The talented Matlock Baileans U14 girls’ hockey team are on cloud nine after a day to remember.
They travelled to Newark to play a couple of matches in the England Hockey Development League, and they returned home with two thrilling 9-1 victories under their belts.
First up were the host club, Newark, against whom Matlock took time to adjust to the seven-a-side game and to working together as a team.
Indeed defenders Emily Cochrane and Victoria Charlton had to work hard to keep Newark at bay, while goalkeeper Frankie Rouse had to pull off two smart saves.
The Matlock midfield, driven on by captain Lowri Heap, began to take control, splitting their opponents’ backline, and Caitlin Webber snapped up two goals in quick succession. But they led only 2-1 at half-time after Newark pulled one back.
That goal seemed to galvanise the Matlock girls, who really stepped up their game in the second half. The hosts struggled to cope with the pace of Emma Hamill-Keys down the right wing and the slick skills of Alice Harwood on the left, not to mention Annalise Rountree’s determination and quick reactions, which repeatedly won the ball back.
With Heap finding her form, Matlock showered the Newark goal with shots and added seven more goals, despite some fine stops from the ‘keeper.
The result gave them plenty of confidence for the second match against Litchfield and resulted in the same scoreline. All the players improved the accuracy and speed of their passing, leaving Litchfield firmly on the back foot.
The Matlock girls demonstrated the progress and development they have made this season, with all the midfield and forwards finding the net thanks to some outstanding shots and set moves.
If any new players would like to join the club, training for girls in school years eight and nine takes place at Wirksworth on Mondays from 6 pm to 8 pm.