Portsmouth Grammar School’s under-16 girls’ hockey team were today making an historic bid to win the England Schools’ Hockey Championship.
The squad are among the top eight in their age group in the country competing in the prestigious finals at Cannock Hockey Club, near Birmingham.
There, they will attempt to finish in the top two of a four-team pool to qualify for the semi-finals.
The Portsmouth Grammar girls have already written themselves into the school’s record books by becoming the first girls team in the history of PGS to qualify for the Hampshire round of the competition.
They then set the standard even higher by going on to win the south of England heat, defeating Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School 2-1 at Surbiton Hockey Club last month.
Two brilliant goals within minutes of each other by Sophie Brigg secured a 2-0 lead in the first half over the Buckinghamshire-based opposition, who scored just before the whistle.
Heroic second-half defending then kept them at bay.
PGS director of sport, Chris Dossett, said: ‘It’s very exciting.
‘The girls have played fantastically. To win the south of England heat – traditionally one of the toughest in England because of the high number of excellent hockey schools in the region – is tremendous.
‘Our thanks must go to coach David Rutherford who has brought girls’ hockey on so much over the past few years.
‘He is doing a wonderful job and this success is a tribute to his hard work. We wish them well.’
Coach David Rutherford said he was impressed by the spirit and determination shown by his squad and their sheer hard work they have put in to go so far.
Portsmouth Grammar School’s under-13 girls and boys hockey squads will be bidding for a place in the next round of the national mini championships when they take part in the Hampshire round at Southampton Sports Centre on Thursday, March 10.