Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Hockey Club U16 girls advance in national competition

WBTHC U16s, Laura King, Kaye Oxborough, Brooke McGowan, Kaitlyn Newby, Rosie Belsham, Lottie Gill, Hannah Matthews, Emily Rickards, Chloe Reid, Heidi Rochester and Beth Gibson.

WBTHC U16s, Laura King, Kaye Oxborough, Brooke McGowan, Kaitlyn Newby, Rosie Belsham, Lottie Gill, Hannah Matthews, Emily Rickards, Chloe Reid, Heidi Rochester and Beth Gibson.

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Needing one win from their final two National Championship matches, Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Hockey Club U16 girls headed to Carlisle looking to earn a place in the next round.

After a slow start by both teams, Whitley broke the deadlock with a great goal from Lottie Gill.

A further strike from Kaitlyn Newby sent them into half-time with a 2-0 lead.

The home side started the second half with greater determination and pulled a goal back.

But the Whitley defence dug deep and with some fabulous defensive performances they regained control of the game and scored another great goal from Gill to run out 3-1 winners.

The win secured them a place in the North of England finals to be held on February 28.

With the pressure off but with tired legs they then faced a talented Preston team, but thanks to goals again from Gill and Newby and from Laura King, and outstanding performances throughout, they won 5-3 to finish champions of their league.

Like the Over 35s team, they are now only one step away from National Finals to be held on the same day, at the Olympic Stadium in London.