloe Menear playing on despite suffering an injury the team were drained following their semi-final exploits and were beaten 5-1 by a powerful Magpies team.
Captain Hannah Bloy was outstanding and a candidate for player of tournament and Holmes was the tournament’s top scorer with 18 goals, while Sean Holmes, at only 17 the youngest head coach at the finals, led the girls magnificently.
Meanwhile, the under-16 boys were in action against Team Bath Buccaneers.
In a tight, nervous game, Old Loughts led 3-1, but Buccaneers pulled a goal back and then grabbed a last-gasp leveller.
In the second game against the North winners Stockton, it was the same story as chances were not converted and mistakes were punished. Loughts did lead at one stage, but eventually lost lost 5-3.
On Sunday the boys still had a chance to qualify but needed to win both games.
Against Canterbury the team were better defensively, but failed to convert their chances and slipped to a 3-2 defeat.
They produced their best performance in their final game against Cannock and raced to a 6-1 win.
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