The weekend saw the Alderley Edge Hockey Club girls U18 and U16 teams go to London for the England Hockey Board National finals. Both teams performed brilliantly, doing themselves and the club proud.
The U18s won bronze medals finishing 3rd in the EHB Plate finals. They were very unlucky to lose their semi-final 2-0 to National League club Reading. The first half was goalless, with both sides having chances. The second half was also very close fought, but it was Reading who took the lead from a penalty corner. With Edge pushing for an equaliser, Reading then scored a second on the break to make it 2-0. The result was very harsh on Alderley, but they didn't let their heads drop, and performed superbly in the 3rd/4th playoff match against Plymouth Marjon HC.
The first half again finished goalless, but Edge really stepped it up in the second half. Claire Robinson finished well to put Alderley 1-0 up. Saskia Swatland's cross was deflected in to the roof of the net brilliantly by Rachel Stoner to double Alderley's lead. The fantastic performance and well deserved win was rounded off when Meghan Myers scored from a penalty corner in the final minutes. The result meant the girls finished deserved bronze medal winners.
The U16s faced a round robin tournament in their cup final, facing top National league clubs, Beeston, Wimbledon and Reading. In two very close fought games on Saturday, they narrowly lost out 2-1 to Wimbledon but then bounced back to beat Reading 3-2 in a thrilling encounter. Lily Wolstenholme, recently selected for England U 16's scoring a hat trick. This meant their group was wide open for the final round of matches on Sunday.
Alderley faced a talented Beeston side, losing 3-1 but putting up a great fight. Other results meant Edge missed out on second place in the group and a semi-final spot on goal difference, by just one goal. Despite this, the team did brilliantly, finishing in the top 6 in England.
Match report by Kelvin Briggs.