For the first time, the St John's 2nd XI was entered into the U18 county trophy. With the 1st XI playing for the County Cup shortly after, the aim of the day was to bring back two sets of gold medals.
St John's were placed in a group with Nonsuch School, Trinity College and Lingfield College. Being the only 2nd team in the group was intimidating and it would be an impressive achievement to go through.
The first game against Nonsuch began sluggishly and the 10 minute first half was over before the girls knew it. As emphasised before the game, intensity was everything. The girls raised their game in the second half, but could not breakdown a team they were much stronger than. This put St John's on the back for their upcoming games against Trinity and Lingfield, who were reportedly stronger teams. Nevertheless, the girls showed great determination in their next game against Trinity and, following a close call early, took the lead courtesy of Livvy Conboy, who pounced on a loose ball in the D. St John's produced an even more dominant display and did not allow Trinity out of their half. They won the game 1-0 and a win against Lingfield would take them through. The game was a feisty affair. Molly Saunders was simply fantastic in midfield, not giving the opposition anytime on the ball. Intensity was high, they moved the ball quickly and they were rewarded by taking the lead as Hannah Potter capitalised on a defensive error. The more Lingfield attempted to get back into the game, the harder St John's played. They worked as a dominant team and put in the best performance of the whole season so far. In the last play of the game, Livvy Conboy scored at the end of a beautifully worked short corner. Final score was 2-0 and St John's finished top of the group with 7 points.
The sem-final opposition was Rosebery School. Confidence and team spirit was high and they entered the game the same was they had finished the last. Hannah Potter scored early on to put St John's in control and from that point on, it was a mature performance. They defended well and attacked with speed. They won the game 1-0 and after beating three 1st teams and drawing with one, they were very proud of their efforts.
The final was against CLFS, a team that the 2nd XI had beaten 2-0 on the opening day of the season. St John's looked confident, yet cautious as they moved the ball around the field. John's were most certainly stronger than their counterparts as they dominated the midfield. They attacked quickly and created some great scoring opportunities. Spreeth was clean through, but couldn't get her shot on target. Potter had a clean strike, but it was saved by the keeper. They dominated possession and territory, but couldn't score.
Penalty flicks. Five girls stepped up; Anna Mead, Hannah Potter, Kirstin Hume, Molly Saunders and Livvy Conboy. John's scored 4/5 and a goal from Freeman's (who still had a 100% success rate) would lead to victory. Jodie Brine made an outstanding save to take the flicks into sudden death. Goal. Goal. Goal. The flicks were too good for the keepers. Unfortunately, on John's 9th penalty, the Freeman's keeper made a save to win the county trophy. St John's had lost 7-8 on flicks.
I am very proud of all efforts, and so should the girls. Player of the tournament was Molly Saunders who racked up many miles of running, I'm sure. Nevertheless, all players, from goalkeeper, to forwards worked as a unit. Well done on your silver medal!