Girls SYL Tournament – Sunday 15th October

Here are the details from the Girls SYL tournament at Bury this past Sunday:

IES Black

0-0 V Ipswich
2-0 V Felixstowe 2’s (Zoe Tanner, Isabella Jack)
3-0 V Bury 3’s (Isabella Jack, Bea Chilvers, Kate Smith)

IES Red

1-0 V Bury 1’s (Beau Barrington-Hibbert)
9-0 V Felixstowe 1’s (Beau Barrington-Hibbert 3, Hannah Gray 2, Thalia Clement 2, Lucy Bowden, Madeline Buchanan)
2-1 V Sudbury (Hannah Gray, Madeline Buchanan)

Following consistently great numbers at training and a positive atmosphere running through the section, IES looked to build on the work put in over the past 3 years and the bitter disappointment of coming so close to progressing last year.

With a number of last years U10’s combined with some new additions to the club, IES Black were first to test themselves, captained by the ever present Zoe Tanner. Standing across from them was a strong looking Ipswich side, interestingly placed in the 1st Division and always stiff competition. The new look squad took time to gel, and on this occasion were saved by a solid defense marshaled by Madeline Weaver and backed up by the tenacious Sophie Bowden in goal, holding out for the draw.

Some tactical changes and good use of the substitutes at their disposal, coupled with the growing confidence and team spirit started to pay dividends as the possession stats increased and all the hard work in training shone through. The next 2 games saw a combined 5 goals scored, spread among the side and more importantly 2 more clean sheets. IES Black were cheered on by the growing support on the sideline, proving that the future continues to look bright and that everybody is still pushing for a place in the all important IN2 tournament after Christmas.

As the sun sunk lower it was the turn of IES Red to take centre stage and prove that the hype surrounding the side was warranted.

Competition for places was as tight as ever with a number of the fringe players making huge strides and forcing their way into the side this season. IES started strong, only looking vulnerable on the break, but as had been the case far too often struggled to get into any sort of flow early on. Despite a number of promising attacks and near misses, the score finished an uninspiring 1-0, settled by a well worked Short Corner.

Perfection was demanded, but the time for talk was limited by the quick turn around before the next game. Getting that first win out of the way, was clearly the catalyst required as things suddenly clicked and the shackles of expectation disappeared. IES were ruthless in attack and in the limited 15 minutes scored 9 well taken goals that would not have looked out of place on any adult pitch come Saturday. Finally the Girls were showing what had been promised for so often.

The final game of the day came after a one match break and saw the buoyant crowd dwindling as teams headed home to regroup. IES started strong again and rushed into a 2 goal lead, which they were unfortunate not to extend when denied by a contentious call by the Sudbury umpire. As the game wore on and the tiredness brought on by the extraordinary October heat set in. Changes were made and although still pushing forward, the impetuous and drive subsided with Sudbury squeezing the ball past Megan Keedle off a poorly cleared Short Corner.

Despite the goals, the attacking style and teamwork on display throughout the afternoon, it came down to the youngest Keedle making an all or nothing triple save at the death to deny Sudbury and meant IES Red started the year with 3 wins out of 3.

A truly remarkable day for all involved and proof of the hard work and commitment that all the Girls have put in not just this year, but for the past 3 seasons. Roll on the next stage of the SYL and before that a chance for the rest of the squad to impress at the St Joe’s Hockey Festival and push all involved over the coming weeks.