KENDAL Ladies Hockey Club clashed sticks with the country's best teams and came away with their heads held high.

The under 16's and under 18's from Kendal both qualified for the National Indoor Finals in Wolverhampton and Croydon respectively for the first time in the club's history.

Both events took place on the weekend of January 17-18.

The under 18's finished fifth overall, beating Old Loughtonians and Bath but losing to tournament favourites Beeston and East Grinstead.

It proved much harder going for the Under 16 side who were hampered by injuries to key players.

Their goalkeeper had to be substituted which left them vulnerable at the back and they eventually succumbed to losses against all their opponents, despite respectable performances in 4-2 losses to both Beeston and ISCA.

Head coach Jon Elleray said: "The first day we were quite close. We played Beeston, who are a national premier league side, but in our second game we had to take the keeper off. We're a young side and a lot of players were only 14 or 15 years old so they did really well. It's the first time the club has qualified for this event and in the Northern tournament they wiped the floor with everyone. With Kendal being such a small town we're playing against teams from London and Nottingham - big city sides - and to be producing players that are capable of playing against them is a fantastic effort."