Match Report
Yarm School Girls-U14A vs  N E Finals day
On: Friday, 10 Nov 2017
Venue: Away

Yarm U14 Girls arrived at Leeds University Playing Fields to a bright but windy day. They had been briefed that their 1st round draw would be their hardest set of matches of the day and so they had to ensure a strong opening to both games. Their first match against Cundall Manor was to be one of their toughest match ups to date. The first half saw both teams trying to test each other for a weakness. Yarm struggled to find their rhythm on the pitch and Cundall found it easy to play their offensive game, playing the ball around the Yarm girls and slotting goals past the Yarm keeper due to sheer numbers in the scoring zone. This constant pressure saw Cundall to a 2-0 lead at half time. After a harsh but fair assessment of their first half performance, the Yarm girls took to the pitch with a renewed urgency and desire to win. Much improved teamwork and less individual errors allowed Yarm to pile on the pressure across the half and allowed Lexi Speight to find Yarm their first goal of the match. Despite a good showing, it was too little, too late. Yarm lost their first match 3-1 to Cundall Manor.

The U14 girls knew that they were in a do or die situation. To progress into the semi-finals, they had to get a victory over the historically tough GSAL. Yarm came out of the gates strong and took the match to GSAL. The U14sshowed that they really deserved to be at the NE Final and retained the vast majority of the game possession throughout the first half. Unfortunately, GSAL did manage to find a gap in the Yarm midfield and a good counter offensive saw GSAL make their way towards the Yarm scoring area. Luckily, an early strike saw the ball travel from outside the scoring zone and into the goal therefore ensuring that the goal was disallowed. Coming off of a rousing half time talk by Mr Vannet and Miss Redhead the U14’s dedicated every last ounce of strength and skill into the second half of the game. As the minutes ticked away, it looked like GSAL would progress through with a 0-0 draw and a higher goal difference. Out of the blue, Sophie Brining gained possession of the ball and ran an amazing channel past four of the GSAL players , slapping the ball straight past the GSAL keeper and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, clinching the win for Yarm at 1-0.

A short break later and Yarm were taking to the pitch to play their semi-final match against Hull Collegiate. A massive performance in their previous match saw a slightly drained Yarm team and as such, the girls struggled to find the back of the net throughout the match despite many golden scoring opportunities. The match came to an end at 0-0 and progressed on to penalty flicks to decide who would progress through to the tournament final and also the North Regional Final. Alex, Lottie, Evie, Claudia and Abi all got ready to take their flicks and Scarlett padded up to defend our nets. Alex, Claudia and Abi all managed to find the back of the net whilst Scarlett showed her prowess in goal, only letting 2 balls get by her. Deafening screams of excitement could be heard as the whole squad rushed the nets and praised Scarlett for being the better keeper on the day. We were through to the North Finals !

The final match of the N.E. Tournament would be a rematch against Cundall Manor , after they had fought their way to the top of their pool. Both teams fought their hardest but all players were completely drained from a full day of hockey. Yarm defended brilliantly and had some opportunities but in the end , another round of penalty flicks would decide the outcome. This time, Yarm would be unlucky in their venture and Cundall showed some real experience in their penalty taking. Yarm lost 3-2 on penalties but it didn’t dampen any spirits. We were still progressing to the North Finals and so Yarm’s winning streak continues.

Well done girls !