TWO junior sides from Leamington Hockey Club made their debut on the national stage for the first time on Sunday.
The under-14 girls team and the under-16 boys both made their bow in the first round of an England Hockey tournament, which commenced with an opening group game each.
Leamington’s girls side were originally tasked with home matches against Market Harborough and Leicester, though the former failed to field a team.
The under-14s instead went straight into battle with Leicester, with the two sides playing out a goalless opening quarter.
Leamington’s Scarlet Littell soon sparked the game into life with a goal three minutes into the second quarter, stroking the ball past the opposition keeper after meeting Leila Scott’s right wing cross.
It was 2-0 when Abigail George finished off Freya Richardson’s forward run just before half time, giving the hosts a much-needed cushion before a spell of pressure from Leicester in quarter three.
A counter attack led to a third Leamington goal, ending with Littell putting the ball into the path of George for the simplest of finishes.
Maddie Barnes had to be alert to make a number of saves to keep the visitors at bay, though she was unable to prevent the opposition from pulling a goal back early in the final quarter.
A strike from Scott made amends to finish off the game, ensuring a perfect start to the tournament for Leamington.
The under-16s were faced with a tough task away to Hampton-in-Arden, who sought an immediate goal in the opening minutes.
Alfie Black kept out the hosts in the opening quarter, but was unable to keep out the opening goal five minutes into the second quarter.
Hampton had a second goal before the break and were relatively comfortable throughout, despite Leamington’s attempts to bring the game back into contention.
Two more strikes followed in the second half to condemn Leamington to a 4-0 opening-day defeat, though certainly not for the lack of trying.