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Bury St Edmunds Hockey Club's history makers can be proud of their national run

The scoreline of their England Hockey Girls Under-18s Tier 3 Junior Championships final may be one they will want to forget, but Bury St Edmunds coach Alex Bibby says they should still be justifiably proud of their cup run.

It is thought to be the first time a Bury girls side has made it all the way through to a national final – despite Bibby and Juliet Konrath’s team containing around eight U14s players.

In the end their youthful side proved no match for a Rugby & East Warwickshire side containing international-level players, losing 11-1 in Nottingham on Sunday.

Bury St Edmunds Hockey Club's Under-18 Girls side were runners-up in the the England Hockey T3 Cup(42154954)
Bury St Edmunds Hockey Club's Under-18 Girls side were runners-up in the the England Hockey T3 Cup(42154954)

“As far as we know, and our records go back 30 to 40 years, our girls team has never got to the finals, so it was a huge achievement even before we got in the car to Nottingham,” said joint coach Bibby, who will again be the Men’s I’s captain in the upcoming East Hockey League campaign, which has now been delayed by a week to September 26.

“Obviously we are gutted to lose the final but it was a huge achievement and moment for the club which gave the girls the recognition for all their hard work and they should be super proud.

“To have half a team feature under-14 makes it even more of an achievement.

“Meanwhile, they had the England U18s Girls captain in their side and it certainly showed!

“But we fought against them very well right to the very end. And with only three of them too old for next year we have something to build on over the next few years.”

A Holly Reynolds strike from a short corner had got Bury on the scoresheet, which read 6-1 at half-time.

Both Bury and Rugby & East Warwickshire had dropped into the Tier 3 competition after exiting the Tier 2 championships in the first round.

* Pre-season preparations have been ongoing for Bury’s sides with the Ladies II losing 4-1 to Ipswich in a friendly at the weekend. Jo Thompson was on target for Bury who were competitive throughout with two late goals flattering the hosts.

The Ladies III were edged out 1-0 in a tight away game at Ipswich while a Ladies IV side featuring a number of young debutants had more success with a 4-0 win against Ipswich. The goals came from Kathryn Mitchell, Lilia Payne (2), and Alice Prentice.

The Men’s IV went down 4-1 to a strong Norwich City side with the Bury goal coming from the evergreen Tony Bass. As with the Ladies II, two late goals meant the scoreline did not really reflect how close the match was.

Off the pitch, the club has also recently held its AGM, the first ever via Zoom meetings. During the course of the meeting, the awards were made for the 2020/21 season:

Awards winners: Tom Chappell Award - Best Young Male Player of the Year: George Bedford; Best Young Female Player of the Year: Jessica Konrath & Holly Reynolds; Male Player of the Year: Tom Campbell-Todd; Female Player of the Year: Sinead Collins; Most Improved Male Player: Samuel Ellis; Most Improved Female Player: Georgia Wishlade; Susan Haystead Award - Most Committed Female Player: Olivia Hyndman; Most Committed Male Player: Rob Neal; Club Member of the Year: Tim Coe; Club Umpire of the Year: Julie Dunger; David Johnson Umpire Award: Barry Anderson.

* Bury’s junior hockey (U8s-U14s) started last weekend. New players, all ages and abilities, are welcomed. Email juniorcoordinator@bsehockeyclub.co.uk for more details.