A school’s senior hockey players’ winning ways are inspiring younger pupils with two squads reaching regional finals.
The U16s team from Ripon Grammar School are continuing their record started as U14s by reaching their third North East semi-finals in the national hockey competition for schools.
Having come through the Harrogate and Craven area tournament, they beat St Peter’s School 2-1 in the North Yorkshire final to secure their place in the regional semis as county champions.
A top two place in the North East semis in York on November 18 would take them to the North finals, with the national finals beyond that.
The head of girls’ PE at Ripon Grammar School, Siobhan Gilfillan, said: “This same group of players have qualified for the North finals for the past two years as U14s and with many playing a year young in last year’s U16s, so we’re hopeful of making it a hat-trick in next month’s semis. We’d like to thank Trevor Bosomworth, who is a parent and coach at Thirsk Hockey Club who has helped coach the girls over the past few years and kindly gives up his time to help with the U16 team.
“Having played together for a few years now they know how to put in a really good team performance, led by captain Lucy Williams who, as an individual, is achieving great things as our highest performing U17 player and a member of the North of England high performance assessment camp (HiPAC).”
For the U14s squad, it is their first time in the North East semi-finals, a place secured in an unbeaten run in the county round until the final against St Peter’s when they drew 0-0 but narrowly missed the win in penalty flicks.
“Although they were disappointed not to have won the North Yorkshire final, the girls can be very proud of their performance going unbeaten to that point, led by captain Penny Baker,” said Miss Gilfillan.
“It’s the first time this team have got this far so it’s nice for them and will be great experience.
“Our students are always really keen and nearly half our new first form are coming to practice so we may have even more great players to choose from for future squads.”