Saturday 5th March saw the 3rd and 4th Rathbones Nationals tournament take place at St Catherine’s Bramley, enjoyed the largest entry to date. 18 teams competed in the battle for supremacy to be the 3rd team Rathbones National champion of 2016.
The day started with sleet and a cold wind! But somehow the girls stayed strong and the weather changed for the better by the afternoon. The level of lacrosse was truly incredible and anyone who might have popped in to visit would not have believed that it was 3rd team level!
The play offs was the usual excitement, and highs and lows of success and disappointed and lots of cheering!
In the semi-finals Benenden played St Cats 3rd team and Berkhamsted played St Cats 4th team. Both matches were very exciting but St Cats 3rd and Berkhamsted both won their matches and it was a St Cats v Berkhamsted showdown – have we not seen this once or twice already this Nationals season!
Could St Cats overcome their nemesis for this season and finally beat Berkhamsted whose confidence was still riding high following two Rathbones National School wins already! St Cats scored the first goal and there was a big cheer from the home crowd!
However, within minutes Berkhamsted equalised. There was some nail biting moments in the dying minutes but neither team scored. Golden goal it was! Again it was end-to-end stuff with both GK’s making some outstanding saves and there was some incredible turnovers. With 30 seconds to go there was some midfield confusion resulting in Berkhamsted being awarded a penalty with one of their own attackers free in front of goal and the St Cats goalkeeper not even in front of the goal.
The whistle blew and the St Cats goalie ran like a maniac to sprint to goal whilst the Berkhamsted attacker kept her cool to catch and drive towards the goals despite another St Cats defender chasing her down. She calmly took on the defender and the GK to neatly finish the ball in the back of the net – and secure victory for Berkhamsted as 3rd team Rathbones National champions 2016 and for Berkhamsted school to achieve their 3rd National win of the season!
The presentation was led by organiser Vic Alexander who praised all teams for their play, congratulated St Cats on achieving both teams in the semi-final and their 3rd team having to face the disappointment of losing in the final in sudden death having remained unbeaten for 2 years.
However, the day belonged to Berkhamsted and they came up to collect the trophy from the representative from Rathbones, Laura Crowley, and the St Catherine’s Headmistress, Alice Phillips. There were great cheers from all the spectators and players for a well-deserved victory.
There is much excitement for the future and we hope that Rathbones enjoyed the day and will be keen to support this event again next year and in the future.