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U18G Victorious in EH Plate Semi Final!
With exam season in full swing for U18 Girls and history top of the mind for many, we return to 1967, when coach ‘Rod’ was aged one and probably a handful even then! The epic film, The Dirty Dozen film was released, recounting the true story from WWII of behind-the-lines demolition experts.
Today the U18 girls had to produce a similarly ruthless demolition of a very talented Sevenoaks team in the EH Tier1 National Plate semi-final. Successful in their mission the girls were victorious with a 4-0 result and have now qualified for the 2nd April final at the Nottingham Hockey Centre!
Rod can’t claim to be a very good Lee Marvin (Major Reisman from the film) look-a-like’, not least, he hasn’t got the trademark grey hair, but the 12 girls assembled by Colonel Breed (Kim) were given a challenging task and fulfilled it brilliantly.
Major Rod’s strategy to push with electric speed up front led to a goal within two minutes with May finishing from close range after great work around the right by Connie and then Jess. Like all demolition experts we waited patiently for the second, which came after a number of classy passes, firstly down the right, transferred to the left and then finally across goal for Imi to finish.
Sevenoaks pressed well and had some slick skills, but they were well repelled by Charlotte and Megan. The odd time that wall was breached, Naomi commanded the goal well with some great saves - and one exceptional save in the second half.
As May rightly said at halftime, we were playing ‘amazing’ for a group basically assembled for the game with limited opportunities for training and drills with the Major. Unsurprisingly, Sevenoaks came out firing in the second spell. They had more subs than us, but our dirty dozen stuck at the mission with tireless effort from Lauren, Eva, Fenella, Amelia and Lexi closing down their midfield and (mostly!) transferring play on quickly to our speedsters up front.
May added a crucial third goal midway through the half and we continued to look very threatening when we attacked the baseline. Better positioning behind the ball carrier probably would have led to more goals but credit to the Sevenoaks keeper who was superb and has apparently just received national recognition.
Charlotte capped off a superb game finishing a short corner breakdown to give us an unassailable 4-0 lead with just a few minutes remaining.
It was a great game from both teams, well umpired and played with great spirit. The Major was very proud of his dirty dozen today and wishes them well on their next tour on 2nd April when he will be on overseas duty.