The future of hockey in the Derbyshire Dales looks very bright if the exploits of Matlock Monkeys U12s are anything to go by.
For the talented girls finished an excellent sixth in the Midlands final of a prestigious tournament and did Matlock Hockey Club proud.
“It was an amazing achievement,” said a delighted club spokeswoman. “There were brilliant all-round performances from the whole squad, which included two under-age players, Maddie Waring and Lucy Newberry.”
The tournament was the In2Hockey Club Championship, staged by England Hockey, and the Monkeys were representing Derbyshire in their age group at the Midlands event, which was held at the premier venue of Nottingham Hockey Centre.
In their opening match, they faced Stourport and paid the price for a sluggish start, going down 2-0. But their second game saw a much-improved performance and after a close contest, a goal from Tess Neville was enough to give the Monkeys a 1-0 victory.
Lichfield were the Matlock girls’ third opponents and an even more convincing display resulted in a 3-0 win thanks to goals from Annabelle Cochrane (2) and Georgina Cochrane.
Next up were Burton and, as always, this was a tight battle, which finished 0-0 and led to a penalty-flick shootout. After some superb saves from goalkeeper Foster Bella, Burton snatched it in sudden death.
The Monkeys then went on to play Northampton and recovered well from their setback to triumph 3-0 in a game that included an astonishing goal, and probably the best of the tournament, from Libby Ball.
The final match was against Sutton Coldfield when some fantastic defending by Scarlott Doxey and Kiera Lee enabled the Matlock girls to wrap up a memorable experience with another creditable goalless draw.