Devizes Hockey is celebrating after their U18 Girls were crowned champions of England Hockey’s Tier 2 Plate competition – securing the first-ever junior national title in in the club’s history.

The 15-strong squad of girls travelled to Cambridge University’s campus on Sunday to take on West Midlands side Old Silhillians in the final where the game finished 1-0 to Devizes at full time.

Devizes’ game with Old Silhillians was one of the tightest games of the day, with both teams at deadlock until the 48th minute when a sharp reverse strike by Devizes forward Martha Cracknell secured the win. The match was end-to-end with both teams having goals disallowed.

Captain Bella Ward, who led the team to their debut West Hockey Tier 1 League win just weeks earlier, said: "The girls have gone above and beyond anyone's expectations and I couldn’t possibly be more proud of them, we asked for 100 per cent effort and they certainly delivered.

“Everyone involved has worked incredibly hard for this, and we couldn’t be more pleased to bring home the title of national champions!"

The England Hockey finals day saw boys and girls teams from across the UK arriving at the Cambridge complex with eight other finals matches also taking place, across different age groups and competition bandings.

The finals day was the culmination of this season’s England Hockey’s Junior Club championships programmes which started with more than 700 teams entering the tournaments back in September.

Devizes Hockey’s Head Coach Alex Holloway said: “Firstly, massive thanks to Old Silhillians - it was a great game and a credit to both teams that despite the closeness of the score and performances it was played in a fantastic spirit. 

“As for the Devizes girls they continue to astound me in ways far beyond the hockey they play. 

“They are all fantastic players of course but as a group they have found a way to be more than the sum of their parts.  Each of them will go that extra mile for each other and I think that it is this bond they have formed that has been the difference this year."