Report by Mrs Kelly, Head of Girls' Hockey:
On Wednesday 4th October, the U18 Hockey squad set out in their quest for the County Championship. Players can only take part in one County Championships, and I made the decision this year to keep the Fifth Form separate and enter them as the U16s team. This proved to be a good decision, as they were crowned County Champions last week!
Keeping the Fifth Form separate meant that the 1st XI would be missing five key players; yet I was confident the girls would have the ability to be crowned champions. We kept hold of our Fifth Form goal keeper Ella Niblett, as Fifth Former Izzy Wong was happy to guard the U16s' goal during their championships.
Hockey is coming on incredibly well at Shrewsbury School, thanks to the positive attitude and commitment of the girls but also to the School's links with Shropshire Hockey and the well-attended Elite Development sessions that take place twice a week for those striving for excellence.
Shrewsbury's first game was against Moreton Hall, a strong team and previous County Champions. We had the majority of possession but failed to score any goals, while Moreton packed their defensive D, making attacking hard. But the girls battled well and never gave up in the 20-minute game. A break-away from one of Moreton's players saw Moreton score and win by 1-0. At full time reality had to be made clear: regardless of how well we played and how much possession we had, in this format of tournament goals counted and we needed to score more!
Shrewsbury played Ellesmere next, another strong team and last year's Champions. Taking on board the importance of securing those goals, the girls worked hard as a unit and won 3-0. A fantastic game to watch, the girls connecting well and putting in to practice well-rehearsed short corners.
Our next game was versus Wrekin. We have played Wrekin already this term and won 1-0. It had been a well-battled game and this County game was to prove to be similarly tough. We needed to win this in order to qualify. The girls were capable of securing another win; it would just require them to be decisive in the attacking D.
The girls won 1-0 - a brilliant game that at times saw our well organised defenders put under pressure.