Ben Rhydding’s Under-14 girls completed their season on a high by winning the bronze medal in the England Hockey Cup finals at Lee Valley Olympic Park.

Rhydding’s first opponents in their four-team group were were Isca. The Exeter side started the stronger and forced Sophie Dale into a series of fine saves.

Becky Hadfield and Milly Fewlass-Jones scrambled shots off the line before Ben Rhydding found their feet as an attacking force and Imogen Sunman went close before the match finished goalless.

Rhydding’s next opponents were cup favourites and eventual winners Surbiton who beat them 2-0.

Rhydding defended from deep with the inspired Dale making some fine saves whenever the tigerish play of Kirsty McMillan, Hadfield, Nisha Cant and Evie Malir was unable to keep Surbiton at bay.

A goal in each half sealed Ben Rhydding's fate and it meant the outcome of their final group match was going to be crucial.

Rhydding faced Norwich City knowing that a win could mean a chance to feature in the third-place play-off.

Rhydding started nervously and fell behind to a well-worked goal late in the first half.

Rhydding were rattled and struggled to get out of their 25 for the remainder of the half. They were lucky to get to half time only one goal behind.

Rhydding emerged for the second half a determined outfit but they still trailed with five minutes to go.

It was then that Hadfield broke through in midfield and slipped the ball left to McMillan at the top of the D, who in turn slotted the ball through to Sophie Armitage who scored.

The relief was immense and spurred Rhydding on. Norwich were holding on, but with less than 90 seconds on the clock, McMillan took a free hit quickly outside of the D and was impeded by a defender.

Rhydding were awarded another short corner, which Malir fired to the outside of the goal for Izzy Weir to deflect into the back of the net.

Not for the first time this season, there was another few minutes nervous wait while the result from the Surbiton v Isca game was confirmed as a 2-0 win to Surbiton, which meant that Rhydding had finished second in their pool and would play Yeovil & Sherborne HC for third place.

Dale was again the hero in goal, pulling off a string of saves, while the defence fought hard to keep out the Yeovil attack.

Shortly before half time Rhydding broke and won a short corner, which from the initial saved shot the ball rebounded to Sunman, who made no mistake.

Rhydding came out in the second half ready to give all that was left in the tank. They pushed for a second, and when Yeovil were reduced to ten players for trying to cut out an aerial ball from Malir, Rhydding upped their game.

Yeovil held out and finally beat Dale in the Rhydding goal with five minutes left. The match ended all square and was to be decided on penalty flicks.

With Dale in the form of her life, it was always going to be difficult for Yeovil. Malir, McMillan, Gabby Pope, Anna Pateman and Rachel Scott all stepped forward for Rhydding, and converted two out of their first four, but it was Dale who made her mark by saving all but one of Yeovil’s five flicks to win the bronze medal for Ben Rhydding.