By: Samuel Rowe
Framlingham College’s Prep School U11 Girls are officially one of the best 8 teams in the country this year after an impressive display at the IAPS National Hockey Finals at Haileybury School on Thursday 21stNovember.
Travelling to Hertfordshire as both IAPS and in2hockey East Champions, the girls hopes and form was high and preparations were completed with a warm up game versus Bishop’s Stortford College en route.
Framlingham were first game on, against Hoe Bridge School and after a slow start, they managed to find a way through their opponents and sneak an 1-0 win. After a short break, they were back on the pitch and faced Danes Hill Park, where they created multiple chances but just couldn’t find a way through a resolute opposition.
After another break in the day, Framlingham faced West Hill Park in their third game of the day, where once again they played some expansive and attractive hockey and eventually converted one of their numerous chances to seal another 1-0 win. Their penultimate game of the pool stages saw Framlingham face Bedford Girls School – who they faced at the East Finals last week. Framlingham played their best hockey of the pool stages, but just couldn’t find a way through, resulting in another 0-0 draw.
After lunch, Framlingham’s last game against Fairfield was a group decider to see who would finish 1st or 2nd. The girls carried their form and attractive style of play into the afternoon – and scored twice in quick succession to clinch top of the group.
This resulted in a Quarter Final tie against Notre Dame Prep, where the girls found another gear. They raced into a 1-0 lead and played some outstanding hockey for their age – which numerous people commended the girls upon. However, a breakaway with seconds to spare saw Notre Dame equalise and force golden goal. Neither side could find a winner in this 5 minute period, resulting in a penalty shootout. Framlingham failed to convert their opening two after some exceptional goalkeeping; whilst, Notre Dame converted both and doing so ended Framlingham’s run in the competition.
Out of 189 entrants, to finish as one of the top eight schools is quite the achievement – and adding to the list of hockey successes over the last week. The amount of comments from onlookers about how the girls played is testament to the work and commitment they have put in and shows the future is exciting for hockey at Framlingham.