u15 A Championship Final
After 4 days of tournament play, it was down to the u15 A’s to take centre stage, and they did not disappoint. The final game of what has been four days of excellent play by over three thousand school-girls matched a strong Wycombe Abbey team against a Walthamstow Hall School team that had grown in confidence throughout the day.
Wycombe had come through after facing St Catherine’s with a 3-1 score, while Walthamstow Hall School who faced The Lady Eleanor Holles School had to battle it out till the last seconds of the match with a 2-1 score line.
Wycombe set out their stall early winning the first draw possession and breaking to goal with a pass to an unmarked player in front of goal and with no pressure had time to find a spot round the Walthamstow Hall keeper and put Wycombe into the lead with just 10 seconds played (1-0).
Possession was once again gained by Wycombe off the draw with the midfielder storming up the pitch, however with an attempted shot the ball was turned over and a foul was called up while Walthamstow Hall’s Taylor-Lowen tried to clear the ball from defence. Walthamstow took their first shot of their game, but with lots of pressure from the wycombe defence it was easily cleared up by the Wycombe goalie. On the next phase of play, Wycombe would once again find a free player in front of goal, however the shot flew over the crossbar.
Walthamstow Hall School found the Wycombe Abbey defence tough to break and it was Wycombe that were showing promise breaking up play and on the resulting play Wycombe had a one on one opportunity against the Walthamstow Hall goalie, with Prescott in goal coming out on top. Wycombe piled on the pressure, not allowing Walthamstow Hall to clear the ball and once again they found an unmarked player in front of goal but once again Prescott came to the rescue making two big save. On the following clear, Walthamstow Hall’s Drewe ran the ball from outside her fan to inside the Wycombe fifteen before shooting and scoring to tie the game (1-1). The tide was turning, with Walthamstow Hall gaining the next possession and narrowly missing the goal on a shot from Drewe just before the half-time hooter.
Wycombe looked to take the reigns back and had a shot wide of the post early in the second half. With 2 minutes into the half, Walthamstow Hall received a yellow card for a check to the head and therefore had to play a player down. Wycombe’s first attempt at goal was thwarted again by Prescott with an outstanding one on one save, but still a player down, Walt were undone by a smart inside roll by the Wycombe attacker to take the score to (2-1). The lead did not last long as Walthamstow Hall Schools captain P.Smith put away a feed from behind goal to level the score (2-2)
With all players back on the field and a minute on the clock, Walthamstow Hall’s Drewe picked out the ball from the re-start and forced the issue to goal and picked up a free position giving a chance to put Walthamstow Hall in the lead. The low shot was saved by the Wycombe goalie but in an attempt to make a long clear the ball went loose and was quickly picked up by Drewe who shot into an empty net just before the final hooter went.
In a highlight game we had super goals and amazing saves, everything a spectator would want to see, however what stood out what was the high level in which both teams played. Walthamstow Hall School proved that its not the size of the school but hard-work and great play can lead to a national title at Rathbones National Schools Championships.
WALTHAMSTOW HALL SCHOOL TEAM
Goalie – India Prescott
33 A. Drewe
40 F. Taylor-Lowen
29 A. Pitts-Tucker
45 P. Smith
23 C. Brightwell-Gibbons
30 E. Deuchars
31 C. Leech
34 G. MacKinnon
14 S. Earnshaw-Punnett
41 D. Day-Winter
28 C. Smith
46 S. Puttock
66 I. French
48 B. Taylor-Lowen
Video Highlights available here