U14 and U16 Oundle girls’ hockey teams through to the Nationals
21st January 2015

This week, both the U16 and U14 Girls’ Hockey teams from Oundle School secured their places in the National Finals against stiff opposition. 

On 9 December, after winning through to the play-offs back in November, Oundle School’s U16 Girls’ Hockey team played and won an elimination match against the East Regional Finals runners up, Felsted College.

Oundle began aggressively but Felsted started to come into the game as the first half progressed, winning their first short corner and thereby scoring the first goal. Oundle searched for an equalising goal but Felsted’s defence held firm and Oundle went into the half-time break trailing 1-0. In the second half, the Oundle girls managed their game well and played high up the pitch. The pressure was building but time was running out.

 In a final roll of the dice, Oundle’s coaches took off goal-keeper Minna Coke (15) and played with 11 out-field players. Just as the whistle sounded, Oundle won a final short corner, needing to score to tie the game and take it to penalty strokes. Oundle’s players lined the edge of the circle as Lily Craven (14) received the ball and scored with a drag flick to the top left corner of the goal.

Team Captain Dora Nicolle (15) commented, “Team spirit was high after a good warm up together and we started aggressively but were unfortunate to be denied an early goal given most of the action was played within the opposition’s circle. We were ecstatic at winning the short corner as this gave us an opportunity to win the game. The teams than gathered for penalty strokes; five players from each team to flick.”

Minna Coke had responsibility in goal with Frannie Aldridge (15), Dora Nicolle, Lucie Baker (15), Lily Craven and Lara Chapman (14) taking Oundle’s flicks. The girls scored all five flicks and Minna managed to save Felsted’s fourth flick, resulting in a win for Oundle in the play off and the opportunity to play in the Nationals to be held at the London Olympic Park in February. 

On 8 December, Oundle’s U14A team faced and beat Norwich School in their National qualifying match.

Captain Ella Johnsrud (14) commented, “Our match started well, with real intensity in the first ten minutes and many chances on the opposition’s goal resulting in two early goals for us - one by Hannah Wakeford (14) and one by Celeste Young (13) with the aid of a Norwich defenders touch.”

Oundle defended well despite some skilful attacking from Norwich players and at half time the score remained at 2-0. After some very intense defending and a great counter-attack, Oundle managed to gain and score off a short corner in the final minute leaving the final score 3-0 to Oundle, securing them qualification to the Nationals, to be held at the Olympic Lea Valley hockey centre in February. 

Head of Hockey, Gareth Terrett commented, “It is an outstanding achievement for the girls to qualify for the nationals and put themselves in the top 8 teams in the country. Their hard work and effort over the season has paid off with a trip to the Olympic Park to test themselves against the very best. We have had a team in the Nationals before but to get two groups there is amazing and shows the strength in depth that we have here at Oundle. The coaches should also be congratulated on their hard work. We hope that the girls can do well in February and push for further honours.”

Background Information on Oundle School

Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus. 

The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In 2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House. 

At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. The School is now embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. Due for completion in September 2016, the development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology. A concurrent Sports Masterplan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion due to open April 2015.  

There are currently 1110 pupils on roll at Oundle School, with 850 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day School for children aged 4 to 11. 

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