Maidenhead Girls u16s secured a top three finish in the England Hockey Western regional finals on Sunday at Reading.
A terrific hat-trick by 14-year-old forward Tilly O’Dea in the final game against Bristol Firebrands clinched third place in the tough competition.
Maidenhead had started in fine form with a tense 3-2 win over local rivals Reading.
In the qualifying group, Maidenhead had led both games only to be forced to settle for draws following Reading fight-backs.
This time round, Maidenhead stormed into the lead with three first-half goals in as many minutes from Emily Tapner-Evans, Jess Edmunds and Tilly O’Dea.
But, true to form, Reading tried to stage another come-back and scored two second-half penalty corners leaving Maidenhead happy to hear the final whistle.
Maidenhead were unbeaten in qualifying, but they finally tasted defeat in their next round-robin game, going down 3-0 to eventual winners Oxford. They also lost 3-1 to runners-up Wooton-Under-Bridge with Jess Edmunds scoring the consolation goal.
Head coach Richard Tapner-Evans was delighted with the top three final place and the girls’ overall display. He said: “This was a fabulous finale to a great season. The girls played some lovely hockey and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
“We were unbeaten all season in our qualifying games and totally deserved our place in the finals. The girls have done themselves proud.”