The Leys School are bound for national hockey finals
Under-16s seal EHA National Schools Championships finals place
The Leys School are flying the flag for hockey in the city after reaching the finals of a prestigious national competition.
After winning the EHA National Schools Championships East Regionals, the Leys under-16s headed to Redbridge to take part in the East Finals.
They started the tournament with a 1-0 win over The Forest School, with Tor Lovell scoring the only goal of a tense affair in the last 10 seconds of the match.
Goals from Katie Curtis, Joanna Saunderson and Ruby James saw the Leys earn a 3-2 win over Bishop’s Stortford to set up a winner-takes-all-match against Sevenoaks.
Gabby Sillis scored the Leys’ first goal but the sides were tied 1-1 until the last 10 minutes, when Curtis scored a well-struck short corner to clinch victory.
It sent the Leys into the national finals at the Olympic Park in March as one of the best eight sides in the country, and captain Curtis said: “It has been an incredible day playing against three high-quality sides, and I am delighted to progress through to the finals again.
“The team have been amazing and I am very proud of their efforts.”
And The Perse School remain in contention to join them at the national finals in the Investec English Schools Under-18 Championships after finishing runners-up at the East Finals.
They started the event against Framlingham College, who they had lost 4-0 to in the regional round, but they closed the gap on their opponents to only lose 1-0.
Captain Anna Traherne scored for the Perse in a 1-1 draw with Kent College, meaning they needed victory over Felsted School to remain in with a chance of qualification for the national finals.
And Amelia Peak and Libby Gower were on target in a 2-1 win to book their place in the play-offs for the national finals after finishing second in the pool on goal difference.
They will now face one of the other regional runners-up in January in a bid to reach the national finals.
Jon Peckett, the Perse assistant director of sport and head of hockey, said: “They applied the tactics we’d talked about brilliantly and worked so hard. The girls were tireless throughout and everybody contributed, so we’re really pleased.”