Hockey Super League – Tier B Final – RSD v Regent House at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club

The first XI hockey team started the season by winning their Super League group with wins over Carrickfergus GS (5-0) , Dromore HS (4-1) and Royal & Prior Raphoe (4-0). They then beat Cookstown HS (6-0) in the quarter final before defeating Lurgan College (4-2) in the semi final. On Wednesday 22nd November, they played Regent House in the final at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club in front of a sizeable group of travelling supporters. Thank you to all who travelled.

RSD had a slightly nervous start to the game but gradually gained control of the match and a goal on 6 minutes by Evie Girvan helped settled the nerves. However, despite RSD’s control of both possession and territory, Regent House showed that they were dangerous on the break, but through some committed and shrewd defending, RSD kept their goal intact.

In the second quarter, further goals by Hannah Herron and Erin Mathieson saw RSD lead 3 – 0 at half-time. One of the strengths of the RSD team was their communication and this was particularly evident in the defensive setup where the team rotated players and positions, but always had a solid defensive structure with everyone in the correct place.

Although the girls were well in front in the second half, they maintained their concentration and pushed for more goals with a second coming from Evie Girvan in the third quarter. Regent did have the odd breakaway attack during the second half, but this was all well covered by the defensive line and Laura Birnie in goals. By now the team’s confidence was on a real high and they added two further goals in the final quarter though Zoe Gibson and Clara Finlay to make the score 6 – 0. One of the significant hallmarks of the attacking line on the day was their unselfishness where team success came before personal glory.

I have used the words Commitment, Communication, Concentration, Control and Confidence which are applicable to many sports, but the girls maintained these all to the very end as they ensured that despite conceding two penalty corners at the end of the match, they were determined to keep their goal intact and not concede any goals, something they achieved.

I want to add two more words beginning with the letter c to my summary of the match, and the first is for the team captain Lucy Redmond who I felt led the team extremely well both through the encouragement she gave to others and also her commanding play as she collected the ball close to her own circle and brought it downfield almost to the Regent circle before distributing it to others on multiple occasions.

Finally, the last word beginning with the letter c is for the coaches who were equally excited as the girls at the final whistle. Thank you to Miss Thompson for her work with the team this year supported by Miss McCombe.

I also want to pay tribute to the coaches who have worked with the girls over the years in both school and club for their input to their success and also to family and friends who support them in so many ways, transport, attending matches and washing kit to name only a few.

At the end of the match, the team were presented with their medals and Lucy Redmond was presented with the trophy by Ulster Hockey President, Margaret McCormack. The competition was sponsored by The Wooden Floor Company. It was an excellent evening for the girls, their families and for the school. I wish to thank all who were involved in any way.

A big congratulations to all the girls who were involved.

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