24 Nov 2015


U11A to IAPS National Hockey Finals

The Witham Hall U11A hockey girls had another early trip to Repton for the National Hockey Finals! They were first on against Felsted; the girls had the majority of the possession and territory but a breakaway goal at the 10 minute mark meant Witham didn’t have time to claw it back to a draw. It turned out that this match was very influential in the group.

Witham won their second match against a strong Brandeston Hall with Bonnie scoring a lovely goal. Then we met Kent College who were very strong and beat us 2-0 and went on to win the group beating almost every team. Our 4th match of the day was very frustrating; Holy Cross packed all of their players into defence which meant that despite having a lot of attacking play and being in the D the Witham girls didn’t have the space to get a shot away; a missed short corner meant a 0-0 draw. We had to win our final match of the group to be in with a chance of progressing out of the group stage. Unfortunately Millfield stood in our way; Witham gave them a good game but went 1-0 down in the first few minutes and once again couldn’t claw back the equaliser.

Our group was very close with Holy Cross going through in second position, despite only winning one game! Disappointingly this resulted in us finishing bottom of the group which was not really a true representation of how the girls played. We went on to play Twyford, against the familiar face of Jemima, much to the delight of the Witham girls. This was 0-0 at full time so we went to penalty shuffles; the Witham girls went to pot a little bit and lost at this stage! Our penultimate match was against St Cedds who we comfortably beat 2-0 with Ella scoring both goals. Our final match took some mustering of enthusiasm and energy after a full day in the bitterly cold weather. We met Bedford Girls for yet another 0-0 game! Luckily the girls were fantastic in penalty shuffles this time with Georgina saving two brilliant goals. 

The Witham girls worked tirelessly all day, two players particularly stood out as being consistently strong, positive and focused: Mia and Katie. Mia did a fantastic job as captain, not making a single mistake in defence and taking her responsibilities very seriously. Katie worked tenaciously down the right wing, cheering on her team mates and adapting to play in different positions when fatigue struck. I am so proud of every one of the girls; they certainly deserved their spot at finals (and their hoodies!). Many thanks to Mr Gent for all of his help all day, and to the parents for their cheering and sugar fixes!

Witham Hall – 3

Oakham U12B – 0

Witham travelled over to Oakham for the second time in 5 days to play their U12B team.  The U11 girls were slow out of the starting blocks and Oakham looked dangerous in attack, luckily the ball never got past Mia, Lulie and Sienna in defence so Georgina didn’t have to touch the ball once throughout the game! Katie, Bella and Poppy all had great games down the wings moving the ball well and feeding the ball into the D. We had a lot of attacking play but only managed to convert this to 1 goal in the first half, in the final minute with Ella scoring from a short corner. After half time the girls had a bit more luck in the D winning several short corners and break away attacks after winning the ball in defence. Bonnie and Ella both scored in the second half making the final score 3-0.

Witham Hall: 4

Ranby: 0

Witham arrived at Ranby House for their first game of grass hockey in quite some time, to be faced with a full size senior pitch as well was slightly daunting for the girls. Due to the size of the pitch we played quarters of 10 minutes to give the girls a rest. At the end of the first quarter no goals had been scored, despite Witham having the majority of the possession, they struggled to adapt to the slower ball pace on grass. After a quick team talk, including instructions to ‘whack it!’ the girls went out much stronger in the second quarter. A fantastic conversion of a short corner fed in by Mia to Ella who hammered the ball into the bottom corner really set the ball rolling.

The defence pushed right up to the half way line leaving Georgina back in goal; this added pressure kept the ball out of our half for the majority of the game. Another strike from Ella at a short corner put the score to 2-0. In the final quarter the girls really got to grips with the grass pitch and started moving with the ball well. Bonnie and Sienna made some great runs up the pitch, working the ball into the unusually small D for Ella to strike two more goals in open play, taking her total for the match up to 4! Lulie and Mia stood strong at the back and adapted well to the bumpy ground, feeding the ball out to Poppy, Katie and Bella on the wings. A good result from a rather different style of hockey match, really well done girls!

Witham Hall   3

Laxton JS         1

Witham’s year 6 U11A girls battled the wind and rain to play against Laxton Junior whilst the year 5 A team girls went off to Leicester. Bonnie made a fantastic start driving up the pitch and crossing the ball to Katie to score a goal in the first 60 seconds! Unfortunately after this the play went a bit flat; the wings crept into the middle channel of the pitch and everything became very crowded. Laxton had some good play and on one of their attacks managed to score a goal past Mia, Lulie and Georgina after a slip in concentration from Witham. Luckily the girls managed to score again before the half time whistle.

In the second half Laxton came back strong as Witham continued to crowd in the same space. With no one in the D when on the attack Witham were struggling to score. It was a frustrating 15 minutes but thankfully in the last 30 seconds of the game Laxton gave away a short corner and Ella converted it into a goal. 


