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23 March 2016

National Hockey Finals 2016

National finals day is always one that will wring every ounce of emotion out of player, coach and parent alike - win draw or lose.  2016 was certainly no different, beginning with a number of players sadly unable to take part due to illness which was hugely disappointing for them.  The first match against Wellington was tough, but our girls fought bravely and dominated the first part of the match with the 3-0 defeat not reflecting the evenness of the sides for much of the game.  We conceded a goal early in the second game against Cheadle but in the second half we finally found out legs again, scoring a good equaliser and looking strong to win it.  A late goal from Cheadle was a cruel late twist, but a poor first half had cost us the chance to compete for a medal.  Our third pool game against Sevenoaks saw us regain much of our fluidity.  The opposition took an early lead but we equalised just before half time.  The second half was one way traffic – Canford’s white shirts poured forward in search of the winner, which came agonisingly close on several occasions – shots flashed past the post and a one on one with the keeper – but those little breaks just didn’t go for the team that day.  

This was the end of a journey which started with the County group games at Sherborne, that exhilarating County final performance against Bryanston, and then took us through that wonderful day at Clifton where we gained the West Title.  While not ending perhaps with the headlines we would have loved, it was nonetheless a team effort that the girls can take huge pride in.  Thank you for the hundreds and hundreds of miles parents have driven and for the unstinting support they have given to the team and their coaches.

Reporting by Patrick Rossiter

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