29th May 2018: From the 19th – 20th May it was a festival of U14 girls hockey as we had two days of fantastic hockey at the EuroHockey Club Cup for U14 Girls. 

The tournament saw teams from across Europe compete for the title. Competing were two teams from the Netherlands, AH&BC Amsterdam and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, two German teams in Mannheimer HC and UHC Hamburg, and one team from England and Ireland, Surbiton HC and Cork Harlequins respectively.

 Teams were split into two pools of three teams with Surbiton, Hertogenbosch and Mannheimer in Pool A and Pool B consisting of AH&BC Amsterdam, UHC Hamburg and Cork Harlequins.

On Saturday the pool games took place at Kingston Grammar Schools recently resurfaced pitch, with the semi-final games following in the evening at Surbiton Hockey Pitch. The first game of the day saw Surbiton face Mannheimer with Surbiton ruling supreme with a 3-0 victory. In the next game of the day we saw Hamburg defeat the Cork Harlequins 2-1. Surbiton played again and won again in the third and final game of the morning session with a 1-0 victory over ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

 The first game of the afternoon session at Kingston Grammar school saw AH&BC Amsterdam play their first game of the tournament with beating UHC Hamburg 7-0. The penultimate game of the pool A session was between Mannheimer and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the result of which was a convincing 5-0 victory to the Dutch team. The final game of the pool stages saw Cork Harlequins face AH&BC Amsterdam which ended Cork 0 – 9 Amsterdam.

The final pool standings saw Surbiton topping Pool A with ‘s-Hertogenbosch advancing to the semi-finals and UHC Hamburg following Pool B winners AH&BC Amsterdam to the semi-finals.

In attendance of the pool matches was Alyson Annan, coach of the Dutch national women’s team. When asked about the importance of attending events similar to this she said, “In Holland I am trying to get around to the district teams to have a look at them. I think it is important to show that you are watching the games and you are seeing them at a young age. When I played, at this age I loved having international players and top coaches coming to watch. It inspires you and you know where you need to get to and I think it is important to do it.”

She was also impressed with the spirit of the tournament, saying “I think it is good to see a lot of young girls playing against each other but I have also noticed while I am here that they are all here supporting each other which is good to see. And you see the different levels at this age, you see which players and teams are talented.”

The teams were then transported to Surbiton Hockey Club to play the semi-finals on Saturday evening. The first semi-final saw Pool A toppers Surbiton face UHC Hamburg, the game finished with a Surbiton 5-0 victory. The next semi-final saw ‘s-Hertogenbosch book their ticket to Sundays final with a well fought 2-1 victory against AH&BC Amsterdam. Both matches were witnessed by a great crowd.

On Sunday we welcomed the teams back to Kingston Grammar School to play their finals. The 5/6th place playoff saw Mannheimer HC and the Cork Harlequins play. The game was well fought out with chances at both ends of the field but the game resulted in a 2-0 victory for Mannheimer. The next game, which was the 3rd/4th, saw AH&BC Amsterdam cruise past UHC Hamburg in an 8-0 victory.

The final game of the tournament, saw ‘s-Hertogenbosch face Surbiton. After an early goal to give ‘s-Hertogenbosch the lead, Surbiton pressed hard for a goal for the remainder of the game, ultimately deciding to bring on a kicking back for the final five minutes. But it wasn’t enough, they couldn’t find the net and the game ended 1-0, ‘s-Hertogenbosch were champions of the U14 Girls EHCC 2018.

The medal ceremony took place at Surbiton HC where medals were presented by EHF Vice-President Carola Meyer and GB Olympic Gold medal winners Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh. The winners were presented the trophy on the main pitch at halftime of the women’s bronze medal match between Madrid and Amsterdam.

Brian O’ Shea, Coach, Cork Harlequins summed the overall feeling of the teams up saying “Our girls had an absolutely fantastic time and enjoyed the whole experience making new friends on the way. I wish to congratulate Den Bosch on their success but also wish to congratulate Surbiton and all other teams on your performances over the weekend the hockey was of the highest standard throughout but sportsmanship was also of the highest standard a credit to all clubs. I wish to extend our thanks to both KGS and Surbiton on the use of their fabulous facilities again this contributed to the overall experience and of course umpires and support personnel.The Host club Surbiton HC did a marvellous job on hosting the U14 EHCC and also many thanks to Kingston Grammar School for their great hospitality.”

Click here for the full results.