Benenden’s 1st Lacrosse Team battled against the elements to finish as runners-up at a wind, rain and hail swept National Schools Lacrosse Championships yesterday.
The team came just short of claiming the highest honour in schools Lacrosse – losing out in the Final to a strong Wycombe Abbey team – but can be justifiably proud of their achievements throughout the day.
With Saturday’s play cancelled due to adverse weather, the initial two-day tournament was rescheduled to take place on one day at Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre.
Benenden were hoping to emulate the achievements of the First Team in 2017 who won the tournament and they were straight into their stride, winning a pulsating first match against Westonbirt School 4-3.
They followed this up with a convincing 3-0 victory against Queen Anne’s Caversham before suffering a 3-1 defeat against Guildford High School in their final pool game.
However, the two victories saw Benenden finish second in their pool, behind Guildford High School, to proceed to the knockout stages.
The knockout stages were to see some real nailbiting encounters, with the team winning each of their Last 16, Quarter-Final and Semi-Final matches by just a single goal.
First of all they overcame Caterham School 3-2 to proceed to a Quarter-Final against a strong Downe House team who had convincingly won all of their pool games.
An excellent performance lead to a 2-1 win and a Semi-Final against Berkhamsted School – last year's champions and another school who had won all of their pool games.
The 1st team were on top form, snatching a second successive 2-1 win, to see them through to the Final against Wycombe Abbey.
The Final proved to be a step too far with Wycombe Abbey securing a 4-0 win, but the girls can feel very proud to be runners-up in the most prestigious schools Lacrosse tournament in the country.
Director of Sport, Katy Hudson, was full of praise for the team, saying: “The girls really performed at their best under pressure, they came together very well as a team and their fight and determination saw them through to some tight wins at crucial points. Well done everyone!”
In addition to reaching the Final we also had one girl nominated for a Spirit of Lacrosse Award and another who won the award for being the Best Defender in the tournament.