HIGH Wycombe HC U16 girls showed their character to earn a place at their second national finals of the year.
Having qualified for the indoor finals earlier in the year, Wycombe have now booked their place in the outdoor finals after a show of character and courage in the regional finals at Clifton College on Sunday.
After a win and a draw in their first two games, they needed to avoid defeat against the hosts in their third and final game to go through.
However, the Cressex club were on the verge of elimination when Clifton broke the deadlock in the first half.
Captain and goalkeeper Grace Calam then had to pull off a few fine stops to prevent Clifton going further in front, and her efforts were rewarded late on when Ellie Wheeler scored the all-important equaliser.
Coach Kat McGonigle said: “It was a fantastic team performance. The standard was exceptionally high but the girls rose to the challenge and played some outstanding hockey.
“It was amazing to watch and a true team effort.’’ Wycombe began the day with a 1-0 triumph over Trojans thanks to Ella Hodge’s early goal, and they were all set to book their place in the finals in game two, when they led Isca 1-0 with just two minutes left.
Emily Hacking’s goal was the difference and a victory then would have qualified Wycombe with a game to spare.
However, Isca struck back from a short corner to consign Wycombe to a final-game decider.
They will now go Wakefield on March 29 and 30.