National Schools Lacrosse: Outstanding Success for CatLax!
Caterham School 1st XII and U14A have finished semi-finalist at the 2019 National Schools Lacrosse Championships.
The National Schools Championship, the pinnacle of the lacrosse season, was held across four days in Aldershot at the Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre. Six Caterham teams participated across these four days and five of these six teams finished Top 16 and better in the Nation, the best results Caterham School has ever had!
The 1st XII & 2nd XII National tournament was held across two days with the first day allocated to ‘pool’ matches and the results of these then determine leagues/divisions for the second day, with the top league competing for the national title.
The 1st XII started off the first day of competition with a tough match against Bedford High School. A very high scoring game, in a short 19 minute match, resulted in a 5-5 draw. A determined 1st XII did not let this draw impact their focus in the coming matches. A 4-game win streak with dominant wins against Birkenhead, St Barts, The Royal School, and then a must-win, 2-1 victory against St Pauls confirmed the 1st place finish in their section. A balanced attack with seven different goal scorers ( Lack-5, Lloyd-7, McDonald-13, Williams, Alcock-2, Jones) on day one, set up the 1st XII for a great second day of the competition in the Championship bracket- confirming a Top 16 finish in the nation.
Day two brought unbelievably difficult conditions, with freezing rain, strong winds, and even sleet. These conditions did not phase the team as they worked hard in each game, improving and looking stronger in each match. With two wins against Withington and Queen Anne’s, and a close loss to LEH, the 1st XII were seeded 1st in their pool headed to the knockout rounds. Caterham met St Helen and St Catherine’s in the Round of 16 (8-2 WIN), a revenge match against Bedford in the Quarterfinals (4-2 WIN) to be one of the last four teams standing in the Championship Bracket.
A very special experience as the Semi-finals were played in the Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre Stadium. A great crowd behind Caterham, fired up the girls from the first whistle as they took on Berkhamsted. The 1st XII literally left everything on the pitch. Outstanding leadership on display by the U6, relentless effort by the L6th and the courage from the fifth year created the ultimate team effort. Unfortunately, Berkhamsted, the eventual Champions, was able to convert on a few more opportunities, ultimately winning the game 5-3. Despite the loss, finishing semi-finalists in the National tournament matches the best Caterham has ever finished. We are all very proud of you girls, you have represented Caterham well.
The 2nd XII also competed in the two day tournament that ran alongside the 1st XII. The team went to Nationals with high hopes and a Surrey Schools 2nd team title under their belts. They have worked hard all season to gain cohesion and the skills they needed to do well to see where they rank Nationally. The team had a very tough draw and needed to come out top three in order to progress into the top division the following day. That said they came out fighting from the start – one of our weaknesses during the season was no longer a problem! The girls fought through the group stages and achieved the following results: 2-2 draw against Benenden, 5-0 win vs Bedford, a close 2-3 loss to St. Paul’s, 7-0 win against both Haberdasher’s Monmouth and North London Collegiate School and a dominating 6-1 win against Queen Anne’s School.
The next day saw the 2nd XII enter the pool section with tired legs but excellent spirit. Similar to the 1st XII, they were playing for a placing in the last 16 knock out rounds. The slow start crept back into their psyches as they lost to Guildford High 0-4. This woke them up and they put in another great performance against Stowe to win 3-1 just leaving Wycombe Abbey as their final opponent. They worked hard, had a goal disallowed and battled against the wind to go down 1-3. This put them into the last 16 against St Mary’s Calne where they fought hard and unfortunately worked their legs more than the ball, making everything a bit more challenging. The final score was 0-2 to St Mary’s Calne. Regardless of the loss, the team grew in team spirit, skill and friendship. Finishing Top 16 in the Nation, is once again an unbelievable achievement and one worth celebrating!
The 3rd XII took the pitch on Day three of the National tournament. The girls had a varying degree of success in the group stage beating; St Albans High school, Moreton Hall and St Swithun’s and narrowly losing to Benenden and local rivals St Cats – who went on to win the competition. However, with their high scoring wins, the girls were sent through to the quarter final to face Guildford High School. The match up against GHS was the rematch of the Surrey County Bowl final, earlier in the year. The girls gave everything they had left and put up a great fight. Unfortunately, this was not enough and Guildford came out on top 2-0. The girls should be extremely proud of their performances, and for reaching the quarter finals at such a prestigious tournament. A top 8 finish does show how hard the girls have worked over the year and is the best ever finish for our 3rd XII.
The U15As had a phenomenal day at the National Schools Tournament. Despite almost being blown away at one point (quite literally with play being suspended due to hail and high winds), the girls fought hard all day long with real determination and grit. The girls secured convincing wins against Moreton Hall, St George’s Ascot and Queen Anne’s. The final match in the group stages against Queen Anne’s was undoubtedly the highlight of the day. The girls left everything on the pitch, and put in the best team performance of their season, made even more fitting due to it being the last time they will play together as a team. Unfortunately, the girls just missed out on a position in the Championship Bracket due to goal difference. A gutting way to finish the tournament however the girls did themselves proud, and have shown what exciting additions they will be to the Senior programme next season!
The U14A Lacrosse team had an exciting and competitive day at their National Schools Lacrosse Tournament. They had close matches in the group stages, drawing with Guildford High School and Berkhamsted and getting convincing wins against Stowe, Cheltenham and Benenden Bs. This sent the girls through to the Round of 16 as the second seed in their group. The girls played brilliantly against Wycombe Abbey in their first knock out match, winning 1-0. In the Quarter Finals they faced a tough Benenden team and came away with a solid 4-1 victory, sending them through to the Semi Finals against Lady Eleanor Holles School. The Semi Final match was a real battle and the girls played with 100% effort. With a final score of 4-6, LEH went through to the finals. Making it to the Semi Finals was a massive achievement and all of the U14A team should be proud of how hard they worked and what they have achieved.
The U13’s entered their National tournament with a huge target on their back having been crowned the Surrey County Champions earlier this term. In the sections, the girls had amazing victories against Cheltenham Ladies’ College (4-2), Benenden (2-0), and Queen Margaret’s (12-0). With a close loss to Downe House (0-2), the girls finished second in their group qualifying for the Championship Bracket. The U13A’s met St Catherine’s in the Last 16 round where, despite a strong effort, Caterham were unable to convert on their opportunities and fell 1-2. Finishing top 16 in the Nation is an amazing result for this group of hard working and enthusiastic players.
- 1st XII- Semi-Finalists
- 2nd XII- TOP 16
- 3rd XII- Quarter Finalists
- U15A- 17th Place
- U14A- Semi-Finalists
- U13A- TOP 16
This event wrapped up what has been an incredible achievement for the LaxCats and has showcased the improvement, strength and depth of the Caterham Lacrosse programme. Thank you to all the pupils, staff and of course, the devoted parents that supported every team along the way. Most importantly, the U6th must be thanked for their contribution to Caterham Lacrosse over the years. Their enthusiasm, hard work, confidence, and winning mentality will be hard to match in the coming years however will most definitely leave a lasting legacy on current and future Senior LaxCats.
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