What a day of hockey it was from the girls! It was like an Oscar worthy scripted drama with ups and downs, keeping us all on the edge of our seats throughout the long day! We were without a doubt in the pool of death pitted against some hockey heavy weights in Lambrook, Beaudesert, Eagle House and with Ashfold and St Neots making up the group. We knew on tournament day that it had to be win and no draws in order to progress out of the pool. Up first was St Neots and in those 12 minutes we bombarded our opposition with shot after shot. We just could not score and our frustrations led to us over complicating our play as the clock ticked down. A draw was not how we wanted to open our account. Next up Eagle House and the girls kicked into gear with our first paced style of hockey. It was good to see the girls take confidence from this game. Next up was a strong Beaudesert and it was a great game to watch from both teams who both produced performances. Neither side could break through and another draw meant we faced an uphill battle. Now for Lambrook and again it was a fairly even game, although we had more chances on goal. We went a goal up and Lambrook began to fight back looking for that equalizer. With a minute to go we gave away an unnecessary short corner. From the short corner there was a mix up from the girls when they had a foot and thought that play would be stopped, advantage was given and Lambrook took advantage to score to take a 1-1 draw! A frustrating one as the win would have taken us out of the group into the cup quarters. With one game to go; Cheam, Lambrook and Beaudesert were all level on points. We would all need to win our final games and that goal difference was going to decide where we would be placed in the group. Up first were Lambrook who were on a mission and scored 4 goals to take their goal difference to 8. We were next and we needed to score 5 goals in order to level with Lambrook on goal difference. It is hard to describe the mammoth team effort that came from the girls in those 12 minutes against Ashfold. They gave it absolutely everything – we were first to every ball and as a team we pushed as high as we could and did not over complicate our game. Even when you dominate a game it is a ridiculous achievement over the course of just 12 minutes to score a large number of goals. Which is what makes the girls performance so incredible. They didn’t score three, they didn’t score four, they scored six goals in 12 minutes!!! To put them at the top of the group and into the cup quarter finals!Our quarter final could not have gone better with some quick paced hockey against a strong Hazlegrove side. It was end to end hockey with some crunching tackles on display and superb link up play from both teams! The girls dug deep and were clinical in their finishing to take a 2-1 win and a place at National Finals for a second year in a row!Up next was a repeat for us in last years semi final against Winchester House. This was a brilliant game of hockey from start to finish. We started well and dominated play in the Winchester half but just could not put away the chance or two. Winchester started to kick it up a gear as the minutes wound down and scored a superb reverse hit to take a 1-0 lead. We tried our best but to no avail. Winchester went on to win the final 3-0. Still we had the third/fourth playoff against Lambrook to finish our very long day and the girls were determined to right the wrongs from our group fixture earlier in the day. And right those wrong we did! We dominated play from the get-go and kicked it up a gear, scoring a quick goal to keep the pressure on our opposition and then pressed looking for another goal, which we soon got to take the game out of Lambrook’s hands to take a well deserved 3rd place. What a monumental effort it was from the girls who achieved something very special here. Girls you continue to raise the bar for hockey here at Cheam, thank you!