Youngsport: Dean Close hockey girls are national Under-18s champions
Dean Close School's Under-18s girls hockey team are national hockey champions after winning a dramatic penalty flicks shoot-out.
They won the National Championships on Wednesday with the last flick of the game, held at Cannock Hockey Club in Staffordshire, in front of enthusiastic supporters from the Cheltenham school.
Hoards of their supporters had boarded a double decker bus, followed by numerous cars, and headed up the motorway to support the girls in the final against Repton, from Derbyshire, for the national title.
To the team's surprise, they were met with a long 'guard of honour' when they came out of the changing rooms and jogged down to the pitch.
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The support didn't stop there.
The Dean Close crowd lined the parameter fence with a drum beating out various chants for the supporters to sing to, encouraging the girls on.
On the pitch, the first half was tense for both teams and resulted in a 0-0 score at half time.
However, shortly after play resumed in the second half, Dean Close took the initiative, winning a short corner which resulted in Amelia Andrew putting Dean Close in front.
Rosie Abbott then hit a shot just over the bar from four yards away with only the goalkeeper to beat.
The game continued on with the same score until very close to the end when, with just four minutes left on the clock, Repton scored an equaliser.
The Dean Close girls fought hard in the last few minutes to score again, but the whistle was blown with a full-time score of 1-1.
Penalty flicks loomed.
The supporters from both teams headed down to the far end and awaited their team's turn.
Dean Close's goalkeeper, Louisa von Rotenhan, stepped in front of the goal as Repton went first, 1-0.
Dean Close stepped up 1-1. Repton scored again, 2-1. Dean Close's flick was then saved.
Repton stepped up to go 3-1 ahead. Dean Close scored, 3-2.
Repton's flick was saved and Dean Close scored for 3-3.
Repton's flick was then saved.
So it was all down to the last flick and everyone held their breath as Andrew stepped up to take it.
A few moments later the crowds erupted, Andrew had scored and Dean Close were National Champions.
Director of Sport, Rhys Gwilliam said: "It was a great team effort, fantastic attack and defence throughout and a wonderful display of goalkeeping in saving two penalty flicks.
"The captain, Jenny Lea, was outstanding as the most successful girls' captain Dean Close has had.
"The girls recently came in a runners-up against Repton in the National Indoor Finals so it was great to beat them the outdoor final. " In the run-up to the final, each team in the competition had to play three other regional champions within their group.
Coach, Gary Tredgett, felt it was important for the team to win their first match, which they did, playing Oakham and winning 4-2. The second match, later that day, was against Kingston which the girls won convincing with a score line of 6-2.
The final game of the group came the following day against Ipswich, where the girls only needed a draw to proceed to the final. However, they played to win and win they did, with a score of 2-1 taking them into the final later that day.
Team: Louisa von Rotenhan, Bryony Davies, Adelaide Hollows, Melina Lambsdorff, Lucy Keyworth, Charlotte Williams, Jenny Lea, Lauren Alias, Amelia Andrew, Rosie Abbott, Judith Richards, Rhianna Evans, Rachel Scrase, Fay Jaffar, Melissa Teague.