The Girls’ 1st XI at Hill House fell agonisingly short of winning the Tier 4 National Schools’ Hockey Championships at Nottingham this week, losing the Grand Final to the last hit of the tournament.
Having made their way through 2 qualifying rounds, which included being crowned Northeast Champions in November, the Doncaster girls made a good start to the finals, beating Bristol’s Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School 1-0, thanks to a goal from Lulu Morrison-Parry. A strong Oxford High School were formidable opponents, but a late Niamh Doody equaliser gave Hill House a hard-fought draw. With all to play for in the final pool game, an excellent performance against Woodbridge School, the East of England Champions, produced a 2-1 victory, thanks to goals from Morrison-Parry and a late Eve Bishop winner.
Winning their pool, the Hill House girls earned a Grand Final against a very strong and high scoring Bromley High School. After handling early pressure, thanks to the excellent defensive organisation of Doncaster Hockey Club’s Mia Austin, the Doncaster girls warmed to their task, and in front of a large crowd, Faith Martin-Porter converted an excellent solo run to stun the opposition, who had not previously conceded throughout the tournament. With only 5 minutes to play, Bromley equalised from a penalty corner, despite the heroic efforts of Hill House’s Captain Charlotte Westmoreland-Smith, who was the tournament’s outstanding goalkeeper. With a penalty shoot-out approaching, Bromley earned a final penalty corner, which saw the ball somehow squeezed across the goal-line as the final whistle sounded, to leave Hill House as very creditable Runners Up and Silver Medallists.
Hill House Director of Hockey, James Ross, was very proud of the girls’ success, saying “this group have worked very hard and grown so much this year. This is our third visit to the Nationals in recent years, and to get within 5 minutes of winning the Cup is a wonderful achievement for the girls, the school and for hockey in this part of Yorkshire.
“Our hockey programme is growing and developing each year, with more and more keen hockey players coming to the school to be a part of it. We hope to return next year and go one step further!”