Victoria College Belfast 7 - High School Dublin 0
A school team comprising a squad of 28 girls from Year 10 to Year 13 took on the Senior Team from High School Dublin as part of their ‘Tour of the North’. It was the first time many of the VCB girls, especially the year 10 pupils, had tasted senior school hockey and they performed impressively. A comprehensive 7-0 scoreline was testimony to the impressive performances of the entire squad.
Goals from Charlie Little, Darcy Smyth, Emilia Cutrona, Eve Corry, Georgia Ross and a double from Cate Blayney ensured that the school recorded an impressive victory over their Dublin opponents at a sun-drenched Queen’s Playing Fields on Sunday morning.
The Dublin school had included a match against Victoria on the itinerary as new vice-Principal Mrs Wilson moved to our school from a similar post at High School Dublin at the start of this school year.
The Victoria team started superbly, enjoying the majority of possession from the first whistle and took an early lead when an electric run from Charlie Little from inside her own half saw her slot the ball past the advancing keeper. Using her blistering pace and showing some of the skills which have saw her playing a key role for the first team during the past season, she evaded seven of the opponent players before coolly finding the corner of the net to put the home team ahead.
Victoria continued to impress with Hannah Beattie and Hannah McLaren in defence thwarting any High School attacks and releasing the midfielders to start some good attacking moves. Year 10’s Anna Hill was very impressive and came closest to adding to Victoria’s lead when her driving run into the circle saw her send a reverse stick effort narrowly wide.
Despite continuing to enjoy more possession and creating a number of chances, it wasn’t until the latter stages of the first quarter that the Victoria team doubled their advantage. Darcy Smyth finished off a flowing move involving six Victoria players.
The second quarter saw Katie Palin, Amy Christie and Zara Lowry from year 10 all start with Caitlin Murphy employed in an unusual midfield role. However the match followed a similar pattern to the first period with Victoria dominating. High school had introduced a number of their more senior girls at the break in the hope of stemming the VCB play, but the completely changed home team in the second quarter played some terrific hockey.
Amy Christie played a long searching ball from defence which Emilia Cutrona latched onto before adding a third VCB goal. And, not long after, Cate Blayney got her first of the game, tapping home at the back post after some great work by Emily Young and Sarah Webb.
High School upped their game markedly in the third quarter and caused the Victoria team a number of problems. Although at the heart of the VCB defence Rebecca Bunn and Megan Field ensured that Katie Palin in the home goal remained largely untroubled. Elsewhere in the team Anna Glover and Sarah Hand were industrious in the midfield area, and although they were finding chances hard to come by, the forwards worked tirelessly throughout the period. No goals in the third quarter and the scored remained 4-0 to the home side.
Victoria totally dominated the final quarter as the High School girls’ started to tired after a hectic tour which saw them play three games in three days as well as taking in a number of the sites Northern Ireland has to offer. The home side added three more goals in the early stages of the quarter as first Eve Corry couldn’t miss when tapping in from two metres, then Georgia ross added a brilliant sixth, before Cate Blayney capped a great personal display with her second of the game.
Special mention must go to Sam McCoo, who from right back, proved to be an attacking threat on numerous occasions throughout the last twenty minutes and also to Zara Lowry, who playing the last quarter in centre midfield controlled the game beautifully and created a number of chances for the forwards.
The game finished with a 7-0 victory for the Victoria side and both teams enjoyed some lunch in the Pavilion afterwards.
The performance of the team bodes well for senior school hockey next season with many of the girls making a case for inclusion in the senior squad in the new school year.