Image: Framlingham College Captain, Grace Rider

The Girls’ U18 Hockey team secured a place in the National Schools’ Championships Finals last night by defeating Cranleigh School in a penalty shootout after a well-contested 1-1 draw in normal time.

The team had to withstand early pressure from a talented Cranleigh side boasting several internationals and conceded the opening goal midway through the first half. The second half saw the team transformed and the territorial dominance they enjoyed eventually told, with a short-corner goal from Molly Redgrove. Both sides had chances in the closing stages, but the game was destined to go to the drama of a penalty shootout. The goalkeepers were in inspired form but it was Coral Langridge who made the crucial save in sudden-death and Abby Gooderham stepped up to score the decisive flick and send the squad and the crowd into raptures.

Director of Sport, Nick Gandy, commented that, ‘this was a superb occasion, not only for the squad, but for the wider Framlingham College community. It was one of the most enthralling sports contests that I have witnessed at any level. The level of support they received from pupils and parents was fantastic and the team fully deserved the victory against excellent opponents. We are immensely proud of their performance and, with the confidence that they can take from this result, who knows what they can achieve in London in March?’

Framlingham College Headmaster, Paul Taylor added, ‘I’m so delighted for these girls as they have worked so hard. They fully deserved this win and the quality of their play owes so much to the tutelage of our Head of Hockey, Jamie Kingstone; something they clearly recognise as evidenced by how they all raced to him after that final winning penalty!’

The squad will now travel to the London Olympic Park on the 1st and 2nd March for the National Finals.

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