U9 Girls to Barlborough Hall Hockey Festival

02 Oct 2014

This is the first time that Witham has participated in this Hockey Festival and in fact the first time any of us had visited Barlborough Hall – the long drive through the trees approaching what appeared to be an old castle was indeed a spectacular beginning to the afternoon.

Eight schools took part in the Festival and each school played every other school on three grass pitches. There were no final results. We had a tough match to start against Westbourne and drew 0-0, which was a pretty good reflection on the game – both schools appeared rather nervous and tentative. However, in our second match against S. Anselm’s the girls managed to move the ball around much better and spent much of the match on the attack. Although the score was a 2-0 victory to Witham courtesy of Bella Fox and Isabella Beattie, it should perhaps have been more. Maddy Bryars made a solid impact in the mid-field in this game not letting anything past her and Eleanor Tickler made some strong runs down the left wing vastly assisting the team in their attack on the S. Anselm’s goal. Game Three saw Witham up against the hosts Barlborough Hall: the girls were really getting into their stride now and Matilda Craven really showed her focus on the goal and made a real impact on this game scoring two goals. Bella helped with another giving us a 3-0 victory and Daisy Smith-Maxwell produced some good work in the mid-field. Witham’s fourth match in a row was against Hymers who certainly had an impressive team and a dangerous striker. Defensively, we showed that we have much work to do and were fortunate to have only one goal scored against us. Fortunately late on the in game the Witham girls rallied and Bella found some space on a fast break and scored leaving us with a 1-1 draw. Next up were St Peter& St Paul who were not such a strong team; however, it was terrific to see Eleanor lead the way with a terrific first goal which was then followed by Matilda and Rose Brassey scoring two apiece giving us a 5-0 victory.

With two games left to go all the girls had at least one last game to play. Unfortunately, we lost 0-1 to Wellow with some very tired legs on show and players randomly playing completely out of position all of a sudden! Witham had their chances but just couldn’t break through the Wellow sticks in the ‘D’. Then, in the final match against Hull Collegiate, Witham showed their best play of the day with players communicating and the mid-field linking up well with their forwards – it was a fine display from both Poppy Wraith and Charlotte Bingham. Rose had a most dynamic game and scored two goals and Bella also scored two.

Well done girls! 7 matches played: 4 won; 2 drawn; 1 lost.

Witham Player of the Tournament: Bella Fox

Witham Most Improved Players: Isabella Craven (positioning) and Eleanor Tickler (attacking runs up the left wing)

Champagne Moment: Rose Brassey’s attacking play in the final match