Lincolnshire’s under-17 girls’ hockey team have become the first side from the county to be crowned champions of the East of England.
The side, which boasts a number of players from South Holland, saw off the likes of Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire en-route to the coveted crown.
Their opening game against hosts Bedford was a one-sided affair, with Lincs netting either side of half-time to seal a 2-0 win.
They then came from behind to earn a 2-1 triumph over Hertfordshire, with the decisive goal coming five minutes from time.
Next up were Cambridgeshire, in what proved a tricky game. A goal down at the interval, Annie Dalton and Naomi Smith began to boss the midfield and Lincs duly levelled.
Top defending by Tamika Providence and Emma Dalton in the centre, backed up well by Harriett Hanwell and Hannah Greenacre, ensured it finished 1-1 – and meant Lincs only needed a draw against Essex in their finale.
Having suffered at the hands of Essex in the past, it was a tough mental test for the girls. But Lincs stuck to their task well, with the pace of Lilly Dobbs on the left and Emma Howell on the right continually causing problems.
The pressure eventually told and they went in 1-0 ahead at the interval. Katie Gray’s super run then won a penalty flick, which Smith buried to seal an historic title.
Squad: Rebecca Warr, Hannah Kitchen, Annie Dalton, Emma Dalton, Tamika Providence, Katie Gray, Lily Dobbs, Naomi Smith, Emma Howell, Hannah Greenacre, Gabby Dunn, Victoria Allen, Harriett Hanwell, Alex Burnett and Victoria Needham.