Despite having been newly promoted to Division 4 Halifax under 16 girls took part in the EH Cup competition for the West Yorkshire region, taking on teams from the top two divisions.
Not only did this demonstrate that they are not too far off the standard, it also showed their mental strength and ability to work hard as a team when under enormous pressure.
GAME 1 : THIRSK
The first game against current division one leaders Thirsk was very end to end and the Halifax defence of Sydny Midgley, Emma Whittaker, Anabel Meredith and Regan Midgley worked extremely hard to keep out the Thirsk attackers whose blistering pace proved tough to manage.
The Halifax girls kept them at bay for the first 10 minutes but the pressure told and Thirsk took the lead. However, Regan Midley played an excellent ball out of defence to Fizz Raud who took the ball past several players and in to the D where she drew a foul from the Thirsk defender to win a short corner which captain Regan Midgley confidently struck hard into the bottom left hand corner leaving the keeper with no chance.
At one all a real midfield battle commenced and despite good work from Leah Kalter, Amy March, Anya Wasilewski and Emily Crowe the fast pace of the Thirsk players and their speed of passing created several further scoring opportunities, two of which they converted despite excellent work from goalkeeper Kathy Shao and the game finished 3-1.
GAME 2 : SHEFFIELD HALLAM
The second game against current top of division 2 team Sheffield Hallam was a much more even affair and although Sheffield scored an early goal, Halifax battled hard to win the ball back with Cara Casson, Hannah Speakman, Annie Denton and Raud working tirelessly to keep the ball in the Sheffield half.
Despite holding a good high position and forcing the Sheffield defence back into a more defensive format Charlotte Taylor and Courtney White were unable to capitalise on some excellent long through balls from Regan Midgley, Wasilewski and Raud but following a good run down the left, Speakman sent a strong cross into the D and White slotted the ball home at the far post to earn a well deserved draw.
GAME 3 : YORK
The last game against York was incredibly difficult as they fielded several national league players and an under 16 England team member. Regardless the girls battled hard with most of the team helping out against the onslaught, Shao worked tirelessly and we lost count of the number of goals saved whilst the defending unit got really stuck in against a very skilful and physical opposition and cleared whatever they could.
Halifax still worked hard and despite the heavy pressure did push up for a few attacks of their own but the York defence were as fast and as organised in their game play as the forwards.
The final score was a comprehensive 9-0 win to York but the girls can be incredibly proud of themselves for putting in an excellent team performance, a brilliant work rate and superb display of gamesmanship.
The parents and coaches could not have asked for more and this should now provide an fantastic platform of experience on which to build and develop as we continue our progress through the leagues.
Updated 01:11 - 1 Dec 2016 by Halifax Hockey
Picture attached. Names as below
U16 Girls team
From back left - Emily Crowe, Cara Casson, Felicity Raud, Courtney White, Sydny Midgley, Anya Wasilewski, Amy March, Kathy Shao, Annabel Meredith.
From front left – Emma Whitaker, Charlotte Taylor, Regan Midgley, Leah Kalter, Annie Denton, Hannah Speakman.