Runner-up spot for Monkeys

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Matlock Monkeys Girls U12s finished very creditable runners-up in the Derbyshire County Club Hockey Championships at the weekend.

With very late changes due to illness and injury, the squad put in some fine performances. Matlock were fortunate to be able to call upon the services of experienced goalkeeper Frankie Monteith who stepped in at the last minute.

For their first game, they faced Belper A and, with two of their squad unable to make the start due to other commitments, had to take to the field with a very inexperienced team.

Despite some strong tackling from captain Beth Donnelly and keeper Frankie Monteith making some good saves, Matlock went down to two powerful shots from a well-rehearsed Belper penalty corner routine.

Matlock were back up to full strength for the next fixture against Burton A and, although they only won by a single well-taken goal from Teya Staniforth, Matlock’s midfielder Merrie Pankhurst marked out Burtons key player and Dione Rankin and Bella Heap kept the pressure on Burton’s goal for most of the match.

Matlock then went on to comfortably beat Burton B and Belper B with Bella Heap’s skills rewarding the team with four goals. Leila Pankhurst showed composure in defence and it was good to see Alex Needham making a very good debut.

The squad can be proud how they coped with the late changes and how they developed through the tournament to produce some fine team hockey.