U12s become South West Schools Lacrosse Champions

A late night at the Spring Concert was not ideal preparation for the end of lacrosse season highlight, but with so much to pack into a short term, we just had to get on with it - and that we did!

I knew our opening match would probably be our toughest in the section and after a few missed chances and nervous dropped balls, Queen Anne's scored first. This had us rattled and we panicked and defended poorly as they scored the second. But credit to the girls, we continued to play the ball around unselfishly and improved in defence and, despite it not being our usual pretty lacrosse, we edged back into the game and equalised in the final minute.
St Bartholomew’s put up a great fight and we had to work hard for our two goals. The remaining matches in our pool went according to plan, with the whole squad enjoying pitch time and making an excellent contribution. A five match gap had allowed a few players to sneak a quick power nap, while the rest relaxed and refuelled before the playoffs. The top four schools from each section progressed to the quarter-finals; Queen Anne's had had the better goal average, so they topped our group and we drew St Helen's and St Katharine's who came third in the section. Finally, we were beginning to look more like our usual team, passes were more accurate and caught, and better decisions were made on the ball and we won 4-0. Momentum was building, adrenalin kicking in and the players could feel the excitement (and the parents the tension!).

The semi-final was against Downe House. They had some tall, strong players up front who we had struggled to contain in our match in January (which ended 5-5). The play was end to end and nail-biting, with each school having opportunities to score. 0-0 with two minutes to go, Downe House was awarded a free position but a huge save by Bene kept us in the game. This gave us the hope we needed to find more energy and just before the final whistle we scored the winner. If that was intense, the final was worse... We were initially ahead, with the midfield working tirelessly to hold on to the lead but Queen Anne's fought back hard and created more chances, equalising just before the final whistle. 2-2, and a repeat of the opening match of the day. A 3 minute period of golden goal then pursued but with some superb play from both teams, both with decent chances to score (and win) there was still no goal. Legs were really tiring now, but St Mary's dug deeper and threw everything at the game including an unfortunate foul to give Queen Anne's a free position. Bene once again saved it despite immense pressure. A quick clear to Dora and we were down the other end. This time we didn’t fling it into the fan in hope, but took it behind the goal, were more patient and Libby got hold of it and fired it in the back of the net to score. It really could have gone either way from the semi-final stage but this U12 Team really know how to win. They showed they have the nerve and determination to perform when it matters and fully deserve becoming South West Champions (for the 3rd time in 4 years!). 

Results:

Queen Anne's

Drew

2-2

v St Bartholomew's

Won

2-0

v St George's

Won

4-0

v Heathfield

Won

2-0

v St George's Ascot

Won

5-0

v St Swithun's

Won

4-0

Quarter-Finals

v St Helen's & St Katharine's

Won

4-0

Semi-Final

v Downe House

Won

1-0

Final

v Queen Anne's

Drew

2-2

After extra time golden goal

Won

1-0