Tuesday 5th March
After achieving the unexpected at their first ever lacrosse tournament a few weeks previously, the team were back at Royal Holloway for the county finals. Knowing we would be up against tough opposition. The team was given the instruction to enjoy themselves and to try their best. If their best meant they won, brilliant. If their best meant they finished last, at least they tried their best.
Our first game was against St Pauls. Buckland dominated the game from start to finish. The team was in superb form and had a determination I had not seen before from a Buckland team. The final score 10 – 2.
Our second game was against Ravenscote, an extremely physical team who made their presence felt. Unfortunately for them Buckland refused to be intimidated and made sure that Ravenscote were left disappointed at the final whistle. The final score 5 – 2.
Our final group game was against St Charles B team. Being beaten by their A team in the previous tournament raised a few nerves throughout the team. Nerves that were unjust, as several quick early goals ensured Buckland’s control over the game. The final score 8 – 2.
3 out of 3 group games won ensured a place in the 1st / 2nd place play off. We awaited the results to find out who our opposition would be…….. St Charles A. we would be facing off against the team who beat us in the previous tournament. Knowing we would be guaranteed a silver medal left me feeling quite content. After all, second place in a county final would be Buckland’s best ever result at this level of competition.
However, the team had other ideas, and the sight of those gold medals sparked something within the team. The first half was an extremely even match. 0 – 0 at half time. We were in this, and we could win it.
A quick chat at half time and with a renewed determination, Buckland took the field ready to begin the second half. Buckland started with the ball and instantly scored. However, St Charles, were not going without a fight, and quickly scored an equaliser. St Charles, who by all evidence are an extremely talented team were in for a tough match and if they wanted that gold medal, they would have to fight for it. However, Buckland scored the second goal and it was that goal, which hurt the opposition the most. St Charles’ heads had dropped and the floodgates opened. Buckland took full advantage and scored several more goals. The final score 6 – 1.
Buckland had done it! They had won the school’s first gold medal in a county final and in doing so reached the national finals for lacrosse. What a monumental achievement for all those involved. A truly inspired performance in a sport we had only been practicing for 6 weeks. These Buckland children truly are incredible.
The children have an exciting trip to Sheffield in June to look forward too. An opportunity to compete on a national scale. The way this team has performed in the county finals, who knows what the nationals will bring. I would not put anything past these remarkable individuals.