Witham Hall   4

Ranby             2

The Witham U11B team looked to continue their fine run of form on their travels against Ranby. With the match being played on grass, the girls’ usually movement both with and without the ball was challenged more so than in any other match so far this season. Nevertheless, a strong first half performance with a goal from Rose meant that we took a half time lead of 1 – 0. The Ranby girls responded superbly after the second half began and immediately applied pressure on the Witham defence. With Ffion having been substituted, the defence looked a little shaky and Ranby capitalised scoring two goals in quick succession. Witham seemed to be lacking the usual urgency and desire that has been so evident in the first half of term, however Rose and Charlotte soon began to take charge again and they led a surge forward that saw Rose shoot at goal, but the ball only managed to trickle onto the goal line – fortunately Sophie was there to lash the ball home and make sure of the equaliser. From then on, the game took on an even more competitive edge and Josie, Daisy and Maddie had to be at their most alert. Ffion returned to the field in defence and transformed the team with her effortless tackling and ability to bring the ball up-field and out of danger. Sophie capitalised twice more after superb attacking play by Matilda and Josie to wrap up the win.

Player of the Match: Ffion

Witham Hall 1

Spratton Hall 1

In the second U10A match of the season, the girls came up against a very well organised and confident Spratton Hall side. The first half produced a lot of scrappy play, with Spratton dominating the territorial advantage. The Witham breakaways, led by poppy, were occasional but certainly threatening. Defensively, Maddie and Charlotte did a superb job. The girls had to be on their toes to stop a succession of three short corners, with Maddie producing some goal-line stops, whilst Gigi made a number of excellent saves.

Half-time 0-0

The second half saw a much more composed display from Witham. Despite going behind to an early goal, the girls rallied and looked much the better side going into the closing stages. An effective short corner routine produced the equaliser with Matilda prodding home from close range. Rose, poppy and Josie led breakaway after breakaway but unfortunately they were unable to add to the scoreline.

Maddie and Matilda were voted players of the match.

Witham Hall               1

Kimbolton U12D        5

The Under 11B team knew they had a tough game ahead, playing against older girls, who were physically taller and stronger than Witham.  Ffion Trundell led the way as Captain and certainly displayed just how a Captain should lead, with fine play and support for her girls throughout.  Kimbolton were very consistent hitters and certainly sent the ball through the channels at a pace.  Our defence; Arabella Nolan and Hera Chatterton had to tackle hard to stop so many shots at goal, which was a tough ask.  Kimbolton score two very quick goals and Witham had to work.  Our mid players; Kitty East, Issy Golland and Ffion had a lot of work to do.  After the half time whistle, there was a few change of positions and a solid team talk.  Witham had to tackle hard and push the ball through the channels with belief.  Kimbolton score two more and then Witham produced a goal by Emma Garvin.  Jemima Foljambe was excellent in goal and had a lot to do.  Kimbolton scored once more, with the final score Witham 1 (Emma Garvin), Kimbolton 5.


Witham Hall        3

Oakham U12E    3

The Under 11C team travelled over to Oakham to play their Under 12E side.  After a very slow start and an early goal by Oakham, Witham started to find form and wake up.   Daisy Smith-Maxwell was certainly a ‘dynamo’ throughout the whole game and linked the whole team together.  She helped feed the ball from defence through to attack and really made a difference to the Witham side.  At the end of the first quarter, Witham had just warmed up!  The second quarter was better, with a goal by Isabella Beattie and the flow of the game was better.  Hera Chatterton and Arabella Nolan started to tackle hard and believe they could win the ball and the play was more consistent.  The Third quarter was again a bit slow in places, but the girls listened to the team talk and started to play some nice channel play from defence through to the D.  Eleanor Tickler made some lovely tackles, which enabled Matilda McKay, Emma Garvin to receive the ball and head through to shoot.  The team talk at three quarter time was about belief.  Witham were 3-1 down and we had everything to play for.  Sienna De Gale made some nice runs up the wing and again the opportunities in the D were starting to happen.  Daisy ‘dynamo’ produced a magnificent goal, after Emma Garvin, Isabella Beattie and Matilda McKay passed the ball through the channels to Daisy.  The score was 3-2, with minutes to spare.  As if by magic, Witham were believing and a final goal was scored, bringing the score to 3-3.  With 15 seconds to play, Matilda McKay made a last minute dash for goal and the ball was saved.  A great game overall.  The girls listened hard and started to really believe in themselves!  Well done.  Thank you to all our supporters for coming to support Witham on a very cold, wet afternoon.

U11B/C Hockey lose v Laxton JS U11B

Team:  Captain – Emma Garvin , Sienna De Gale GK, Jemima Foljambe, Hera Chatterton, Kitty East, Ffion Trundell, Isabelle Golland, Arabella Nolan

Score : Lost 0-5

The U11B/C girls played against a very strong U11B Laxton team, who seemed to hit the ball consistently hard and dominated the pitch from start to finish.  The Witham side was predominantly U11C team players, with the help of Ffion Trundell and Isabelle Golland who have played B team this season.  Witham had a new GK in place too; Sienna De Gale, who played very well indeed and had a great first outing in goal.

