On Tuesday 2 October, Danes Hill U11A Hockey Squad travelled to Hurstpierpoint College for the South regional round of the National IAPS competition.
With 24 teams in attendance, Danes Hill faced a tough challenge to qualify for the National round with only 3 teams progressing at the end of the day.
In the first of 5 tough group games, Danes Hill faced a disciplined Holme Grange side. Having gone a goal down early, the girls rallied back in the second half to equalise and earn their first point of the day.
Danes Hill immediately settled into their rhythm after their first game and beat a strong Brambletye side 1-0 before recording a 2-0 win against Derwent Lodge with J Thompson and C Moore sharing the goals.
Working hard on their pressing and spacing in particular, the girls really began to hit their stride, playing some fantastic flowing hockey.
Heading into their final 2 group games, Danes Hill knew that 2 more wins would secure first place in their group and a place in the quarter-finals. A 5-0 win over Kings Rochester was followed shortly after by a fantastic 7-0 victory over Bedes as the girls qualified as top of their group, conceding just 1 goal.
In the Quarter-Finals, a well organised Kent College side kept the game scoreless in the first half but a brilliant second half performance saw Danes Hill score 3 unanswered goals to earn their place in the semi-final against Highfield.
Winners of their own group, Highfield provided a tough challenge for the girls, scoring a brilliant first half goal to take the lead going into half-time. In the second half, Danes Hill dominated play, equalising through Xanthe Radloff but with the winner alluding both teams, a barrage of 3 penalty strokes would decide the winner.
Despite J Thompson finishing from the spot, 2 goals from Highfield meant Danes Hill were resigned to the Bronze medal match with the winners qualifying for the National Finals.
Danes Hill played brilliantly throughout the game and fierce strike from C Moore proved the difference as the girls claimed Bronze and qualification.
After the 8 games, the girls were unbeaten in normal time, scoring a fantastic 21 goals and conceding just twice.
They now look forward to the National Finals at Rugby School on 21 November.