Head coach says Sudbury Girls Under-18s will learn from final defeat as they aspire to become national champions
Mark Dudley believes his Sudbury Girls Under-18s will learn from a heavy final defeat in Reading as they aspire to return next year to bridge the gap to become national champions.
By reaching the England Hockey Girls’ Under-18s Junior Tier 2 Championships, they are thought to be the first Sudbury Hockey Club side to ever contest a national final.
Although head coach Dudley said they easily won the contest in the stands on Saturday – with a large and vocal support he was very appreciative of – Bath Buccaneers ran away with things on the pitch with an 8-1 success.
“They were very good and had three full England Under-18 internationals playing and two Futures Cup players, and they were just too good for us,” he said.
Bath scored their first goal before Sudbury had got a chance to even touch the ball.
But to their credit, Sudbury showed character thereafter, though conceded twice more before the interval.
Two quick goals from the Buccaneers followed after play resumed before a consolation goal from Francesa Kent.
But three further goals followed to complete a one-sided scoreline.
“We did well and I thought the scoreline was a bit flattering. They were probably five goals better than us,” said Dudley, who pointed to the fact his side contained younger players, meaning they are all eligible to play in the competition next season.
“They said they have seen what they need to aspire to and we will be looking to go one better next time; that is the great attitude these players have got.
“By any reckoning we have had an amazing season,” he said.
Sudbury had already bagged two trophies, winning the Home Counties Girls League and Suffolk Ladies Indoor League in what has been a memorable season.