Chapel Gate - Sports

Our Lenny Murphy recently played in the Hockey World Cup for the England Masters o50s and we asked her to tell us her story!

In my second year playing for England Masters O50s Ladies hockey, I was delighted to be selected to represent my country in the 2014 Masters Hockey World Cup in Rotterdam, Holland.

Having spent the best part of a year training 5-6 times a week, with the help of a personal trainer, and several squad training weekends in Cannock, I felt prepared for the personal challenge that lay ahead.

After a 10 hour drive, I arrived at the squad hotel, straight into our first tournament team meeting with our coach and manager. We were facing a game every day for the next 6 days so needed to get ourselves focused.

Our first game against New Zealand promised to be a physical battle, as they were considered the favourites along with Australia. Our pre-match preparation got us all in the right frame of mind and we started the game on the attack. Within 3 minutes I had scored: my first goal for my country! Our positivity continued, we carried on in the same vein, coming out 3-1 winners.

Day 2 saw us take on Australia, again winning 2-1, followed by victories over Ireland (1-0), Wales (5-0), USA (10-0), and The Netherlands (1-0)

This meant we finished top of our group, with the only unbeaten record conceding just 3 goals, to face Australia in the final.

Finals day began with a feeling of nervous excitement; playing in a World Cup Final was beyond my wildest dreams and I was determined to enjoy it and be proud of my achievement.

Australia had clearly done their homework and knew they had to come out fighting if they were to get a result against us. It was a real end to end game but, after 30 minutes, the deadlock was broken when I got on the end of a loose ball which wrong-footed the keeper and saw the ball end up in the back of the net.

The second half remained as competitive but I connected with a well worked cross to put us 2-0 up.

With three minutes to go, Australia got a goal back but we regrouped and held on until the final whistle: a 2-1 win, making us World Champions!

I feel honoured that I have achieved something that 99.9% of other sportspeople won’t ever achieve. Scoring two goals in a World Cup final, coupled with the pride of standing on the podium, singing the national anthem, and watching my country’s flag being raised, is an experience I shall never forget and I hope it will inspire others to aim high and never give up.

Lenny Murphy

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