TWO young hockey teams boarded a plane to Spain for an international tournament in the sun. Brighton and Hove Hockey Club sent two girls’ squads and one boys’ team to Barcelona for the trip of a lifetime. With them was parent and organiser Masha Finn, who reports on the trip here.

The standard of hockey from all was impressively high, the sun shone and our teams played some amazing hockey over the three days.

A seven-a-side team of under-11 girls competed against teams from across Europe and we had a pretty tough category in the championship pool.

The girls should be immensely proud not only of their standard of hockey, but also how they conducted themselves as sportswomen.

They were supported by our other Brighton and Hove teams and made the most of every minute.

They played on international pitches and did Brighton and Hove Hockey Club proud.

For the team, Tessa Connell showed determination and hard graft, Livia Ogunsanya had some spectacular hits, Izzy Kilburn worked tirelessly on the pitch – and scored a great goal. Honey Batchelor-Lyons made some brilliant runs on the left, Beatrix Ansell moved well in different positions, Polly Evans was quick to get the ball and take hits – as well as a goal – and Josie Venables really improved on her marking.

They had a blast, made some amazing memories and an experience they will never forget. Special mention must go to Ayla Mankoui for her incredible goalkeeping and awesome saves throughout the tournament.

Well done parents and girls for making sure they were in the right place at the right time.

The under-11 boys were a joy to watch developing as a team – they showed excellent sportsmanship, looked after each other and did not let the opposition rattle them.

Their last match of the tournament ended up being the most exciting. After 20 minutes on tenterhooks, we ended up with a draw and a penalty shuffle.

Callum Shuttlewood scored the first goal which gave us hope. However, the hero of the tournament was Fin Metcalfe, the goalkeeper extraordinaire. He saved all three penalties.

The under-13 girls had some nail-biting international matches over the three days. They played on Olympic pitches with parents and enthusiastic supporters cheering on.

The first match was hard-fought against a local team. Within minutes, a cross from Lara Clark to Orla Lee and on to Dina Finn gave us a 1-0 lead but the strong opposition scored right back, and despite fantastic play across the pitch, it ended 1-1.

Sunday morning’s match was against Madrid’s Real Sociedad. It was fast-paced and exhilarating to watch. It was exciting as we waited until the final minutes to score, ending the match 2-0.