In the first half, Witham were slow to get going and their passing lacked strength and direction.  Sienna De Gale fought hard in goal to stop any balls flying at her, but unfortunately, Laxton seemed to get closer and closer and scored two quick goals.   Witham had to tackle more strongly and the Laxton goals woke Witham up!    The second half saw Laxton get stronger and they played the ball well throughout the channels.  Isabelle Golland and Jemima Foljambe fought very hard to win the ball for Witham, but they couldn’t do it on their own.  Witham seemed to pass the ball constantly through the middle, which was picked up quickly by the Laxton Centre defence and then taken to the attacking end.  Laxton scored three more goals, with a very sloppy goal at the end, to finish the play. 

Laxton played some superb hockey and it was good to play against such a strong B side.  Witham learnt a few lessons after this match and will go away and practice their consistency of pass, channel play and tackling, ready for the next game.  Well done to Sienna De Gale as GK – she played consistently well against some very hard hitters.  Final score :  Witham 0, Laxton 5.

Witham U11C lose v Ranby House U11B

Team :  Kitty East, Arabella Nolan, Eleanor Tickler, Hera Chatterton, Isabella Beattie, Isabelle Golland, Emma Garvin, Matilda McKay, Sienna De Gale, Jemima Foljambe (Captain)

Score :  Lost 0-5

The U11C hockey team headed off to Ranby House to play against their U11B side.  After a long journey and several trips back to the coach for kit, the girls warmed up, ready for action.  They had to play on a full Senior 11 a side pitch, which was a very tough ask, but they gave it their best.  In the first quarter, the girls were slow off the mark and Ranby House passed the ball with confidence and belief.  Witham had to tackle hard to win the ball and they got a few opportunities to gain possession, but lost it again in our attacking end.  Ranby House scored a very good goal, just before quarter time, which came as a surprise to Witham.  In the second and third quarter, Witham started to find their feet and tackled very hard indeed.  Ranby passed the ball from channel to channel, which gave them several opportunities at goal.  Isabelle Golland (GK) fought hard, but just couldn’t keep the very close range shots out of the goal.  The score at three quarter time was 0-4 to Ranby and Witham had everything to play for.  Witham marked tightly and the passing up through the channels was getting stronger.  Witham couldn’t break into the D which was a shame and Ranby made a last minute break in the last thirty seconds of the game.  They scored a final goal, which made the final score Ranby House 5, Witham 0.  Isabelle Golland played outstandingly well in goal and had to do an incredible amount of work.  The score could have been double figures without Isabelle’s saves.  The player of the match was Captain Jemima Foljambe, who never gave up and ran up and down the pitch for possession.  This was a difficult match against a strong Year 6 B side.  Witham never gave up and tackled hard throughout.  We now need to work on the quality of pass and channel play, ready for our next game.  Heads up Witham, onto the next game with belief!  Thank you to all our parents and supporters who travelled to Ranby House to watch the team.

U11B/C v Leicester GS U11B  

Team :  Daisy Smith-Maxwell (Captain ), Eleanor Tickler, Hera Chatterton, Isabella Beattie, Isabelle Golland, Matilda McKay, Jemima Foljambe, Ffion Trundell

Score :  Lost 0-2

Witham Under 11B/C team travelled to Great Glen, Leicester, to play a strong U11B Leicester G S team.  The team warmed up well and were soon ready for action.  Witham certainly passed the ball much better than the week before and they were looking to pass the ball into space with strength.  The first half was consistent and both teams had equal possession.  Unfortunately, Leicester had a strong, speedy Centre midfield, who won most of their ball and had the confidence to produce a late break, just before half time and scored a goal.  Witham’s team talk was direct and there was a certain ‘aim’ for the second half.  Witham had to pass the ball more strongly to each other; they had to call for the ball and NOT follow the pass.  They certainly did that and the play was improved and the girls looked like they were starting to believe in themselves.  Witham produced a few runs up to the D, but just couldn’t finish it off.  We had 2 shots at goal and narrowly missed the goal by inches – what a shame because the girls deserved a goal, with their work rate and improvement.  In the second half, Witham played more consistently than Leicester, so it was a shame not to score.  Leicester made one more break for goal and a few missed tackles enabled Leicester to score a final goal, just before the end whistle.  The final score was Witham 0, Leicester GS 2.  This was a game where there was so much improvement and certainly more ‘belief’ in the whole team.  The girls have played very well recently considering the strength of the B teams we have played.  I am very proud of them and I look forward to watching them in action again on Saturday after a good training session on Friday.  Thank you to all our parents and supporters who travelled to Great Glen, Leicester, to watch the team.


Witham Hall U10B     1

Laxton Junior U10B   0

The U10B girls had a fantastic game against Laxton Junion with some good hockey played by both sides. The girls all worked very hard both in defence and attack; Tilly was a rock at the back clearing the ball well, Eleanor worked her socks off running up and down the pitch, and Daisy’s passing in midfield was very good. Daisy also finished off a great goal that was worked into the D thanks to some superb team work. Shivali was in some great positions, staying out wide and running up the wing with the ball and Rachel worked hard to keep the ball in our attacking half. Georgina was solid in goal shutting down all of Laxton’s attacks. Isabella’s strong hit very nearly made the score 2-0 but Laxton’s defence were very good. It was so fantastic to see the progress the girls have made in hockey so far this term – well done U10B team!!