Hertford HC U10 Girls team has enjoyed an exceptional season under the guidance of Coach Rob MacRae. Their record over the course of the season reflects well on the strength of the junior section at Hertford HC. The girls played 64 competitive matches, won 56, drew 5 and lost 3. They scored 144 goals (with 3 players scoring over 40 goals each) and conceded only 11.
The girls competed in both the Hertfordshire and Essex hockey leagues and finished the season as Champions of both Counties. This success was due in no small part to their incredible team spirit and the tenacity which they showed in all competitions, always giving 100% effort.
As County Champions of Hertfordshire, the girls qualified for the East Regional Finals, which took place at Harleston Magpies HC in Norfolk. The regional finals features the County winners and runners up across Herts, Essex, Kent, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk . As you would expect, the standard is extremely high, but Hertford went into the tournament full of confidence and believing we could win.
It was a cold, wet and blustery day presenting challenging playing conditions. Hertford started the finals with a closely contested match against Old Loughtonians. Hertford won the match 1-0 with a well taken goal by Sabrina Quinlivan, following some tenacious tackling and pass by Evie Macrae to set up the goal.
Hertford followed this up with another 1-0 win against the Suffolk champions, Sudbury HC. Sudbury did not really threaten the Hertford goal due to some excellent defending by Florrie Pidduck , Jessica Reynolds and Emily McKenna. However, the Sudbury defence stayed strong and it looked like it was going to be 0-0 until a very late goal by Sabrina Quinlivan managed to secure the win.
Our next match also ended 1-0 against Cambridge City HC . Hertford dominated the match but found it hard to break down the Cambridge defence. However, a fantastic defence splitting pass by Cate Aylwin found Lois Quinn who made a good run into the D. Lois finished with a beautiful piece of skill to deceive the Sudbury GK.
We knew that we had to win our penultimate group match and the girls got off to a really fast start against Marden Russets HC, scoring 2 quick goals by Lois Quinn and Cate Aylwin. We hoped for a big win to improve our goal difference, but Marden fought back to 1-2 to became a bit of a nail biter after looking like a comfortable win. We needed our GK, Georgie Marsden to make a couple of good stops to secure the win, with the match finishing 2-1 to Hertford.
So, after 4 consecutive wins, our final group match lay ahead against Norwich City for a place in the Final! We knew this would be a tough match and we had to win it due to Norwich having superior goal difference. The match started well with our girls attacking a strong Norwich defence and creating good chances. It was an evenly contested match between two outstanding teams, so who was going to blink first!? Unfortunately, it was Hertford with a long pass from inside the Norwich City half finding their Forward who had ghosted in behind our defence and then finished into the corner. The ball did hit the foot of the Norwich player, but it wasn’t spotted by the Umpire so the goal stood. Our girls never gave up in their search for an equaliser, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Norwich then scored a late second goal to secure their place in the final, which they went on to win against Canterbury HC.
Whilst it’s difficult to pick out any one particular player as all the girls played their part, our Player of the Tournament was Lois Quinn, who showed some exquisite stick skills, intelligent passing and movement, tenacious tackling and scored two good goals in an impressive all-round performance.
The girls were understandably disappointed not to win the Regional Finals, however they finished in 3rd place overall from 12 teams, which was a good finish to a terrific season. They should feel extremely proud of their achievements, with every player contributing to their success:-
• Played 64 matches, won 56, drew 5 and lost 3
• Scored 144 goals, conceded 11
• County Champions of Hertfordshire
• 100% Win record in the Herts League
• Essex League Champions
• Essex League Finals Winners
• 2nd at Copperbox Indoor tournament
• 3rd in East Regional Finals
Pictured is the team with their Essex League Medals.